Search this website
| Options Options
Search Type
Adventure Activities Update: 05 May 2014
Document Actions

Adventure Activities Update: 05 May 2014

Welcome to our first newsletter about the implementation of the Adventure Activities regulations. 

The newsletter will help keep you in the loop on what’s going on and what you can expect in the lead up to 1 November this year, when the new regulations come into force.

We realise this newsletter might not answer all your questions right now, but we will be sure to keep you informed as more information becomes available. The most important thing is that operators continue to get ready for audit and keep checking these newsletters and our website for updates. 

As you know, by 1 November, 2014, every adventure activities operator subject to the Health and Safety in Employment (Adventure and Activities) Regulations (2011) must be registered with WorkSafe NZ. That means, in the first instance, passing a safety audit.

You can find more about this in this newsletter, and on our website.

This edition includes


Keep getting ready for audit

We recently phoned the 550 operators who had notified us they are subject to the regulations to check they have the information they need about the audit process and to see if they need any help.

Most operators are well on their way, which is great.  It seems clear, though, that it is taking many operators longer to prepare for an audit than they had expected.  With just six months until the 1 November deadline, we’re urging all operators not yet registered to make sure they’re getting ready – and ask us for help if needed.


Introducing our new safety advisers

We heard from some operators that they wanted help, and we’ve now got three dedicated safety advisers to provide one-on-one support to help operators prepare for an audit.

The advisers will work with those operators who want help to get their safety management system (SMS) documentation to the audit-readiness stage.

We’re in the final stages of recruiting three more advisers, and will introduce them in the next newsletter.

[image] Aidan Tansell


Aidan Tansell

Aidan joins WorkSafe NZ from a senior management position in a large Wellington-based operator. He has an extensive background in outdoor recreation, having worked as a guide, instructor and manager across a range of pursuits for the last 15 years. He has developed systems which have passed safety audit, and worked in a range of operations here and overseas. Aidan is based in Wellington.

[image] Ross Morton


Ross Morton

Ross has had a long career in outdoors pursuits, including senior roles both here and in Australia. Most recently, he has been running his own outdoors consultancy company, providing safety, audit and team performance advice to outdoor education, adventure tourism and community organisations. Ross is based in Marahau.

[image] James Pinchin


James Pinchin

James has worked in adventure education and tourism around the world including Norway, Australia, United States and NZ. Much of his career has been spent in sea kayaking, canoeing and maritime activities, but he also has a strong ropes background. He has also worked extensively in industrial ropes access, emergency services and rescue response teams. James is based in Wellington.

These advisers are now available to answer questions and provide help. Operators can contact them through our email.  They will be contacting all operators who have already asked for support directly.


Preparing your Safety Management Plan

A template safety management plan and related guidance have been developed to help operators prepare for an audit.

Using the template is optional. It provides guidance on the level of documentation needed to pass a safety audit and is designed to help operators put together a safety management plan. It is not the only way to approach a safety management plan, and operators may use only some elements, or may elect to not use it at all.   Either way, it is up to the operator to ensure it is tailored to its business and situation.   

A copy of this template and guidance is available on the SupportAdventure web site.


Remember: operators are responsible

Operator responsibility: safety is in your hands

It is the responsibility of operators to ensure the safety of their clients and staff at all times. This goes beyond having safety management systems and passing an audit, to ensuring good decision making and sound safety practices each day.  

Under the regulations, operators are responsible for identifying whether they are subject to the regulations and, if so, to ensure they are audited and registered by 1 November 2014.


Are you covered by the regulations?

We have received some queries about whether particular activities, or certain operators, are covered under the new regime.

Responsibility for complying with the Regulations, including assessing whether they apply, rests solely on operators.

WorkSafe NZ has provided guidance to help operators make this assessment and is available to discuss this with operators directly (email us at  If you are unsure, you may need to obtain legal advice.


Auditor update

We know operators are urgently seeking information on more audit providers.  We are working hard to bring more safety auditors and technical experts on board. This work is  progressing well.  Once there are more auditor providers available we will contact operators and other interested parties directly, and include an update in our newsletter and on our website.

Operators working with Outdoors NZ should contact ONZ directly.


Becoming a technical expert

We are seeking to identify adventure activity specialists with the necessary expertise and knowledge to be a technical expert, and who are available to be involved in auditing this year.

A technical expert is someone with a high level of competence in one or more adventure activities. The role of the technical expert is to assess the technical safety aspects of a particular adventure activity, and otherwise advise the auditor during an audit. 

WorkSafe NZ is not contracting technical experts directly, but will provide the names of technical experts to the auditor providers to contract directly.

Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a technical expert, and happy for your name to be shared with auditor providers.


A note on attestation

We have received some enquiries about the changes to the attestation requirements for technical experts.

The Scheme clearly states that anyone seeking attestation must demonstrate they have the same level of skills and competency as required by the relevant qualification.

Attestation is obtained through an independent person who must hold a combination of factors such as technical expertise and senior sector involvement (including qualifications, standards and/or governance).

Any attestation for a technical expert must be accepted by the certification body, and is open to review by JAS-ANZ at any time.


An update for sole operators

Last year WorkSafe NZ agreed to examine what could be done to reduce the compliance costs on sole operators. We had been asked whether the assessment process to maintain qualifications could replace aspects of the audit.

Having considered the issue, WorkSafe NZ has determined that sole operators are subject to the regulations in the same way as any other operator. This includes onsite audits, which are an essential part of ensuring all operators are implementing their safety management system.

It is imperative the public, visitors, and other members of the sector can be assured that the same safety standards are held across the industry, no matter who the operator is.

We are working on options to partially meet the costs of technical experts in this transitional period of the audit process, which will help keep costs down. Keep an eye out for updates.


Keep in touch

Please contact us with questions or to get support from a safety adviser at

If you know of other people who might like to receive this newsletter, please forward it to them or ask them to get in touch with us.


Last updated 16 September 2014


Useful docs replacement image


On Monday 4 April 2016, the New Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) came into effect.

HSWA repeals the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, with immediate effect.

All references to the 1992 Act on this website and within our guidance will be progressively removed.