Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Tourist attraction back in action

Add a comment
Zorb Rotorua staff Kelsey Horne (left) and Katea Graham. The tourist attraction is back in operation after being granted a temporary exemption. Photo / Stephen Parker
Zorb Rotorua staff Kelsey Horne (left) and Katea Graham. The tourist attraction is back in operation after being granted a temporary exemption. Photo / Stephen Parker

Zorb Rotorua is back in action after WorkSafe New Zealand granted it a temporary exemption to operate.

Though pleased to be up and running again, the tourist attraction says it's disappointed by the short notice it was given that its activities had been reclassified and brought within the scope of the Adventure Activity Regulations.

Zorb Rotorua was issued two improvement notices by WorkSafe following a June 2015 incident, which left a woman with two broken legs, and was closed for five days last week while management worked to get a temporary exemption to operate following its reclassification as an adventure activity operator.

A WorkSafe inspector visited the site on Saturday.

In a statement, WorkSafe said Zorb had been granted an exemption for the "wet Zorb" activity.

"Its other Zorbing activities are not exempted and cannot be offered.

"The exemption has been granted on the basis that the wet-zorb activity is considered lower-risk and based on initial information provided by safety auditors there are appropriate safety systems in place for that activity."

However, Zorb Rotorua general manager Haydn Marriner told the Rotorua Daily Post Zorb had stopped offering its Zorbit (non water) experience about 10 months ago and only offered wet Zorb rides.

He said Zorb opened for business as normal yesterday and would continue working through the requirements for registration as an adventure activity operator.

"We have been disappointed that there was no consultation with us that our sector had been reclassified and also that we received a very short three hours' notice of the reclassification and its subsequent ramifications.

"We believe that it's a testament to our safety systems that we were able to turn our situation around in such a short time," Mr Marriner said.

A WorkSafe spokesman said it appreciated the decision to reclassify Zorb's activities came at short notice and Zorb had worked hard to quickly comply with the improvement notices.

"WorkSafe processed Zorb's application for an exemption promptly in recognition of the situation the company found itself in."

The spokesman said the whole sector had not been reclassified, only the specific activities offered by Zorb New Zealand.

"There are a range of operators offering ball-rolling activities, some of which are subject to the regulations and some which are not (such as those offered on flat surfaces)."

Mr Marriner said in recognition of reopening, Zorb was offering a price of $30 for the first Zorb Experience and $19 for any additional rides until the end of February.

Ogo Rotorua, which runs a similar operation on the side of Mt Ngongotaha, has been registered as an adventure activity operator since November 2014.

- Additional reporting Katie Holland

- Rotorua Daily Post

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 26 Apr 2017 00:07:01 Processing Time: 690ms