A recent safety review has seen age and height restrictions on Rainbow Springs' Big Splash ride tightened to better protect customers.
Ngai Tahu Tourism northern region general manager Fraser Leddie said the restrictions for the popular ride were changed last month. However, he said the change had nothing to do with the recent tragedy at the Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast where four people were killed on the Thunder River Rapids ride.
"We were deeply saddened by the tragedy in Australia and whenever there is a significant incident in our industry, we always reflect on whether there are lessons for our business.
"However, in this instance, the Big Splash changes were in response to recommendations from an independent consultant routinely engaged as part of our health and safety programme prior to this incident," Mr Leddie said.
To ride the Big Splash, children must now be aged 5 or over and be taller than 106cm.
Children aged 5 and over, who are between 106cm and 135cm, must be accompanied by an adult.
The adult must be seated next to the child and provide supervision during the full ride.
"Rainbow Springs has a comprehensive safety programme to ensure that all attractions are safe," Mr Leddie said.
"This includes daily checks, stringent operating standards and regular maintenance and external reviews.
"We feel that the new age and height requirements are in the interests of our customers."
Previously, people had to be 80cm tall if accompanied by a parent or caregiver, or 110cm if unaccompanied. There was no minimum age.
To sit in the front seat of the Big Splash, they had to be at least 130cm tall.
"We understand the Rotorua community sees Rainbow Springs as a place where whanau can enjoy amazing experiences and share these with visitors to the region. That is why the health and safety of our customers and our team are at the heart of everything we do.
"We continually review our experiences and processes to ensure the health and safety of our customers and our team are paramount.
"These changes are precautionary only, and are part of our ongoing focus on health and safety. The Big Splash is subject to daily checks and regular maintenance and review.
"We appreciate that some customers will be disappointed that they're no longer able to ride the Big Splash and we apologise to those who have been affected by these changes."
New Big Splash ride restrictions
- Children must be aged 5 or over and be taller than 106cm
- Children 5 and over, between 106cm and 135cm, must be accompanied by an adult
- The adult needs to be seated next to the child and provide supervision
- Changes were made in the past month
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