Proposals to improve safety at registered adventure activities have been released today in light of the Whakaari/White Island tragedy.
Forty-seven people were on the island when it erupted on December 9, 2019. Twenty-two people died and 25 were injured.
Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Wood said today the Government was moving to improve safety in light of the tragedy.
"The Whakaari/White Island eruption was a devastating tragedy that meant 22 people sadly lost their lives. We are committed to learning the lessons to reduce the risk of a similar incident happening.
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"A review of the adventure activities regime showed that the regime is performing reasonably well, but identified areas which could be strengthened. We are proposing a number of changes to strengthen it and raise safety standards," Wood said.
The package of proposals include strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks, improving how risks are monitored, assessed and communicated, supporting WorkSafe's strengthened regulatory leadership role and improving the safety audit standard, audit process and guidance and information for the sector.
Wood said adventure activities were a key part of our tourism sector.
"Prior to Covid-19, as many as one in three international tourists took part in at least one adventure activity. It's important we provide safe as possible experiences for New Zealanders and international visitors once our borders reopen.
"We intend to work in partnership with the sector to achieve change and I encourage tourism stakeholders, business owners and operators to look through the proposals and submit on them," Wood said.
The consultation into the adventure activities regime opens today and will close at 5pm, Friday, November 5, 2021.