An engineer believes law changes governing who can approve the safety of amusement rides deserves a second look following the derailment of a miniature train in Havelock North.
The Department of Labour has launched an investigation into the derailment of the Keirunga Park Railway, which was carrying 12 passengers at the time it came off the tracks on Saturday.
Attractions classed as "amusement rides" are certified by the Institution of Professional Engineers and the Recreational Safety Group, while those termed "hobbyest rides", such as the one at Keirunga, are checked by members of the Model Engineering Association of New Zealand (Meanz).
Safety group executive officer Jack Mains said the option to allow Meanz to check over its own amusement rides should be changed.
"Meanz has 28 clubs throughout the country and says because its members are the ones who make the trains, it is in the best position to certify their safety but we believe only a qualified engineer is able to do that."
Mr Mains said while he had an employment interest in the debate on who carried out the safety audits, it was the safety of those using the rides which was paramount.
"Parents have an expectation that when they put their kids on a ride, whether it be at the Hawke's Bay Show or Splash Planet, that someone has looked over it and it's okay."
Meanz secretary John Romanes, from Havelock North, said there were two reasons why the group wanted its own certified technicians to conduct audits.
"The minor reason is that the cost of engaging an engineer was prohibitive for some clubs and the major reason is that a chartered engineer does not know about miniature railway operation," he said.
"But the criteria we now have demands that an auditor must have many years of experience not just in building but also the management of the railway."
Mr Romanes said an audit had to be completed by someone from out of the club that wanted the check done and the Havelock North club had an audit completed in Easter when it held an open day.
He said Keirunga had passed its audit.
"We have been lobbying for these changes for almost a decade. We took advice from around the world, some by email and some in person by going to Australia, the US and Canada.
"The senior Department of Labour negotiator felt it was a good system and for that reason it was put into law."