A dozen people were injured yesterday when a jetboat crashed into a cliff face near Queenstown.

The crash happened on the Shotover River about 3.10pm and 12 of the 14 passengers were taken to the Lakes District Hospital.

Five had moderate injuries and seven had minor injuries, St John Ambulance spokeswoman Alena Lynch said.

Sergeant Mark Gill said the boat crashed into a cliff face, resulting in damage to the engine and the rear of the boat.

The matter had been referred to Maritime New Zealand and the Department of Labour, Mr Gill said.

The passengers in the jetboat were from Germany, the United States, Britain and New Zealand.

A statement from Shotover Jet Ltd said emergency services and the Queenstown Lakes harbourmaster were at the scene within minutes of the crash and Shotover Jet immediately suspended operations.

It is the latest in a long line of adventure tourism accidents.

In September 2008, Chinese tourist Yan Wang, 42, was killed when a jetboat operated by Kawarau Jets flipped over in the Shotover River.

Earlier that year, English tourist Emily Jordan, 21, drowned while river-boarding on the Kawarau River.

Other fatalities in heli-skiing and bridge-swinging prompted the Government to outline measures to improve safety in the industry.

In August, Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson announced a proposal for a compulsory registration scheme.

Under it, every commercial operator would have to sign up and pass a safety audit, which would be repeated periodically.

At present, there are health and safety requirements and external safety audits, although the latter are voluntary.

The proposal would affect about 1500 commercial adventure tourism operators.

The scheme would cost between $150,000 and $250,000 to set up, and operators would pay a modest scheme fee and cover the costs of the audits.

The Department of Labour is due to report back this month.

Between 2004 and last year, 39 people died in New Zealand while doing outdoor activities.

- staff reporter