Adventure activity resources

View all guidelines for commercial adventure activity operators who are not required to have a Safe Operational Plan.

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Health and Safety in Employment (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2011

The Health and Safety in Employment (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2011 require adventure activity operators to obtain a recognised safety audit and to be registered with WorkSafe New Zealand.

A number of commercial vessels involved in adventure activities are not covered by the requirements of 4(3)(a) of these regulations because, as commercial vessels, they are covered by a maritime document.

It is important to note that even if you have a maritime document for your vessel/operation there may be some aspects of your operation that are covered by the Adventure Activities Regulations and you should ensure that you are aware of, and comply with, any legal requirements that apply. Registration in itself does not mean that you have met the obligations under the Health & Safety in Employment Act.

Information about the requirements, and the activities covered by the regulations, is available on the WorkSafe NZ website.

Adventure activity guidelines

These guidelines reflect the requirements of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and the Maritime Transport Act 1994. They are issued by Maritime New Zealand under the terms of its statutory responsibility to promote safety in the use of navigable craft.

The guidelines for commercial kayaking and canoeing operations and commercial white water boarding operations were developed before the Adventure Activities Regulations came into force. Operators who provide canoeing, kayaking or white water boarding activities may be subject to the regulations if their activity meets the definition of an adventure activity. If you are unsure if your operation is subject to the regulations, you can contact WorkSafe at aao@worksafe.govt.nz.

The guidelines were developed with substantial input from the sectors concerned. We welcome feedback on operators' experience working with the guidelines, with a view to their ongoing development.

Safety guidelines: Commercial kayaking and canoeing operations

These safety guidelines have been developed to help operators develop and implement their safety management systems. The guidelines provide advice on commercial kayaking and canoeing operations, including legal requirements and good safety practice.

Safety guidelines: Commercial white water boarding operations

These guidelines set out the recommended minimum standards for commercial operations that use river sledges, river boards, body boards and river bugs on rivers. They do not apply to tubing or tube rafting on rivers, or to body boards used at sea or on lakes.

Draft safety guidelines: Commercial paddle craft on the Whanganui River

These guidelines are for commercial operators who hire and provide paddle craft and equipment to the public for overnight journeys on the Whanganui River. Recreational paddlers who are organising their own river trips may also find the safety advice useful.

Safety guidelines: Paddle craft rental activities

These safety guidelines are for commercial operators who hire or provide paddle craft and equipment to the public for use that is not directly supervised on the water by a guide or instructor. The free use of canoes or kayaks as part of an accommodation incentive is also covered by these guidelines.

MOSS-related activity guidelines

The following guidelines cover activities relating to your Maritime Transport Operator Certificate (MTOC). These guidelines need to be considered when developing your operator plan.

Safety guidelines: High-speed / thrill-ride vessel experiences

These guidelines are for operators of commercial high-speed and thrill-ride vessels operating at sea or on lakes where the vessel is exposing passengers or crew to gravitational forces in excess of 5 g at any stage of the ride. (They do not apply to jet boat operations regulated under Maritime Rule Part 82: Commercial Jet Boat Operations - River.) The guidelines have information not covered in MNZ’s Safety Guidelines for Passenger and Non-Passenger Vessels, and are intended to operate alongside them.

Safety guidelines: Vessels involved in swimming operations

These guidelines are intended to help commercial operators of vessels involved in swimming operations to develop and implement their safety systems and deliver their activities safely. They are intended to operate alongside MNZ’s Safety Guidelines for Passenger and Non-Passenger Vessels, and contain information not covered in those guidelines.

Safety guidelines: Parasailing operations

These guidelines provide activity-specific safety information for commercial operators of vessels involved in parasailing, and are intended to operate alongside MNZ’s Safety Guidelines for Passenger and Non-Passenger Vessels. They cover information not covered in those guidelines and should be read together.

Where the activity of parasailing involves a parachute being towed behind a boat, it is regulated under the Maritime Transport Act and the Civil Aviation Act. The specific rules are set out in the Maritime Rules applicable to the operation of ships and in Civil Aviation Rule Part 101: Gyrogliders and Parasails; and Unmanned Balloons, Kites, Rockets and Model Aircraft - Operating Rules.

Safety guidelines: Shark cage diving

These guidelines provide activity-specific safety information for commercial operators of vessels involved in shark cage diving, and are intended to operate alongside MNZ’s Safety Guidelines for Passenger and Non-Passenger Vessels. They cover information not covered in those guidelines and should be read together.

The guidelines cover only the safety aspects of the shark cage diving activity. The Department of Conservation has a code of practice that addresses conservation aspects of the activity.

Safety guidelines: Managing risks: alcohol and other drugs - raft and jet boat operators

In jet boating and rafting, detection of alcohol and other drugs use that can cause impairment is critical to establishing safe operations for all people involved. This guidance will help you manage the workplace hazard of impairment from the use of alcohol and other drugs, in fulfilment of your duties under the Maritime Transport Act (MTA) 2004 and the Health and Safety in Employment Act (HSE Act) 1992.

Safety strategy

Kayaking and canoeing safety strategy 2009-2014

This strategy sets out priority areas for Maritime New Zealand programmes and initiatives aimed at promoting safety in kayaking over the next 3-6 years. The strategy was developed following extensive dialogue and consultation with the industry.

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