Safe Operational Plans for white water rafting

Learn about Safe Operational Plans (SOP) for white water rafting and how you can get one.

All rafts for recreational purposes (including adventure, scenic and oar raft fishing) that carry passengers on any river, for hire or reward, are required to have a Safe Operational Plan (SOP) under Maritime Rule Part 81.

Commercial rafts require a Safe Operational Plan.

A vessel required to operate under a Safe Operational Plan cannot then be under a Maritime Transport Operator Plan.

How to get a Safe Operational Plan:

To get a Safe Operational Plan, you will need to do the following:

  1. Contact your nearest rafting Authorised Person/Safety Auditor for an inspection, audit and approval of your operation*
  2. When your SOP has been approved, you will need a Certificate of Compliance from Maritime New Zealand before you can begin operating.

Each operation must then undergo an annual audit for their Safe Operational Plan Certificate of Compliance to remain valid.

Rafting operations must also comply with the Code of Practice for the Safety of Commercial Rafting, which is detailed in Appendix 2 of Maritime Rule Part 80.

Download List of Authorised Persons[PDF: 59Kb, 1 page]

* This is on behalf of the Director of Maritime New Zealand.

Safe Operational Plan systems for rafting

The detail in each Plan may be different reflecting local conditions and the individual circumstances of each rafting operation.

Safe Operational Plan systems include:

  • owner/operator details
  • operating conditions
  • passenger information
  • passenger screening
  • trip requirements
  • back up personnel
  • equipment
  • staff selection, training and supervision
  • river conditions and on river management
  • new operational situations and changes to existing operational situations
  • emergency planning and procedures
  • communications
  • accident, incident, mishap recording and reporting and investigation
  • implementation and review.
Related information:
Contact a maritime officer

Getting help

Contact a Maritime Officer for help with your operational and health and safety requirements.

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For more information

Contact us

If you require any further information about safety management systems, please contact your local Maritime Officer.

+64 4 473 0111