Dart River

Adventure Activities Regulations

From 1 April 2024, the Adventure Activities Amendment Regulations 2023 will come into force. This will see several changes made to the Health and Safety at Work (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2016 (the Regulations) and the Safety Audit Standard.

Some of the key changes to the Regulations include:

  • changes to the registration process – applicants will now apply directly to the Registrar of Adventure Activities (WorkSafe) for registration and renewal of registration after completing their safety audit requirements
  • the requirement for operators to take reasonable steps to tell people looking to participate in their adventure activities what the risks are
  • greater powers by WorkSafe to suspend (including immediately), cancel and refuse registration
  • WorkSafe can impose conditions on an operator’s registration in the interests of safety
  • new notifiable incidents (including natural hazard type incidents) which operators must report to WorkSafe

Some of the key changes in the Safety Audit Standard include:

  • a specific requirement to consider natural  hazards in your risk management planning
  • having a clear policy in place to determine when to call an activity off
  • new requirements of technical advisors, particularly regarding natural hazards

See Changes to the Adventure Activities regime – what they mean for you, for more information about all these changes, including the latest changes to the New Zealand Adventure Activities Certification Scheme.

Why the changes?

These changes are all part of an improvement plan to strengthen the adventure activities regulatory function, following on from the Whakaari White Island tragedy in 2019. Overall, the changes aim to improve the health and safety outcomes for participants, and workers, in adventure activities in New Zealand/Aotearoa.  

See Improvements to WorkSafe’s adventure activities regulatory function | WorkSafe for more information.

What do you need to do?

WorkSafe will let you know when other guidance is available later in 2024 including:

  • Guidance for adventure activity operators on managing the risks of natural hazards
  • Activity Safety Guidelines including managing activity specific risks regarding natural hazards

If you have any further questions following the update of information to the WorkSafe website on 2 April, please email aao@worksafe.govt.nz.