Access alert – Adventure Activities Regulation changes
If you are passionate about adventure activities or wish to have a say about about the potential impact on recreational climbing access, please make a submission on MBIE’s Adventure Activity – Keeping it Safe proposals.
- New, stricter regulations are proposed in relation to Adventure Activities.
- This includes new health and safety obligations and potential liability for landowners who permit Adventure Activity Operators to access their land, even if they are not charging for access.
- This seems likely to result in access closures, which may affect recreational climbers.
- We encourage you to make a submission on the proposals by 5pm on 5 November 2021.
In response to the White Island catastrophe in 2019, the Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment (MBIE) reviewed the regulatory regime for Adventure Activities. These are adventurous pursuits provided by a paid operator, including outdoor education and guiding.
To reduce accidents, MBIE is now proposing new and stricter regulations for the Adventure Activities sector, specifically regarding management of natural hazards and the role of WorkSafe and safety auditors.
For clarity, indoor rock climbing and outdoor recreational rock climbing (i.e. no one is paying anyone to teach or guide them) is not covered in this regulatory regime.
Regardless, ACAT will be submitting a response to the consultation document. The proposals include new duties on landowners who permit Adventure Activity Operators to access their land, to work with the Operators to manage natural hazard risks. This would apply whether or not the landowner charges for access.
ACAT sees this as a significant threat for access to our crags, and we oppose potential liability being imposed on landowners who permit access. Although it is not intended, landowners may perceive these changes as a reason to limit access for recreational climbers. Landowners’ perceived risk of liability for accidents is already a leading cause of crag closures, such as the AGS Rockwall (Auckland), Phoebe Creek (Wanaka), and Bayley Road (Waikato).
What you can do
If you are passionate about adventure activities or wish to have a say about concerns you have about the impact to recreational climbing access, please make a submission. The deadline for submissions is 5pm on 5 November. There is an online survey that you can respond to, or you can write a submission. Any submission however brief is valuable.
For more information and to have your say, please refer to https://www.mbie.govt.nz/have-your-say/adventure-activities/