Thursday, June 13, 2024

Safer standards in wake of White Island tragedy

The Government has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities in the wake of the 2019 Whakaari White Island tragedy.

The package of proposals includes:

  • Strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks;
  • Improving how risks are monitored, assessed and communicated;
  • Supporting WorkSafe’s strengthened regulatory leadership role;
  • Improving the safety audit standard, audit process and guidance and information for the sector.

“The Whakaari White Island eruption was a devastating tragedy that meant 22 people sadly lost their lives. We are committed to learning the lessons to reduce the risk of a similar incident happening,” Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Michael Wood said.

“A review of the adventure activities regime showed that the regime is performing reasonably well, but identified areas which could be strengthened. We are proposing a number of changes to strengthen it and raise safety standards.

“Adventure activities are a key part of our tourism sector. Prior to COVID-19, as many as one in three international tourists took part in at least one adventure activity. It’s important we provide a safe as possible experiences for New Zealanders and international visitors once our borders reopen.

“We intend to work in partnership with the sector to achieve change and I encourage tourism stakeholders, business owners and operators to look through the proposals and submit on them,” Mr Wood said.

The consultation into the adventure activities regime opens today and will close at 5pm, Friday 5 November 2021.

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