Proposed changes to the Adventure Activities Regulatory Regime

Submissions closed: 05 November 2021, 5pm

We are reviewing the health and safety regulations for Adventure Activities.

The consultation document seeks feedback on how to improve safety standards in the adventure activities regulatory regime. The summary of proposals document is a condensed version of the consultation document.


Our goal is to reduce harm in the registered adventure activities sector, while maintaining a balance between the level of regulation, cost, and enabling public access to New Zealand’s natural environment.

The consultation document covers proposals for change to:

  • strengthen requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks,
  • improve how risk is monitored, assessed and communicated,
  • strengthen WorkSafe’s regulatory leadership role, and
  • improve the safety audit standard, audit process and guidance and information for the sector.

These regulatory reform proposals were developed in response to the Whakaari/White Island eruption on 9 December 2019.

Following this event, the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety directed the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to undertake a targeted review of the adventure activities regulatory regime. The review considered whether weaknesses exist in the adventure activities regime when adventure activities take place in naturally-hazardous environments.

Findings from the review were used as a basis to develop proposals for changes to the regime in more detail. These proposals have now been released for public consultation.

We want to know whether you think the package of proposals in the paper will be effective in raising health and safety standards in the sector, and what the impacts would be on you or your organisation.  Your feedback will inform any changes Government may make to the regulations.

We are keen to hear from adventure activity operators, people who work in the adventure activity sector, those who take part in activities, and others with an interest in the sector.

The submissions deadline is 5.00pm on 5 November 2021.

Read more about the targeted review of the adventure activities regime

Next steps

We will analyse the submissions, and provide advice to the Government based on your feedback. We expect any changes to the regime to start being implemented in 2022.

You can read more about the legislative process here:

Parliament brief: The legislative process(external link) New Zealand Parliament

Adventure activities regulatory regime background

Adventure activities are activities which are paid for, involve the participant being guided or taught and are designed to deliberately expose the participant to serious risk that operators must manage.

Adventure activity operators must obtain a safety audit by an accredited safety auditor and be registered by WorkSafe as an adventure activities operator in order to offer their activities.

The health and safety regulatory regime for adventure activities is relatively new, introduced in 2011 and came fully into force in November 2014, following concerns over the management of risk in the adventure tourism sector.

Consultation webinars

MBIE held a series of information webinars on the proposed changes to the adventure activities regime between 19 and 21 October.

The webinars included a presentation on the changes being proposed followed by a question and answer session.

Last updated: 01 November 2021