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Strategic Projects

Adventure Tourism Safety

20 September 2017

We provide leadership and support to help strengthen safety across the important adventure tourism and outdoor sector. Read more.

SupportAdventure initiative

A big effort goes into encouraging and supporting best practice and a culture of sharing information. This includes TIA developing and managing the SupportAdventure website and Activity Safety Guidelines.

The NZ Recreation Association is a primary stakeholder and contributor to this work, ensuring that it meets the needs of both adventure tourism and outdoor recreation commercial providers.

This work is carried out in close connection with, and occasional funding from government regulator WorkSafe New Zealand. In early 2018, WorkSafe New Zealand committed to providing ongoing management of the suits of ASGs and we are working with them to ensure these meet the industry's needs.


Adventure activity regulations

TIA played an important role in shaping the Adventure Activities Regulations, introduced by the Government in 2014 to strengthen safety across the sector. We continue to advocate to WorkSafe New Zealand and audit providers to ensure the audit and regulatory regime adds value to operators and their safety systems.

New Zealand now has the best adventure tourism offering in the world, with the strongest safety management systems in place.


Advocating for adventure

We advocate for good regulatory systems that support our operators in both safety and in business.

TIA’s position

In 2010, adventure tourism operators agreed on eight industry safety principles that underpin safety in the adventure activity sector. These principles continue to provide the foundation for TIA’s advocacy position for the sector:

  1. Operators have a positive safety culture driven by committed leaders
  2. Operators have a safety management system (SMS) relevant to their operation
  3. Operators have an external assessment before commencing operations
  4. Operations have ongoing external assessments
  5. Operators have competent staff
  6. Operators communicate risks and responsibilities
  7. Operators have well maintained equipment that is fit for purpose
  8. Operators share safety information

Regulations review

In late 2016, an independent study was undertaken into the performance of the New Zealand Adventure Activity Certification Scheme during its first three years in action.

The study reviewed operators’ conformance with the Safety Audit Standard and examined selected areas of interest regarding consistency, time required, and costs associated with the process.

Download the study

Download TIA's position on the study’s recommendations 

Read TIA's Adventure Activity Review submission to MBIE

Influencing the regulators

We actively advocate for adventure tourism operators on a range of regulatory and operational issues affecting safety and their business. We work closely with public and private sector organisations to improve visitor safety, including WorkSafe NZ, Maritime NZ, , Civil Aviation Authority of NZ, the Department of Conservation and the NZ Mountain Safety Council

Group action

TIA proactively contributes our expertise to various adventure tourism industry groups. These include the Tongariro Alpine Crossing Users Group, the Whanganui River Users Group, the quad sector annual hui, and the New Zealand Recreation Dive Industry Group. TIA Industry Advocate Rachael Moore is a White Water New Zealand board member and a past member of the Mountain Safety Council board. 

Accessible qualifications

We advocate for fit for purpose and accessible adventure sector qualifications. This includes contributing to the Skills Active targeted review of qualifications which is aiming to ensure the qualifications system meets the industry's needs and is easy for learners and employers to understand.  


Strong relationships

A key part of our approach to strengthening safety across the adventure tourism sector is building strong relationships with other organisations working in this space, including the New Zealand Recreation Association, New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association and the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association.

Thanks to our strategic partners

Thanks to our strategic partners

Thanks to our strategic partners