Changes Times for the Dive Industry and Divers

At the Great Adventure Expo in Wellington on 20 June – organised by the
Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand (TIANZ) – the opening speech
given by the Minister of Labour, Hon. Simon Bridges made it quite clear
that the government wants to protect the $9.8 billion which tourism
brings into the New Zealand economy. Especially when you review deaths
that have occurred to people participating in Adventure Activities.

To provide greater safety/protection for people, businesses that
provide Adventure Activities need to register with WorkSafe as providing
actives that have had their Safety Management Plan audited and approved
by the 1 November 1014.

Business have been made aware of this process since 2011.

Simon
Bridges commented referring to the November deadline: ‘There is time.
It can be done. It will be done. 1st November is not shifting. There is
no place for cowboys in this sector. They’re out. There’s no place for
“I’ve always done it this way and I’ve never had an accident, so I don’t
need to change”. That’s out.’

He continued: ‘After 1 November, it
will be illegal to operate an adventure or outdoor activity that is
subject to the regulations unless an operation has passed a safety audit
and achieved registration. That will be enforced. WorkSafe New Zealand
has rejuvenated its Health and Safety inspectorate and is growing its
capacity. Operators found to be flouting the regulations will face
compliance and enforcement action.’

Infringement fines of up to
$3,000. Operators who are prosecuted could face fines of up to $250,000.
See further discussion on page 51.

Are Dive Clubs required to register? WorkSafe have advised the following:

Clubs
themselves are NOT exempt. But – certain types of activities undertaken
by clubs ARE exempt. The critical regulation is Regulation 4 (4) of the
Health and Safety in Employment (Adventure Activity) Regulations 2011.

It says:

An adventure activity does not include an activity provided by a sports     club or recreation club to—

(a) A member of the club; or

(b) A member of another sports club or recreation club under an agreement between the clubs; or

(c) A person who is not a member of the club if the activity—

(i) Is provided only to encourage membership of the club or interest in
the club’s activities, or for the purposes of a competition; and

(ii) Is provided to any 1 person on no more than 12 days in any 12-month period.

In
short, club activities provided to club members or members of
associated clubs are not covered by the regulations.  But where clubs
provide activities to non-members (and receive payment for this, and
unless it is a limited ‘give-it-go’ or trial situation) then those
activities are covered by the regulations. Clubs should look through the
regulations themselves and considered how their particular activities
fit within the regulations. If need be they can contact the Registrar
(Paul Mitchell) through email address:

aao@worksafe.govt.nz


These are changing times for the dive industry and divers. Let’s hope Simon Bridges’ final comment become a reality.

‘It
is rather a new start that we will look back on in 20 or 30 years’ time
as the first significant milestone in New Zealand becoming the
international leader in adventure activities safety.’

Enjoy your diving!

It is a safe activity!

scroll to top