In 2014 the Diving Activity Safety Guideline project was instigated and managed by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) with support from WorkSafe NZ. This initiative was as a result of a recommendation from the final report of the 2009/10 government review of risk management and safety in the adventure and outdoor commercial sector in New Zealand.
Guideline development was facilitated by TIA and technical content was informed by a group of 8 dive technical experts. As the guideline was being drafted and in particular when consultation with the dive sector and other relevant experts was sought it became apparent that in terms of recreational diving, this sector was fragmented, was difficult to engage and did not have a collective voice. The group thought that it would be highly beneficial to form a national body that represented them and in particular that only a truly representative body would be able to do so at the highest level.
This letter has been drafted by those members of the technical expert group who have taken on the initiative of forming an industry body; TIA is emailing it out on their behalf.
What scope of the dive sector does the NZ Recreational Dive Industry Group represent?
Recreational diving can be defined as diving carried out by individuals or groups for their own pleasure. In New Zealand recreational divers generally engage with commercial dive operators for their initial diver training (Open Water Course) and thereafter individuals will gain more experience, skills and /or dive organisation qualifications via a mix of self directed diving and further training.
The NZ Recreation Dive Industry Group is being formed to represent occupational divers, sole operators, dive shops, private training establishments and dive tour operators who provide instructed, guided or chartered dive activities to the domestic and international recreational diving markets in New Zealand.
What is the purpose of the NZ Recreational Dive Industry Group?
Currently there is no national body representation for the recreational sector of the dive industry. This means that there is very little connection and the sharing of information amongst the recreational dive fraternity or ability for the sector to clearly communicate with others.
The purpose of the NZ Recreational Dive Industry Group is to provide a means by which information can be sought from and provided back to the recreational dive sector. This function will mean that there is an inclusive and primary means to help inform those who affect and support the recreational sector.
Examples of this include but are not limited to the group being able to:
- Be the point of contact between external stakeholders and influencers and the recreational dive sector, e.g. when government departments or qualification bodies want to consult with the sector or are looking for representatives to advise them on recreational dive topics;
- when the sector wants to discuss topics with external stakeholders and influencers e.g. safety audits, any conflicts between dive organisation standards and current or proposed legislation.
- Collectively gauge the effectiveness of dive related standards and safety audits;
- Consult, review and update the content of dive related guidelines;
Inform the wider recreational diving community and stakeholders including the ability to share safety and good practice information;
- Encourage and promote industry co-operation.
NZ Recreational Dive Industry Group executive:
To best provide to the needs of the industry and in order to meet the group’s scope and purpose, the NZ Recreational Dive Industry Group will have an executive comprised of 6 members, each of which is a representative for one of the following sectors:
- Dive shops – recreational limits training, organised trips, retail & dive organisations;
- Equipment – manufacturers, wholesalers, distributers & service technicians;
- Compressor operation – Air filling/Air purity, Cylinder testing;
- Diver training – Technical;
- Private training establishments – National dive qualifications, Tertiary Diver Training, Dive related Guidelines, Standards, legislation, compliance;
- Dive tour operators – Non training related diving (guiding) and best practice;
- Dive charter vessel operation – Guidelines, Standards and legislation, preservation and conservation, Tourism.
Each sector representative will be responsible as the first point of contact for any individual, group, business or organisation looking to engage with the NZ Recreation Dive Industry Group in the area of the representatives expertise. They will also represent and facilitate the sector in regards to advisory and/or working groups established by the NZ Recreational Dive Industry Group.
Executive nomination process:
The Tourism Industry Association (TIA) has offered to support this initiative by assisting with the nomination and group formation process. TIA will be tasked with following up with referees and choosing the most suitable nominee to represent each of the 6 sectors which will then constitute the NZ Recreational Dive Industry Group executive.
Individuals will be chosen based on their skills, culture, mana and connections within the sector they wish to represent. Individuals will need to express which sector they wish to represent and include two referees from within that recreational sector. At least one of the referees must be from outside the nominees’ workplace. Nominees must have sufficient experience and knowledge in their chosen sector so that they can assist the group with technical tasks and advice. Supporting criteria include:
- An ability to represent current industry best practice;
- Activity experience from a variety of settings;
- Being nationally recognised within the sector;
- Being highly regarded by the sector;
- Having a level of literacy that enables giving feedback on emailed communications;
- Being prepared to work in a team and to work positively towards the associations purpose.
Sector representative time commitments will depend on the level and complexity of any issues, as such individuals seeking to become a sector representative need to be able to commit time to face to face meetings, conference calls, skype or other mediums when consulting with other group members or as they need to approach or be approached by individuals, groups or organisations. Individuals will need to be able to finance themselves to such meetings.
How will the NZ Recreational Dive Industry Group inform and receive information from the recreational dive sector?
A list of people and companies who wish to be connected with and represented by the industry group needs to be formed. Please email us to make sure you are on the list; see below for next steps and email address.
How will the group work?
Upon selection of the executive a meeting will be convened with a view to drawing up some underlying policy and procedures so the executive can represent the recreational dive sector as a working group. These policies and procedures will be sent to those on the mailing list for feedback.
Next steps – what you need to do now.
- Spread the word and make sure everyone knows this is happening.
- In order to ensure that the NZ Recreation Dive Industry Group executive contains the required level of expertise, is industry driven and supported it is important that word of its formation goes out to as many people in the recreational diving sector as possible. As such this document should be forwarded to anyone who you feel should receive it.
- Make sure you are on the mailing list and connected with your industry group. Email your full name, email address, which recreational dive sector(s) you are part of and, where relevant, your company name to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in seeking nomination as a sector representative please email the following to email@example.com:
- Name, email address, company name if relevant;
- The sector you wish to represent;
- The relevant qualifications you hold and experience you have;
- The names and contact information of your two referees;
- A paragraph or two explaining why you would be suited to the executive positon for your sector group.
Shortly after the 1st of November 2015 those who have emailed to be included on the mailing list will be informed of the Groups formation progress and those individuals who have been nominated for the executive will be contacted.
This industry group will only eventuate if there is a commitment to have a representative vehicle to inform the sector and its stakeholders. Your involvement is crucial to its formation and ongoing success. Please email in and be part of this industry initiative.