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NZ bodies to undertake canyoning research

NZ bodies to undertake canyoning research
December 14, 2009

The New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association (NZOIA) and Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) have announced a research project on the activity of canyoning in New Zealand.

Canyoning is an outdoor activity where people traverse canyons and rivers by using a variety of techniques such as abseiling, swimming, walking, and climbing.

In April 2008 six students and a teacher from East Auckland's Elim Christian College died in the Mangatepopo gorge whilst canyoning. The research will scope what the current level of canyoning activity is at present, who is participating in the activity and the environmental conditions it is currently being undertaken in. The second stage of the research will review what qualifications and standards are in place internationally and make recommendations on the potential needs for New Zealand.

WSNZ General Manager Matt Claridge states "the activity of canyoning has become increasingly popular and the Mangatepopo tragedy has thrust the activity into the spotlight.

"Canyoning comes with excitement, opportunities but also an inherent element of risk. Recent events suggest it is now appropriate to consider the issue of national qualifications for organisations and individuals conducting canyoning activities.

"Both NZOIA and WSNZ intend for the research to stimulate industry debate and provide pragmatic advice for proceeding."

NZOIA Chief Executive Matthew Cant added "this project is a further example of the industry working together to ensure that future safety requirements for this activity in New Zealand are addressed and are consistent with what is done internationally."

The research project is scheduled to conclude by the end of January 2010.

For more information contact Matt Claridge, General Manager, Water Safety New Zealand on 04 801 9600, E:



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