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Outdoors NZ supports adventure tourism inquiry

Outdoors NZ supports adventure tourism inquiry
September 24, 2009

The New Zealand outdoor adventure sector has an enviable reputation internationally in terms of quality and safety. Enhancing that reputation is vitally important and Outdoors NZ (ONZ) welcomes the news of a top level government review into risk management and safety practices in the adventure tourism sector.

Outdoors New Zealand (ONZ) General Manager Paul Chaplow believes "the outdoor sector, which includes adventure tourism, outdoor education and recreation has an excellent safety record but one that can be improved. If a serious incident does occur the industry takes those lessons to heart and those lessons are shared."

Chaplow added "the sector takes safety very seriously (with) mechanisms in place that drive the industry to constantly improve their safety standards.

"The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 places the onus on employers to ensure the safety of employees and participants. As well there are very positive initiatives such as the National Incident Database, OutdoorsMark, and the continual refinement of national qualifications and codes of practice.

"Where specific standards and/or legislation does not exist, businesses know that in the case of a serious incident they will be judged on how they operate compared to others in their field. No one wants to be seen to be operating at a lower standard than their peers.

"The outdoor sector is a professional, forward thinking sector and one that strives hard to meet benchmark standards. ONZ and other national organisations help provide opportunities for industry to increase participation, improve safety, reduce injuries and enhance the participant experience."

OutdoorsMark, is the only nationally recognised outdoor safety quality assurance programme, specifically designed for organisations involved in adventure activities, outdoor education and outdoor recreation. Outdoor organisations are undergoing external safety reviews and we trust that the adventure tourism inquiry will support the excellent work that is already occurring.

Chaplow concludes "ONZ is keen to provide its expertise and any other assistance in this very positive initiative for adventure tourism safety."


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