Tourism safety audits 'non-negotiable'

Simon Bridges
Simon Bridges
Labour Minister Simon Bridges says to protect New Zealand's adventure tourism reputation globally, the November 1 deadline for operators to be audited and registered is ''non-negotiable''.

Speaking to the Tourism Industry Association in Wellington yesterday, Mr Bridges said the resources were in place for operators to complete audit safety checks before November and it was up to the industry to ensure it had ''world-class safety standards''.

''New Zealand is world-renowned for its adventure tourism, and we have some of the best attractions in the world. We must protect that reputation.''

The Government was providing the industry with ''considerable support'' to help meet its obligations under the Adventure Activity Regulations, with WorkSafe New Zealand employing safety advisers offering one-on-one support to operators.

This week, financial support of up to $1500 per operator was announced, for businesses which signed up for audits with recognised safety audit providers by July 31.

''The Government is doing its bit,'' Mr Bridges said.

''It's now it is up to the industry to play its part. It has always been the responsibility of individual operators to prepare themselves for auditing and registration under the regulations.

''I encourage all adventure activities operators to take advantage of the support on offer and sign up for an audit well in advance of November.''