Monday, 18 October 2021 10:53 GMT

NZ raises safety standards for adventure activities


(MENAFN- IANS)

Wellington, Sep 25 (IANS) The New Zealand government has released proposals to reinforce safety standards for registered adventure activities.

On December 9, 2019, the White Island volcanic eruption killed 22 people and injured 25 others,reports Xinhua news agency.

The White Island is a famous tourist attraction which people can explore by boat or by helicopter, but after the eruption all tourist trips have been suspended by the authorities.

"We are committed to learning the lessons to reduce the risk of a similar incident happening," Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Wood said in a statement on Friday.

The package of proposals includes strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks; improving how risks are monitored, assessed and communicated; and improving the safety audit standard, audit process and guidance and information for the sector, Wood said.

Adventure activities are a key part of New Zealand's tourism sector, the minister said, adding prior to Covid-19, as many as one in three international tourists took part in at least one adventure activity.

"It's important we provide as safe as possible experiences for New Zealanders and international visitors once our borders reopen," he said while encouraging tourism stakeholders, business owners and operators to look through the proposals and submit on them.

The consultation into the adventure activities regime opened on Friday and will close on November 5.

The country's workplace safety watchdog WorkSafe has laid criminal charges against 10 organisations and three individuals related to the deadly volcanic eruption.

Each of the 10 organisations faces a fine up to NZ$1.5 million, and the three individuals, who are the owners of the island, each face fines up to NZ300,000.

GNS Science, New Zealand's geoscience research service provider, and the National Emergency Management Agency are among the 13 parties facing charges.

--IANS

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