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Adventure Activity Regulations

Key Messages for Schools

The Ministry of Education EOTC Guidelines, Bringing the Curriculum Alive sets the framework for safe operating procedures for all school programmes. However, the Health and Safety at Work (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2016 articulate requirements for the commercial adventure operators for which they are intended and the regulations have implications for schools.

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1. Classification of activities

Make sure you know whether any activity you undertake is likely to be classified as an adventure activity. You MUST use a registered adventure activity operator if you utilise contracted expertise through a provider.

⟹ Check the Register of Adventure Activity Operators

What is an Adventure Activity?


2.  Good practice benchmarks

Any activities covered by the Adventure Activity Regulations are likely to be held up against an auditable standard that will quickly define "good practice" and "practicable steps".

Use Activity Safety Guidelines (ASGs) when planning to use activities covered by the regulations. These are voluntary guidelines that reflect industry good practice for managing safety and are considered a reliable source of good practice information. As at November 2018 the following activities have ASGs. 

Abseiling v2

All Terrain Vehicles v2

Alpine Hiking ASG v1

Canyoning v2

Coasteering v1.2

Caving v1.3

Dive v1.2

Heli-Skiing v1.2

High Wire and Swing v3

Indoor Climbing v2


3.   School exemption

You are exempt from the regulations unless providing activities to non-students. However, your school's safety management should follow the good practice standard benchmarked by industry.

 Information for schools (Worksafe NZ)


4.   Contractor services

A contractor can provide services to your school without being registered as long as he/she is supporting your programme under your safety management plan. If a contractor provides the school with an activity (as opposed to just expertise to support the school programme) they need to be a registered provider.

 Information for contractors and organisations using contractors (Worksafe NZ) 

In contracting or hiring instructors to support delivery of a programme or activity, schools should follow best practice, such as hiring to match the scope of the activity and ensuring the instructor holds a recognised New Zealand qualification that is current.

To find an instructor go to:

                The New Zealand Register of Recreation Providers (NZRRP), or

                The New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association (NZOIA)


Other links

Supportadventure.co.nz. A dedicated website for operators of adventure activities providing information and updates for operators of adventure activities.