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Kia ora everyone,

Welcome to the latest SupportAdventure newsletter. It has been a while since our last update, so thank you for your patience.  

This month marks one year since borders closed. COVID-19 has changed our world, and the effects of the pandemic will continue for many years to come. Over the past months, TIA and Recreation Aotearoa have been dedicated to supporting our members – whether it be through advice, advocacy to Central Government, or simply listening to individual member challenges and frustrations. We understand and lobby for our affected communities—people, businesses and social infrastructure—continuously. TIA and Recreation Aotearoa are working collectively to ensure that your voice is heard.

We understand that due to the pandemic many of our operators, colleagues, and friends are continuing to face unprecedented challenges. We urge you to continue to seek support – you are not alone. The TIA website has links to tourism specific advice, and Recreation Aotearoa has a dedicated COVID-19 response website

MBIE Review of Adventure Activities  

Since the implementation of the Adventure Activity Regulation scheme, Recreation Aotearoa and TIA have partnered to represent the interests of the Adventure Activity sector. RA and TIA have jointly provided the SupportAdventure website, published the SupportAdventure newsletter and led the development of Activity Safety Guidelines. 

The Whakaari/White Island disaster has resulted in numerous investigations, reviews, and lines of effort by various government departments. These include Coronial investigations, WorkSafe NZ’s 13 prosecutions, the Department of Internal Affairs' consideration of access to Whakaari/White Island, and Department of Conservation visitor risk management. 

RA and TIA have been contributing to a targeted review by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment of the adventure activities regime and continue to provide perspectives to WorkSafe, MBIE and other government entities. 

We would really appreciate some of your time to answer a series of questions in a survey. Most of the questions are open-ended, meaning that your answers can be as long or as short as you like. We are amidst a huge opportunity to influence changes to the Adventure Activities regulatory regime, so please make your voice heard! 

Take the survey

Update from TIA   

Discussing Tourism webinars
TIA is pleased to announce that its regular schedule of webinars has recommenced, with the first webinar, Navigating the next 6 months – key decisions for your business launched on 4 March. Webinars will air fortnightly and will cover a variety of topics. If you have an issue or concern you would like discussed, please forward your ideas to
Click here for upcoming webinars.

Have your say!  
Council Long-Term Plans are out or being released. TIA will be making submissions to most LTPs aimed at highlighting the interests of tourism and recreation in each region. Ensure you make your views heard. Submission deadlines will be in your local newspaper and media outlets, or you can contact TIA for your region's deadline:

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment report
The recent release of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment report 'Not 100% - but four steps closer to sustainable tourism' raises questions around the management of the tourism industry, ongoing infrastructure funding, as well as access to New Zealand’s wilderness estate. Guidelines for a resilient, sustainable, and inclusive tourism strategy have been requested in a recent report issued by the OECD. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? New Zealand is not alone in its challenge to balance healthy visitation with sustainability, carbon concerns, and community goals.  

TRENZ is back! 
TIA is pleased to announce that TRENZ Hui 2021 will be held in Ōtautahi Christchurch on 5-6 May. With a completely new programme based on three themes: Revive – Reconnect – Revitalise, the event is designed to support Kiwi tourism operators in preparation for the reopening of our borders. To ensure cost is not a barrier to attendance, basic registration is completely free to one representative from eligible New Zealand tourism businesses. For more information and registration, visit TRENZ Hui 2021. Registrations close 8 April. 

Update from RA  

Recently, Recreation Aotearoa hosted a webinar about WorkSafe’s review into the Adventure Activity Regulations. This will be of interest to everyone! Watch the webinar.

Operators running activities which fall under the regulations may also offer activities which don’t. Good Practice Guidelines are written with these less risky activities in mind and are aimed at commercial operators, schools and volunteer groups. The review of the first GPGs developed back in 2018 is underway. The updated versions will be available on the SupportAdventure website by the middle of this year. Three new GPGs are being developed too – caving, off-road cycling and environmental service.  

RA is hosting six Regional Outdoors Hui around NZ this year. They’re a chance to hear updates from us, WorkSafe, New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association, New Zealand Mountain Safety Council and Skills Active, and also a chance to network and meet other folk working in the outdoor industry. Whether you’re new to the industry or managing an adventure tourism operation, there is something of interest for everyone – and they’re free! The February hui was hosted by the National Outdoor Leadership School near Nelson. Look at our website for upcoming hui, and we hope to see you at one soon!   

Update from NZOIA 

NZOIA quals for life!   
After a review of our revalidation system, NZOIA qualifications are now considered a permanent recognition of passing an assessment. Registering those qualifications with NZOIA is a proof of currency. Our instructor/guide search is used by employers, auditors and clients to ensure staff are up to date with the latest good practice. If your qualification is unregistered and you want to get back on board, contact NZOIA at to discuss your options. We have even developed a Recognition of Current Competency system for those who have not revalidated for six years or more. 

NZOIA Symposium 
The NZOIA National Training Symposium has run successfully since 2012 and attracts 120-150 people. It aims to encourage the continual professional development of our ‘on-the-ground’ leaders, instructors and guides and has a practical focus. It is a forum to network, upskill, train and revalidate NZOIA qualifications. People come from far and wide to attend the Symposium and non-members are welcome. This year the Symposium is scheduled to be held on 14-17 October at Glentui Meadows, hosted by Adventure Specialties.

Update from AdventureMark 

Letter to Industry from Mike Pennefather | Audit manager, AdventureMark  

The adventure activities sector has seen some uneasy times in the last few months. From an audit body perspective, the industry has been through a very challenging period with COVID-19, recertification, and the transfer of rafting from Maritime NZ to WorkSafe, all in one rather turbulent period. 

AdventureMark has been kept busy; we’ve welcomed Tarn Pilkington to the auditor team to add more technical expertise in the alpine environment. Koryn Gould and Paul Eames also joined AdventureMark as auditors to help us gain our JAS-ANZ rafting accreditation. Without Koryn and Paul’s hard work up and down the country it would have been very challenging for our auditors to audit all of our current operators and conduct new audits for the rafting companies coming into the Adventure Activities Regulations. The rest of our auditors have also been incredibly busy trying to align audit dates and plan travel to align with several operators at once, no small task when bookings are postponed and cancelled with each announcement of changing alert levels and operators’ seasons are cut short. 

Although it’s been a hard time seeing some operators withdraw or suspending their certificates due to the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism market, it’s heartening to see that a lot of operators are finding a good footing in Kiwi travellers and adventurers. This is most clearly evidenced by AdventureMark certifying over 20 new operators in the last year. We absolutely understand the position some companies were put in by the sudden lack of customers and will continue to work hard to support those operators planning to resume activities at a later date. 

The Whakaari tragedy has had a huge impact on the industry and all involved. Our thoughts are with all of those hurting from the immense impact of this eruption and its ongoing repercussions. Our hope is that there will be some practical learnings to take away from this tragic event. 

Auditing can’t guarantee safety and it isn’t perfect but it’s hard to envision a system that could do more, without eliminating the activities themselves that we are all so passionate about. In these unsettled times it’s a credit to AdventureMark’s auditors and technical experts around the country that we have continued to grow and remain the country’s largest Adventure Activities certification body. It’s a real privilege to be able to work alongside such an experienced, professional team, and we look forward to working with you all into the future. 

Outdoor Activity Fund applications close soon  

Applications for Round 4 of the Outdoor Activity Fund are open. The purpose of the fund is to enhance diversity and inclusion in outdoor recreation, and to connect people with their culture through the outdoors.

  • Deadline for proposals: 16 Apr 2021

This fund will be one of parity between Māori and non-Māori, that is, Tangata Whenua and Tangata Te Tiriti. This means we will be funding projects that increase participation of Tangata Whenua as Māori in outdoor activities, as well as projects that increase participation of under-represented groups in the outdoors. The groups under Tangata Te Tiriti cover all ethnicities and include rangatahi, people with disabilities and women and girls.

Find out more and apply:

Cycle Trail design guides  

There are three design guides for building and maintaining cycle trails in New Zealand. Organisations, clubs and land managers may be wondering which specification they should be using when designing, building and auditing trails on their land.

Click here for clarification:


He tangata—our people 

Ngā mihi nui ki a TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts! 

TIA Chief Exec named AuSAE Association Influencer 2020

We're proud to announce that TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts has been recognised as an Association Influencer 2020!  

Chris says he is honoured and humbled to be acknowledged in this way. 

“I’m supported by a great team at TIA and passionate about our awesome tourism industry and the people in it – and I will keep fighting for them.”  

The inaugural programme, hosted by the Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE), highlights the outstanding contributions of individuals in the association community. 

Chris is one of only two New Zealanders to be recognised. Find out more.

Haere mai Lori Keller!

In January Lori Keller was appointed to the role of Industry Advocate for TIA. She comes from a background in adventure tourism, and has several years of senior management and mediation experience.  

Lori has taken over Rachael Moore’s work in the SupportAdventure sphere, and will be the key point of contact for ASGs and the outdoor adventure sector at TIA.  

Email Lori on

Wishing everyone all the best. 
Let’s stay connected with nature and with each other! 

He waka eke noa. We are all in this together. 

Take care, stay safe 
Lori and Sam 

Lori Keller, Industry Advocate, TIA 
Sam Newton, Advocacy Manager, RA 

Tourism Industry Aotearoa
Level 2, Inspire House
125 Featherston St
Wellington, New Zealand
+64 4 499 0104

Copyright © 2021 Tourism Industry Aotearoa, All rights reserved.
Recreation Aotearoa
Level 1, Harbour City Centre
29 Brandon St, Wellington
PO Box 11132, Manners St, Wellington
6142 + 64 4 801 5598

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