Health and Safety

New Zealand introduced new safety management requirements across all sectors on 4 April 2016 under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

As a tourism operator, and a PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking), your business has a primary duty under the Act to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, that the health and safety of other persons is not put at risk by the work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking, eg event attendees, visitors, customers, suppliers, members of the public.

RTONZ (Regional Tourism Organisations New Zealand) has done an excellent job of creating a resource for RTOs, demonstrating how the legislation might be implemented in the tourism-specific environment. While the site has been developed for RTOs rather than end operators, it may give you some useful insight into the processes.

Visit and click on the Health & Safety tab where there are three options:

1. Act & Regulations Overview provides links to the Act, Adventure Safety website, and other relevant legal information.

2. H&S Presentations takes you to the PowerPoint presentations for Lane Neave and Simpson Grierson about how the Act might impact industry and how to prepare. 

3. Resources and Templates has all the Tourism NZ and Regional Tourism Operator templates that are relevant so far. These are adaptable for your own use. Please note: this is a work in progress and additional documents are still to be loaded.

A good summary is also The Proposed Way Forward (download pdf here).

If you are unsure of what to do or how to go about meeting requirements for health and safety in general, the first thing you need to do is understand your obligations. The following sites provide good overviews: Worksafe New Zealand's Managing Health and Safety, Worksafe New Zealand's Getting Started or Employment New Zealand's Provide a Safe and Healthy Workplace.

Nest you need to ensure your organisation has an up-to-date Health and Safety Plan. This plan should detail your safety risks for your staff, your guests and contractors and what are you doing to address those or eliminate them.

Broadly, your safety plan should address the risks brought about by the work that you do. You can involve your staff in developing this as they will have a good idea of the risks that they are exposed to.

Make a Health and Safety Plan by Employment New Zealand

Examples of Policies that reflect the new legislation by Employment New Zealand


As a result of the new legislation, Nelson Tasman Tourism will only be able to include operators in famil itineraries for media or agents that:

a) hold a Qualmark rating (NB: additional evidence is required from Qualmark accommodations as health and safety is not currently assessed during existing Qualmark evaluations)

b) OR meet their respective industry legislative standards, such as Civil Aviation Authority, Worksafe New Zealand or Maritime New Zealand regulations.

c) If an operator does not have a specific industry body setting regulations and undertaking audits and/or assessments, Nelson Tasman Tourism needs to sight and then hold on file evidence of an individual operator’s safety management plan.