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There may be situations where event organisers are providing adventure activities (as defined by the regulations) and will therefore need to comply with the Health and Safety at Work (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2016. If you are an event organiser, this guidance will help you determine whether you need to be registered.

WorkSafe expects that most events will not be subject to these regulations. However, there may be situations where event organisers are providing adventure activities and will therefore need to achieve registration as an adventure activity operator.

We have developed a decision tree to help people determine whether an activity is covered by the regulations.

Adventure activities decision tree (PDF 28 KB)

The following guidance discusses in more detail our interpretation of the decision tree in an ‘events’ context.

Outdoor adventure events

The Adventure Activities Regulations state that an adventure activity is (amongst other things) an activity “that involves the participant being guided, taught how, or assisted to participate in the activity”.

Generally, outdoor adventure events, where participants are expected to be independent, are unlikely to be covered by the regulations.  While these may sometimes involve exposing participants to a risk of serious harm, the participants are not usually guided, taught how, or assisted to participate in the activity i.e. they are undertaking the activity independently.

Our position is that the degree of assistance required to be considered to be ‘assisting to participate’ should reflect that which would be provided where the participant is not undertaking the activity independently.

The assistance may involve, for example, providing physical assistance to the participant (such as placing a participant into a harness or equipment), or being able available to provide immediate physical assistance or guidance should the participant encounter difficulties in undertaking the activity.

We consider the provision of safety measures, such as marshals or rescue capability, to be an example of good health and safety practice. The provision of such measures, on their own, would not amount to participants being ‘assisted to participate’.

An event may be subject to the regulations if it contains one or more of the following elements:

  • instruction or guidance on how to undertake the activity itself (i.e. not the type of instruction that would normally be provided in an event briefing, such as the rules of the event or information about the course)
  • provision of a level of physical assistance, or being available to provide a level of physical assistance, that reflects the participant is undertaking the activity independently.

Team-building activities

If you offer an adventure activity as part of a team building programme, the adventure activity component will be covered by the regulations. 

If you are providing an adventure activity, or intend to do so:

Event organisers who intend to offer or provide  ‘adventure activities’ will need to either:

  • obtain a safety audit from a recognised audit provider and register with WorkSafe to provide the activity in their own right, or
  • ensure they contract with a registered adventure activity operator to provide the activity.

Further information for contractors and organisations using contractors is available.

If you are not providing an ‘adventure activity’:

PCBUs who provide activities that fall outside the coverage of the regulations will still owe duties to participants under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. HSWA guidance is available on the WorkSafe website. (insert link to general guidance). 

More information

Further information for operators on the adventure activities regulations is available.

If you are unsure about whether your activity is covered by the regulations, you can contact us


The information on this page has no statutory or regulatory effect and is of a guidance nature only. The information should not be relied upon as a substitute for the wording of the Health and Safety at Work (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2016.

While every effort has been made to ensure this information is accurate, WorkSafe NZ does not accept any responsibility or liability for error of fact, omission, interpretation or opinion that may be present, nor for the consequences of any decisions based on this information.