Recreation groups applaud clear guidance on access by Worksafe

Recreation Aotearoa and the New Zealand Alpine Club (NZAC) have both extended their thanks to WorkSafe for producing a policy clarification that will dispel myths and perceived risks around recreational access to private and public land.

"We have been collaborating with WorkSafe on producing this guidance for over a year, so it is great to see it get over the line," said Recreation Aotearoa Advocacy Manager, Sam Newton.

"New Zealand has long benefited from good relationships between landowners and recreational users. Access to our bush, mountains, lakes and streams is part of what it means to be a New Zealander," Mr Newton said.

"However, since the passage of the Health & Safety at Work Act in 2015, this has been threatened by a myriad of confusing myths and unnecessary legalise in relation to recreational access," he said.

John Palmer, President of NZAC commented, "Worksafe have made it perfectly clear: PCBU's don't have to manage the risks of the recreational activity. That's the responsibility of the person doing the activity. If someone accesses land for recreation and hurts themselves as a result of the recreation activity, the PCBU who provided access isn't responsible.

"That is the message we need to spread far and wide," he said.

"Our work on this issue was triggered by the closure of the rock-climbing crag at Auckland Grammar school. This guidance will hopefully resolve that situation and prevent other similar closures in the future," he said.

Both organisations hope that this guidance will be widely promulgated across New Zealand. The policy guidance and a FAQ sheet can be viewed here.

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