Driver licences for commercial jet boat operators on rivers mandatory from next month.
Operators will also be required to carry out regular driver competency checks.
There have been two fatalities in the commercial jet boating sector since 1999.
Existing commercial drivers with at least 50 hours experience will be able to get a transitional licence provided they have a safe driving record.
They will also be subject to on-going competency tests as well as keeping driver log books.
Associate Minister of Transport Simon Bridges says the introduction of licences will assure the public that risks are being managed.
Regulation of the adventure tourism industry has been criticised by parents whose children have been killed in accidents when visiting New Zealand.
Mr Bridges says the new rules are not in response to any particular incident, but they are partly about protecting New Zealand's reputation.