22 Sep 2012

Drug tests eyed for adventure operators

12:32 pm on 22 September 2012

The Government hopes to introduce tough new regulations by the end of this year to constrain drug use in the adventure tourism industry.

The move comes after traces of drugs were found in the bodies of a hot air balloon pilot and two parachute jump masters after two separate accidents in the past two years.

The proposed changes to the Adventure Activity Health and Safety Regulations, introduced last year, will require operators to carry out random drug tests.

Each operator's safety plan will then be audited as part of the recently-introduced regulations.

Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson says the drug and alcohol requirement will be added to the existing programme of regular safety audits carried out by the Civil Aviation Association and Maritime New Zealand.

Ms Wilkinson says the new testing sends a clear message to the industry and those who participate in adventure activities.