4 Nov 2014

John Key warns tourism operators

8:14 pm on 4 November 2014

Prime Minister John Key has sent a strong worded warning to adventure tourism operators to get their houses in order or face being put out of business.

Prime Minister John Key

John Key has warned adventure tourism operators to be compliant. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

A one-month extension to the Adventure Tourism Safety Audit programme is the last chance for operators to make themselves compliant in order to continue offering adventure activities.

Mr Key said if any adventure tourism operators thought they could fly below the radar and not comply with the new tougher regulations, they were sadly mistaken.

"I expect people to meet their legal requirements. If they don't meet them then I expect the authorities to enforce those," he said.

"If we don't do that, then firstly we're putting at risk lives of people that go on those particular tourism activities and we're secondly undermining the very people who are complying with the law."

Mr Key had indicated they could be fined $2000 a day and could face going out of business if they did not comply.

Operators should heed his warning, he said.

But Tourism Industry Association chief executive Chris Roberts said between 20 and 50 adventure operators were yet to comply.

"I suspect those who are actually found to be not complying, not doing their bit, will be quite a small number," he said.

"They'll get the message that they can't operate. Given they can face a $2000-$3000 fine a day, I think they're going to pretty quickly stop doing what they're not supposed to be doing."

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