1 Jul 2017

Rock climbers fear loss of best rock walls

6:44 pm on 1 July 2017

Rock climbers say they could lose access to some of the country's best outdoor rock walls because of concerns over new health and safety laws.

Outdoor rock climbing generic

Photo: 123RF

The New Zealand Alpine Club said the 2015 Health and Safety at Work Act was unclear about whether landowners were responsible for the safety of recreational climbers on their land.

The club's president-elect John Palmer said that was troubling because landowners did not want to be liable.

It had already caused Auckland Grammar to temporarily close access to the cliffs in the Mount Eden quarry, a popular place with climbers, he said.

"Even if we lose access to a small number of climbing areas, because of the growing nature of the sport, it will have a signficiant impact.

"And that in turn will also put pressure on the remaining areas...related to the volume of people going."

Mr Palmer called for Worksafe to clarify that landowners were not responsible for the health and safety of recreational rock climbers on their land.