Information for land owners and land managers when adventure activities are being provided on their land

The Health and Safety at Work (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2016 deal with the provision of adventure activities.

This fact sheet focuses on the role of land owners and land managers where adventure activities are being provided on their land.

It is important for land owners and managers to be aware of their health and safety responsibilities when granting permission for adventure activity operators to use the land they own or manage. This factsheet summarises what is required under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

Adventure activity regulations require adventure activity operators to undergo a safety audit and register with WorkSafe NZ before advertising or providing the activity for payment.

Land owner and land manager responsibility

A land owner or manager is considered to be a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU)and as a result they are a “duty holder”. The responsibilities of land owners and managers are discussed below.

A PCBU who manages or controls a workplace must ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that the workplace, the entry and exits, and anything arising from the workplace, are without risks to health and safety.

The adventure activity operator [1] is responsible for the risks arising from their operation. The land manager’s responsibilities depend on the access arrangements agreed with the operator.

1. Where there is no charge for an operator to use the land for adventure activities, but permission has been given by the owner or manager.

  • The land owner or manager has a duty to warn authorised visitors of any out-of-the ordinary hazards that may cause them serious harm that arise in that place of work.
  • This means giving at least a verbal warning about the hazard (though you can for your own records and for evidence later keep a written record if you choose to):
    • at the time you grant permission for the land to be used, and
    • as new hazards arise.
  • If a group of people is involved, it is generally sufficient to give the warning to the person who will oversee the adventure activity.

2. Where there is payment for use of land for adventure activities, e.g. a seasonal payment or a percentage of any admission fee paid.

  • The land owner or manager must take all practicable steps to ensure that the adventure activity is conducted safely.
  • We consider that this will include asking the operator to see proof of their registration; and
  • This also includes warning visitors about hazards on the site (all hazards and not just out-of-the-ordinary hazards must be identified and notified).

3. Where visitors do not have permission from the land owner or manager.

  • A land owner or manager is not liable under the health and safety legislation if anyone comes on to their land without permission and suffers harm, whether from a work-related hazard, or for any other reason.

Further Information

For further information on the Adventure Activities Regulations and the Health and Safety at Work Act2015, contact us


[1] “Adventure Activity Operator” is defined under regulations 3 and 4 of the Health and Safety at Work (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2016.(external link)