The country’s only agency providing compulsory adventure tourism safety audits has halted operations due to financial difficulties.
Outdoors New Zealand, in a statement on its website today (Monday), says its financial problems are related to cashflow “as we have invested heavily to create the only outdoors-accredited safety audit standard”.
It also blames “unexpected losses from the World Outdoor Summit”.
“Outdoors NZ is currently on hold pending a full review of our finances,” the website says.
The agency is the sole provider of safety audits which every adventure tourism operator in the country has to complete by November.
The audits arose from a review ordered in 2009 by Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key.
Earlier, Outdoors NZ said it couldn’t accept new applications for audits as it was struggling to deal with hundreds already.
In its statement today, it tells operators: “If you are currently in the process of an OutdoorsMark audit, we are working hard to get these back on track so that these can be completed in time for the November deadline.”
Asked for his response, Queenstown-based Kiwi Discovery and Queenstown Rafting general manager Tim Barke says: “It’s disappointing but we really don’t know enough about it to make much more comment.”