So far we are aware of at least 6 prosecutions that have been brought this year for 12 fatalities related to adventure tourism related activites in New Zealand. At present it is unclear if the number is so high because of an increase in the number of these types of fatalities, or whether it is indicative of a more hard line approach by the enforcement agencies in an effort to improve safety standards within the industry.
Cases year in court this year relate to the deaths of:
Paul Woods – A British general surgeon at Dunedin Hospital died when the jet boat he was a passenger in flipped after hitting a gravel bank in the Matukituki River. His partner Dr Leanne Tonney and her brother Dave were injured in the crash. The boat was privately owned.
Yan Wang – A Chinese tourist died when the jet boat she was a passenger in flipped at the confluence of the Shotover and Kawarau rivers. The company involved was ‘Kawarau Jet’. 7 other people were injured.
Sarah Katie Bond – A British tourist who died from her injuries during a quad bike trek run by ‘Waitomo Big Red’ 30km west of Waitomo Caves last August.
Emily Jordan – A British tourist who drowned whilst riverboarding with ‘Mad Dog River Boarding’ on the Kawarau river. The company was fined NZ$66,000. (US$46,000)
Catherine Peters – A New Zealand university student who died from her injuries after falling from the Ballance Bridge Swing.
Six students and a teacher – Died in a canyoning exercise with the Sir Edmund Hilary Outdoor Centre, the centre was fined NZ$44,000.