Mad Dog Riverboarding Company To Expand Its Operations

The Southland Times is carrying a story this morning about Mad Dog River Boarding lodging a resource consent to expand its business:

“On Tuesday last week, Mad Dog lodged a resource consent application with Lakes Environmental that would allow it to take another 100 clients daily on the Kawarau River. It has consent to take 200 clients a day. It also applied to extend the stretch of the river on which it can operate, filling a gap of several kilometres around the Roaring Meg Power Station.

Mad Dog owner Brad McLeod said the changes were mostly “technicalities” that arose from the company’s internal resource consent review six months ago.

The review showed the company did not have consent to river board near the power station a previously unrealised gap between the consent areas for Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago District Council jurisdiction.

“We aren’t working on this section till it’s been sorted,” he said…”

For the background story on Mad Dog Riverboarding and their guilty pleas following the drowning death of British tourist Emily Jordan please see pages linking to “Emily Jordan” in the head of the page.

John Key recently announced a review of the adventure tourism industry in response to a heartfelt letter from Mr Jordan, it could result in unsafe operators being shut down. The review will be headed by Labour minister Kate Wilkinson.

In a separate article in the Southland Times Chris Jordan, Emily’s father, is quoted as saying:

“It’s a good start. The prime minister has done this and it’s the right step forward.”

But Mr Key had not given any assurances about how long the inquiry would take, Mr Jordan said.

“It’s good to hear (there will be a review), but it’s got to be done quite quickly. You’re moving towards the summer and there’s no point in it taking 12 months.

“I think that’s the important thing here.

“If there’s strength behind the words then in three months there should be a significant amount of work done.”

But Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson, who is charged with leading the inquiry, cautioned that the process might not be a speedy one.

“We don’t have a timeframe in mind.

“We’re looking at protecting the reputation of our tourism industry and of our country and it’s got to be done properly.”

The first step would be to work out the scope of the review with agencies including the Civil Aviation Authority, Maritime New Zealand, the Tourism Industry Association and the Tourism Ministry.

Destination Queenstown marketing general manager Graham Budd said the organisation supported Mr Key’s decision to launch an inquiry.

“From a visitor perspective, it says ‘hey, we’re taking this seriously’. As long as it’s not a witch-hunt and isn’t too onerous for operators who might be part of the process … (operators) will be nothing but supportive.”

Time will tell but we have a feeling this will probably take years, not months. In the meantime we hope that there will be no further deaths.

See also: Prosecutions brought for adventure deaths so far this year

Mad Dog later changed its name to The River Boarding Co.