Health & Safety

BLACK’s priority is to provide the safest possible travel environment for our bespoke experiences. We follow industry and government advice to create our safety management plan to keep clients, staff and suppliers as safe as possible. Our vehicles are all luxury European vehicles that follow a strict servicing and maintenance schedule and guides conduct thorough pre-departure inspections to ensure the vehicle is fit for purpose for operating that tour. Our office also operates 7 days a week and we have an on-call phone from 6.30 am – 9.30 pm daily to ensure our guides have support whilst they are out on jobs.

Industry associations

We hold a number of Department of Conservation (DoC) permits and are a Qualmark GOLD-endorsed business which means we have access to the best industry advice and safety standards for tour operators and are recognised by Qualmark as one of ‘the best sustainable tourism businesses in New Zealand, with the delivery of exceptional customer experiences an integral part of everything they do.  A Gold Sustainable Tourism Award identifies those businesses leading the way in making the New Zealand tourism industry a world-class sustainable visitor destination.’ For more information about Qualmark please visit here.

Qualworx Audit

New Zealand has stringent legislation for the Health & Safety Adventure Activities Act and if a tourism operator has experiences that are deemed to be adventure activities they must be registered with WorkSafe and undertake accreditation by an external auditor every three years. The majority of BLACK’s experiences are not required by Worksafe to be audited under the Adventure Activities Act however we do operate guided hiking and biking experiences and we have been audited under the Adventure Activities Act. Our Qualworx Audit is built on our Safety Management System and we have an annual satellite audit and a 3-yearly full audit. When our biking experiences fall under the Adventure Activities Act (Grade 3 and above) we bring in a contract guide to operate these. Please see below our risk disclosure acknowledgement provided to clients prior to hiking or biking experiences.

Risk Disclosure

Some of the risks that may be present and could produce injury when on a hiking or biking experience include:

  • Uneven trail surface with trip hazards e.g rocks poking out from the surface creating a fall.
  • Steep drop offs and undercut sections on the edge of the trail precipitating a fall.
  • Fallen trees across the trail which must be negotiated by climbing around or over and which could cause a trip or fall.
  • Unexpected falling debris caused by windy conditions which may generate falling trees and branches.
  • Rock fall risk at points where the trail traverses across slips and beneath overhanging terrain.
  • Exposure to adverse weather conditions may include but is not limited to the risk of hypothermia (cold) or hyperthermia ( heat), rain, sleet, snow, thunderstorms.
  • Exposure to height while crossing bridges (both swing bridges and fixed bridges).
  • Becoming lost if wandering from the trail and the group.


With all other BLACK experiences, there is an inherent risk that could include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Motor vehicle accident
  • Pedestrian collision
  • Injury when entering or exiting the vehicle
  • Intoxication (on wine, beer or gin tours)


BLACK guides are all internally trained, have a first aid certificate and operate our experiences with our client’s safety at the forefront and to minimise these risks. We also work with a number of third-party suppliers including but not limited to helicopter companies, boat cruise companies, cellar doors and fixed-wing flight operators. We have a third-party health and safety acknowledgement form that these suppliers are required to fill in to be included in our tours.