Rotorua tourist attraction shut down after woman breaks legs

WorkSafeNZ requirements could mean it is another six weeks before Zorb receive an exemption to operate.

WorkSafeNZ requirements could mean it is another six weeks before Zorb receive an exemption to operate.

One of Rotorua's famed tourist attractions has been shut down, after a WorkSafeNZ investigation - but the company is still selling discount passes for the ride. 

The Zorb's giant ball-rolling activity has been ordered to stop operating until it complies with adventure activity regulations.

WorkSafe, a Government agency, is responsible for ensuring commercial operators comply with health and safety laws and has issued Zorb two "improvement notices."

They were issued after an accident in June 2015 which saw a visitor to the Zorb injured, breaking both her legs.

"Before this incident, based on information supplied by Zorb New Zealand, WorkSafe ruled that the company's activities were not covered by the Health and Safety in Employment (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2011.

"However, based on new information obtained as a result of the incident and follow-up assessment, that decision was reviewed and Zorb New Zealand Ltd was found to be covered by the regulations," the WorkSafe statement said.

It goes on to say the company is now working towards registration as an adventure activity operator.

"Until it is registered, or is granted a temporary exemption, it cannot legally provide the downhill 'ball rolling/Zorbing' activity."

The NZ Herald quoted Zorb Rotorua general manager Haydn Marriner as saying the company was working on the issue.

"We are in a unique position being caught between two worlds. Previously we were considered as a non-adventure activity, and now we are, so WorkSafe has asked us to cease operation until we are compliant.

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Zorb was shut yesterday and today for scheduled electrical upgrades, but the WorkSafeNZ requirements could mean it is another six weeks before they receive an exemption to operate.

However the company was tonight still selling cheap passes to the ride, on the GrabOne website. 

There was no stipulation that the ride was closed, only that the voucher - a $14 discount - could not be refunded and had to be used by the end of April.

 - Stuff

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