The first jet boat drivers in the country to be licensed under a change to maritime rules receive their licenses in Queenstown.
The New Zealand jet boating industry has 42 operators carrying more than 370,000 passengers a year.
Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Maritime New Zealand deputy director Lindsay Sturt presented the licenses to 10 drivers, representing 10 different operations, at a function at the Shotover Jet base at Arthur’s Point.
The new licence, as well as on-going competency checks for all drivers, is part of the Maritime Rule Part 82: Commercial Jet Boat Operations – River.
It came into effect on 2 August 2012, and requires all commercial jet boat drivers working on rivers to have a driver licence, with operators also required to establish regular driver competency checks.
“It’s important to balance the thrill factor that attracts passengers from all over the world, with appropriate safety and driver training measures,” Mr Sturt said.
“Jet boating is an iconic activity for New Zealand and an important part of the adventure tourism industry. The support we’ve seen from operators for this rule change is a strong indication of just how seriously they take the wellbeing of passengers.”