Sanctioning of Events

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Since 2009 Nga Kaihoe O Aotearoa at the request of regions and clubs has been working on developing a sanction policy and process for events. This has been a lengthy process and one that in recent years has taken the back seat to the governance restructure of our organisation. In 2011 the Nga Kaihoe Council after much consultation agreed on the rationale, outline and the basic process for sanctioning.

As the sport grows and as more and more events get added to the calendar it is important that we provide a process for nationally sanctioned events:

  1. Safety of participants
  2. Minimum Safety standard
  3. Legal protection for organisers
  4. Protection for the sport
  5. One insurance policy for sanctioned events (Saves costs for all event organisers)
  6. Website publication of events
  7. Capture of real participant numbers
  8. Better planning and structure of event calendar
  9. Minimum standard of delivery

In New Zealand the availability of no fault insurance cover through ACC and the lack of a right to sue for personal injury must not be allowed to lead to complacency about the safety of others

On the following attachments we will provide you with more detail and some guidelines to help you through the sanctioning process.

Public Liability Insurance – Why do we need it if we are organising an event?

A Public and Products Liability policy can provide your club, community group or organisation with an indemnity against all sums which you become legally liable to pay (by way of compensation) for damage to the public resulting from an occurrence which arises from your activities. A legal liability can arise from your negligence, or the negligence of your members, including voluntary workers engaged on behalf of the club, who are working in a recognised role for the club or group.

To put this another way if you do something, or fail to do something, then where you are negligent (e.g. you have breached your duty of care) and someone’s property is damaged as a result of this negligent act, the policy will defend you and pay compensation if you are legally liable subject to the specific terms and conditions of the policy. For example, a tent comes loose in windy conditions as it was not properly secured, and damages a nearby house. (

The above is a very brief explanation of Public Liability insurance, it is important that all event organisers have appropriate levels of insurance to cover their liability in many cases now City Councils are requiring that event organisers produce Public Liability certificate before permission will be given to use a public space or waterway for an event. This has been the case in Auckland for a number of years.

Protecting Waka Ama:

As well as ensuring that event organisers are protected we have a duty to ensure that the sport is protected and its members are safe at all times. For this reason we have developed some standard safety protocols, an event safety and operation template for event organisers and a calculation tool for the minimum number of safety boats required at events

Here is the link to the support boat calculator and downloadable information

As a water sport Waka Ama is open to risks that require us to ensure we take adequate precautions to inform, protect and enable participants as well as event organisers. If something goes wrong at an event the sport as a whole will be impacted.

More information about Waka Ama Events and Sanctioning can be found in our Club Tool kit

Should you have any questions about sanctioning, Please contact

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Updated: May 23, 2017