Adrenalin Forest a safe bet
Careering through the treetops, dangling from a thin metal wire – Adrenalin Forest may seem like a dangerous place for thrillseekers.
But the high-wire adventure course’s safety record has been recognised with a nomination for the ACC Safety award, which is handed out as part of Wellington’s annual Gold awards celebrations.
The park is one of three Porirua- based organisations nominated in the awards, which recognise high-performing Wellington businesses.
Jean Caillabet, owner of Adrenalin Forest, said he was thrilled with the nomination, which came after a difficult year for adventure tourism.
‘‘I was a winner of the Vibrant award [for visitor facilities] two years ago,’’ he said. ‘‘ But this year I said I only want to do the ACC Safety award.
‘‘It is the only one I want. Because safety is our business, and our business is to make safety fun.’’
Last year a man plunged to his death at an adventure park in Auckland, which had significant repercussions for the adventure park industry.
‘‘After the accident in Auckland, we had a 30 per cent drop in business. Nobody wanted to come to [adventure] parks after that happened.’’
Caillabet, who said his business was one of the most frequently audited in the country, attributed the nomination to the park’s new belay technology, which makes it impossible for someone to unclip themselves from a wire.
It cost $200,000 to implement – but he said it was value for money, and he was already seeing his business come back to life.
‘‘Without the new technology, I would probably be bankrupt today.
‘‘It’s so safe, it takes all the stress out. No more stress for the staff, the clients, the teachers . . . everyone. Now they are relaxed and smiling.
‘‘It was the right decision. All the work, all the investment, was the right choice. It’s perfect for everybody. The award I hope is recognition of that.’’
The other Porirua- based nominees are Disaster Prepare, which was nominated in the research and development category for Quakeflex, a system designed to keep people safe during earthquakes, and Whitireia, whose faculty of health was nominated in the services and infrastructure category.
Winning feeling: Jean Caillabet, owner of Adrenalin Forest, which is up for a Gold award.