Adrenalin For­est a safe bet

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By CHAR­LIE MITCHELL

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.

Photo: CHAR­LIE MITCHELL

Win­ning feel­ing: Jean Cail­l­a­bet, owner of Adrenalin For­est, which is up for a Gold award.

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