Report an accident or safety issue
IntroductionReport accidents, near misses, or safety issues that occur on conservation land to DOC. This helps us prevent future accidents.
Tell us about accidents that happen on public conservation lands or waters, or any safety issues that you see. Letting us know helps us to take steps to prevent future accidents.
What to report
You should report any of the following if it occurs to you or someone else:
- accidents that result in a serious injury – such as a broken bone, sprain or head injury.
- events where a serious injury or fatality could have occurred, even if no one was hurt or injuries were minor. Such as trouble in the water, slipping near a big drop or falling rocks.
- safety issues that you believe could cause serious injury or death. This might be damage to a bridge, gas leak or malfunctioning fireplace at a hut, a recent landslide near the track.
It can also be worth letting DOC know about more minor incidents. For example, if you think there are things DOC or others should learn from it, or that other visitors should be warned about.
You can also report accidents that did not happen to you, but that you saw or heard about from a reliable source.
If you are not sure if you should report an incident, we recommend that you do. It is always better to report it than not.
How to report accidents or safety issues
If there is an emergency that threatens someone’s life, always dial 111 first. Seek medical help for accidents.
If you have found a safety issue with an immediate risk of causing serious injury, phone the DOC hotline on 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).
If your report is not urgent, you can tell us by:
- phoning the DOC hotline on 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).
- contacting the local DOC office or Visitor Centre - contact details are at the bottom of each track, hut, and campsite web page.
- using our online form.
Do not rely on hut books to pass on safety information to DOC. It is good to leave a note in the hut book to warn other visitors about a safety issue, but always contact DOC directly as well.
What happens after you report accidents or safety issues
The information will be passed on to local DOC staff where the accident or issue occurred.
We will assess the incident and may investigate further to assess and plan any repair work if it is needed. If your report includes facility or track damage, be aware that repairs can take some time.
In most cases DOC will not need to contact you about your report. But a staff member may reach out to you for more information if you have provided your contact details to us.
You are welcome to make a report anonymously if you prefer; you can do this using our online form.
Why it is important to report accidents or safety issues
Reports help to protect others and reduce risks on conservation land. By sending in a report, you can stop an accident occurring.
Reporting accidents and safety issues to DOC means we can warn other visitors about dangers, repair damage where needed and address or manage natural hazards like landslides.
They can also help us find patterns of safety issues. This means we can better manage areas and repairs to create safer visits for everyone.