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MacKenzie: NZ Rural Contractors Must Work Together

28 July 2011

NEW ZEALAND - Federated Farmers board member and Grain & Seed chairperson Ian MacKenzie delivered a speech at the Rural Contractors New Zealand's Conference, on 26 July in Ashburton.

"We have to work together on these issues, otherwise, we will never achieve critical mass to persuade anyone of the merit of our argument and that we deserve some concessions," said MacKenzie.

He continued: "To this end, the Agricultural Transport Forum's role needs to be:

  • Ensuring regulations are clear and concise and understood by members
  • That they are enforced in a correct, fair and even handed manner
  • Where the regulations are inappropriate then we get a consensus from the ATF and, if possible, other road users to seek changes to those rules."
Rural Contractors New Zealand monitors central and local government policies and plans. It maintains close relations with a wide number of organisations, government departments and other bodies.

The Rural Contractors Conference is held anually, bringing together contractors from around New Zealand to share ideas, network, learn about the latest technologies, listen to highly regarded speakers and to socialise.

"We have to be able to satisfy those who draft the rules, and other road users, that compromises for agricultural vehicles will not affect the safety of others. Yesterday, (Monday 25 July), you agreed that exemptions for work rules could apply only to members of your organisation. A worthwhile offer, but one that I suspect would mean Rural Contractors having to undertake Health and Safety audits on its members to ensure that you can deliver what you promise. That may not be a problem. Inconvenience on the road is less of a concern to the law makers." said Mr MacKenzie.

He concluded: "The 30 km/h exemption for agricultural vehicles satisfied law makers that the safety of our roads was not unduly compromised. Let us try and build on that concession. Let's light up our vehicles like Christmas trees, persuade the law makers this keeps other motorists safe and seek extensions to concessions already granted."

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