22 Jun 2011

Farmers say Waikato council bylaw draconian

8:33 pm on 22 June 2011

Farmers have told the Waikato District Council that its bylaw governing stock movements is draconian.

The bylaw was introduced five years ago and is being reviewed. It will now also cover farmers living in parts of Franklin district that were merged into Waikato district when the Auckland super city was set up.

Federated Farmers says requirements for some farmers to build stock underpasses on quiet roads is unreasonable and will affect the financial viability of farms.

Farmers making submissions to the council have spoken of moving stock on local roads for years without any safety concerns, that more bureaucracy will cost ratepayers, and that for every underpass built a farmer does not make a single dollar extra.

Waikato District mayor Allan Sanson says it is a myth that every farm that moves stock across a public road will be required to have an underpass, as the threshold set under the bylaw is very high.

He says it is highly unlikely that a dry stock farm will need one and that it will mainly affect large dairy farms.