8 Jul 2015

Health and safety 'by farmers for farmers'

2:28 pm on 8 July 2015

A group of Hawke's Bay farmers are meeting today to take a stand against what they call a lack of consultation over changes to the Health and Safety Act.

The Health and Safety Reform Bill is currently before Parliament and is expected to pass later this year.

One of the meeting's organisers, Hugh Pearse, said he was not against improving safety on farms but he believed the reform bill was taking an iron-fist approach.

The central Hawke's Bay sheep and beef farmer said he decided to take action after the launch of Safer Farms earlier this year.

"We listened to what was going on there and we thought, this is going too far, we're not getting a say in this," he said.

"What's not being allowed is common sense - and that's one of our main concerns. What we're going to need out of this meeting today is some solutions that we take to Government.

"We've got a petition going and hopefully some more solutions will come out of this meeting today, but we've had unreal feedback on what we're doing."

Mr Pearse said the petition, called 'By Farmers For Farmers' is asking for consultation and participation between farmers and the Government before the bill is passed.

The meeting is being held at the Havelock North Club at 3pm.