1 Aug 2011

Rural contractors move to legally work longer hours

5:31 am on 1 August 2011

Rural contractors say they are making progress over their ability to work longer hours without being prosecuted.

Earlier this year, Rural Contractors New Zealand negotiated with the Transport Agency for a six month trial which would allow contractors to work up to 18 hours per day under certain conditions, in order to harvest crops.

Executive director Roger Parton says the trial which has just finished, came up for discussion at the industry's recent conference in Ashburton.

He says the Ministry of Transport has approved a review of transport legislation as it applies to agricultural vehicles.

Mr Parton says meetings will be held now in the North and South Islands to try and get Federated Farmers, Horticulture New Zealand, rural contractors and other interested parties together to identify the issues and see how best to resolve them.

He says the aim is to take a position paper to the minister early in the new year.

Mr Parton hopes the law relating to rural contractors can be simplified so they can get on with their job, without compromising their safety on the roads, or that of other road users.