14 Jun 2013

Pond fencing 'may not be safety answer'

11:29 am on 14 June 2013

Federated Farmers and a water safety group say pits and effluent ponds on farms should not necessarily be fenced off following the death of a toddler.

The body of two-year-old Charlie Unwin was found in an unfenced water-filled rubbish pit on a Southland farm on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment says effluent ponds and rubbish holes containing water should be fenced off if they meet certain criteria, such if water is deeper than 400mm.

Federated Farmers health and safety spokesperson Jeanette Maxwell says there are too many hazards on a farm to isolate individually and it's better to put a fence around the house.

The chief executive of WaterSafe Auckland, Sandy Harrop, says it would be impractical to fence off every hazard, and parents should create safe play areas next to the home.