MEMBERS - NEWS & INFORMATION
22/06/2018: Mycoplasma bovis cleaning guidelines for transport operators
MPI recognises that disease transfer is a concern for farmers and has provided the following advice to the freight transport industry in respect to cleaning and disinfection:
“We advise that you are able to continue as normal and are not required to do anything extra unless directed otherwise.
“The primary rule we ask you to remember is: when entering a farm, report to the farm owner/ operator. This person will tell you how to proceed and whether their farm is under any type of legal notice/ movement restriction.
“If a property is under a Restricted Place or Infected Property status, a yellow and white sign reading ‘Restricted Place’ will be at the farm entry. You are able to enter, but as per the directions on the sign, you must report to the farm operator (as mentioned, MPI strongly recommends you always do this) and follow all instructions he/she gives you. (These are most likely to be surrounding Cleaning and Disinfection [C&D] procedure). Often there is a phone number on these signs which we would advise you call prior to entry.
“There is a chance you will have to enter a property under a third, less serious type of movement restriction: those under Notice of Direction. These won’t have signs outside so you won’t know until you speak to the farm owner/ operator. However, this isn’t a problem. After having reported to the person in charge, just follow any specific instructions they give. In all circumstances, the operator should know exactly what to advise; all you are expected to do is comply.
“Finally, MPI is aware that many farmers are concerned about Mycoplasma bovis and they are not under any type of movement restriction. They may be under testing, or they may be under no type of MPI surveillance at all. All these groups still may be concerned about the disease and as such, if they request you undertake C&D then we would recommend you oblige because this will help to reduce stress that the farmers are feeling at this time.”
22/06/2018: More certifiers under investigation
NZTA is investigating two more certifiers following concerns over unsafe towing connections.
In September 2017, Peter Wastney Engineering Ltd, of Nelson, had his status as an approved heavy vehicle certifier suspended. Investigations were conducted following a drawbeam failure in August 2017 which resulted in a heavy trailer disconnecting from a truck and striking an embankment on SH6 near Nelson.
An independent engineering review found that some towing connections were not adequately designed for the loads for which they had been certified.
Now a second engineer has been suspended. He is Dick Joyce, a double Olympic rowing gold medallist, who runs a vehicle certifying firm at Seaview, in Wellington.
It is not clear how many truck trailers might be affected by the latest suspension. NZTA was quoted as saying it had suspended Joyce based on “less than satisfactory outcome” of ongoing audits.
Joyce’s suspension came after he made two trips to Greymouth to help the agency clear a backlog of more than 1400 truck-trailers with safety concerns, RNZ reported.
Joyce told RNZ he believed he had been unfairly targeted and was considering legal action against the agency.
A third engineer in Auckland is also being investigated after a recent complaint. However, it’s unclear whether the investigation directly concerned towing connections. NZTA did not give any further details.
After the Wastney suspension, NZTA issued a heavy vehicle safety alert in February, and revoked certifications for 359 trucks fitted with drawbeams , 257 trailers fitted with drawbars, and 802 heavy vehicle towbars, all certified by due to serious safety concerns.
NZTA denied its certification audit system was badly flawed, but told RNZ it recognised that “there’s an issue” and was lifting capacity.
Road Transport Forum Chief Executive Ken Shirley has criticised what he sees as failures in the system and labelled the Wastney certification issue “a fiasco”. He said that the industry was disappointed that NZTA’s auditing and accreditation processes did not pick up the problems with the certifications much earlier.
“The sheer number of vehicles affected shows a significant lack of regulatory oversight and Road transport operators are the victims here… NZTA must take some responsibility for this and make sure they get on top of their regulatory failings,” said Shirley.
RNZ report: www.radionz.co.nz