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11/12/2019: Farmers, not truck drivers, to be responsible for correct animal tagging

Industry’s submission that farmers should be responsible for correctly tagging their animals to safeguard New Zealand’s biosecurity, not truck drivers, has been heard and acted on, Road Transport Forum (RTF) chief executive Nick Leggett says.

Parliament’s Primary Production Select committee has passed the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) Amendment Bill (No 2).

“We would like to thank the Primary Production Select Committee members familiar with transporting animals for listening to industry and working hard to get an amendment to the Bill to provide some kind of indemnity for transport operators,” Leggett says.

“Now, whenever anyone has to fill in the declaration forms around the animals that are leaving their property, there will be a new section that will be included, basically giving an indemnity to the trucking companies that the farmer has tagged the animals appropriately.

“This is what we asked for, including by appearing before the select committee, because the farmers are responsible for their stock, not the trucking company.

“We note the Government has a tendency to promote reliance on technology that does not exist yet to solve problems, such as scanning to identify NAIT tags on stock as they enter a truck. Industry doesn’t support fitting scanners to trucks and we hope they find suitable funding to develop technologies to make compliance easier for farmers.

“Livestock transporters care about New Zealand’s biosecurity and accept that animals must be traced to ensure their lifetime movements can be monitored in the event of any disease outbreaks.

“But essentially, they are moving animals they have no responsibility for, other than when they are on the truck. Often, they will be loading those animals alone in the dark, and sometimes the animals are moving at pace in tight enclosed spaces, so the truck driver cannot be expected to safely visually check every animal accurately for a small electronic tag.

“We think this new law has taken the correct approach in acknowledging that, and while there are some things to work out on the required paperwork, we think pragmatism has won the day.”

27/11/2019: More revocations for Peter Wastney certifications

Notices of revocation are being sent to a further 349 vehicle owners with a towbar, drawbar, or drawbeam certified by Peter Wastney, of Peter Wastney Engineering Ltd (PWE).

The NZ Transport Agency is issuing the revocation notices following an investigation into the certifications.

Safety is the agency’s top priority, says Acting Senior Manager, Regulatory Services, Neil Adams.

Vehicle owners affected by this decision will receive a letter with more details, including information on financial support.

Because many heavy vehicle specialist certifiers (HVSCs) already have waiting lists in place, vehicle owners will be granted a longer than usual exemption period of 18 months.

Exemptions are granted as follows:

1. Vehicle owners with towbars and drawbeams have received an exemption to continue operating their vehicle as long as they do not use the towbar or drawbeam to tow. This exemption remains in place until 31 May 2021 and the component requires recertification by a heavy vehicle specialist operator (HVSC) by that date. If the towbar or drawbeam needs to be used to tow another vehicle/trailer, it will need to be recertified immediately before being used.

2. Trailers with drawbars can’t be operated until the drawbar is recertified by a HVSC. Drawbars have an exemption to be used once only where:

• the trailer is unladen (not carrying anything), and

• it is used solely for the purpose of bringing it into compliance, and

• it is safe to be used unladen (no visual cracks, fatigue or other damage to the drawbar).

The costs of any new certifications for towbars, drawbars, and drawbeams will be met by the Transport Agency. This includes inspection, recertification and any repair, replacement, or removal costs required to rectify the component.

For more details, see: nzta.govt.nz/pwe-revocation (from December 1); call 0800 699 000; or email: info@nzta.govt.nz

30/10/2019: NZTA reviewing speeds on highways nationwide

The NZ Transport Agency is currently reviewing speed limits on at least 26 highways throughout New Zealand in a bid to improve safety on the roads. Proposals include lowering some stretches from 100kph to 80kph and others from 70kph to 60kph. Find out more.

22/10/2019: Fatigue and Distraction are becoming major factors of road accidents in New Zealand

AutoSense have pulled together a toolkit for businesses to help get the message across to your teams that fatigue and distraction are an issue when driving. Find out more.

25/09/2019: Wynn Williams – legal advice and support

RTANZ partners with the law firm Wynn Williams who have an excellent working knowledge of the transport industry through existing strong client relationships with transport industry leaders and provide services across all areas of law. Visit their RTANZ home page on their website to find out what they are offering RTANZ members and catch up on industry related articles with essential advice for your business.