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Acc Monopoly Delivers Body Blow To Farmers

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Posted 13 December 2004 - 03:47 PM

ACC Monopoly Delivers Body Blow To Farmers
Monday, 13 December 2004, 4:05 pm
Press Release: Federated Farmers

13 December 2004 PR 225/04
ACC Monopoly Delivers Body Blow To Farmers

Farmer confidence in ACC has been dealt a blow after the monopoly insurer said it would increase farmer levies by nearly a third, much more than earlier indicated, said Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Vice President Charlie Pedersen.

In August ACC proposed and consulted on the following increases for a self-employed farmer earning $30,000 in the year beginning July 1 2005:

- an 11 percent increase in premiums to cover injuries at work;
- a nine percent increase in overall farmer premiums (work, non-work and pre-1999 claims levy).

Today came disturbing news that the increases will in fact be much worse. According to figures from ACC's website, the final increases are:

- a 30 percent increase in work premiums;
- a 22 percent increase in overall premiums.

"These ridiculous increases are on top of earlier large rises. Over three years to 2005/6 the levies paid by self-employed farmers will have increased 105 percent for work premiums, and 63 percent for overall premiums," Mr Pedersen said.

"ACC has given no public justification for the increases, apart from saying that farmers deserve to pay more because they have a poor accident record.

"Farmers agree that they need to improve their accident record. But all the evidence suggests that the accident rate on farms has stabilised in recent years, which hardly justifies these massive increases.

"Federated Farmers has always been aware that farmers need to work on improving prevention of accidents -- and farmers have been. More than 10,000 farmers have attended Farmsafe courses, a joint initiative between ACC, Federated Farmers and other agricultural organisations, over the last 18 months.

"Given all the work that farmers have done to improve safety, we are confident that work premiums would not have doubled in three years if the accident insurance market had been operating in a competitive market," Mr Pedersen said.

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 09:08 AM

Farmers levies reflect high cost of injuries
Tuesday, 14 December 2004, 9:37 am
Press Release: New Zealand Government

Farmers levies reflect high cost of injuries

The high cost of injuries to self-employed farmers, a decline in the pool of liable earnings for livestock farming, and falling long-term interest rates are behind the increase in ACC levies for this group for 2005/2006, ACC Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

ACC levies are calculated on an industry basis, based on the cost of injuries and total pool of earnings for that industry. Although farmers have been working with ACC to improve farm safety, their injury rate is nearly double the average for all industries combined.

At the same time, the pool of liable earnings for livestock farming has decreased since 2002 from $2 billion to $1.5 billion, reflecting a fall in farmers incomes and a declining number of farmers in the self-employed category.

Ruth Dyson said the new levies had also been influenced by less favourable long-term interest rates, on which ACC's long-term liability and expectations of future investment earnings were based.

Longterm interest rates declined from 6.5 per cent to 6.2 per cent between March and September 2004, leading to a difference between the self-employed levy rates on which ACC consulted, and the final rates.

Ruth Dyson said the levy for farmers who came under ACCs employers (rather than self-employed) account would remain stable next year.

National separated employers and self-employed into separate accounts for the purpose of calculating ACC levies, with the intention of privatising the scheme. However, the significant gap in levies between people who are doing the same job but who have a different business structure is not sustainable. I have initiated policy work in this area and welcome the views of the farming community.

Ruth Dyson said ACCs farmer levies compared favourably with those overseas.

In Australia, where a private market has operated, levy rates for farmers - as for most occupations - are around twice that of New Zealands, according to the Australian governments annual report comparing the two markets.

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 10:55 AM

Farmers Too Accident-Prone - Govt
14/12/2004 07:28 AM - NewstalkZB

The Government says one of the reasons ACC levies have been increased for farmers is because they are more accident-prone.

ACC is raising work premiums for self-employed farmers by 30 percent and overall premiums by 22 percent.

It says the injury rate for farmers is nearly double the average for all industries combined.

Federated Farmers says its members have made significant efforts to bring the level of farm accidents down and the levies are ridiculous.

Vice president Charlie Pedersen estimates the latest ACC rise amounts to increases of 105 percent for work premiums and 63 percent for overall premiums in the past three years.

He says such a heavy increase has the potential to produce negativity farmers could do without.

ACC Minister Ruth Dyson understands farmers' concern, but says she is interested in long-term sustainable levies that are affordable and give fair compensation to injured workers.,00.html

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 11:52 AM

ACC Levy Hike Yet Another Attack On Rural NZ
Monday, 13 December 2004, 2:29 pm
Press Release: ACT New Zealand

ACC levy hike yet another attack on rural NZ

Monday 13 Dec 2004
Gerry Eckhoff
Press Releases -- Rural

ACT Rural Affairs spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today slammed the Labour Government's decision to hike up farmers' ACC levies.

ACC has announced that self-employed farmers face an income rate levy increase of 43 percent and a non-income rate increase of 18 percent as of 1 April 2005.

"Yet again, rural New Zealand is being pummelled by a Labour Government that doesn't give two hoots about farmers," Mr Eckhoff said.

"Under Helen Clark's leadership, farmers have endured school closures, police downsizing, petrol tax hikes, the fart tax, and the possible loss of their property rights.

"At every turn, Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton has failed to stand up for the farming community he purports to represent at the Cabinet table.

"When will Labour recognise that farming remains the backbone of our economy and start treating it as such? It should be ashamed of the way it treats farmers.

"ACT believes this latest attack is unwarranted and discriminatory, and underlines the need for competition in accident insurance.

"I call on the Government to review its decision and give rural New Zealand a fair go," Mr Eckhoff said.

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 07:08 PM

yes we could approach the Farmers federation as this is the biggest and most powerful farming group.

Years ago the farmers federation in Otago rented there rooms to ACC for reviews but I think that there releigtionship has now departed.

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Posted 16 December 2004 - 01:23 AM

ACC levy hike sparks query
16 December 2004

A 22 percent increase in ACC levies for farmers has prompted Federated Farmers to seek an urgent meeting with ACC Minister Ruth Dyson.

The federation is concerned at the failure of the corporation's consultation process leading up to the setting of its 2005-06 levies.

His comments follow the ACC announcing a 30 percent increase in the "work" portion premium for self-employed farmers and a 22 percent overall increase that will add $16 million to farmers' ACC levy costs in the next financial year.

"What really rubs is that ACC said in August it proposed to increase the work premium to cover accidents at work by 11 percent," federation vice-president Charlie Pedersen said.

"That was bad enough but after a supposed consultation process the increase nearly tripled. What's going on?

"The huge disparity between the proposed and actual levy raises several questions we want to put to the minister.

"They include asking how ACC got it so wrong in August, what happened during the consultation period that bumped up the levy by so much, and what is the point in consulting at all if the indicative figures change so greatly."

When approached for a response, ACC media adviser Richard Braddell said levies reflected the actual cost and number of injuries in various sector groups.

"As a result some groups will find their levies will rise, some will go down and others will stay the same."

For farmers employing labour the ACC levy will rise by 1c per $100 of wages paid to $2.51.

For self-employed farmers, Mr Braddell said, the levy would rise 22 percent, which reflected the rising injury cost and a declining earnings base.

"ACC has no control over the earnings farmers declare for taxation purposes but they have dropped on average 29 percent from $33,611 in 2001-02 to $23,979 in 2003-04," he said.

"At the same time the average cost of weekly compensation entitlements has jumped 57 percent from $9367 in 2001-02 to $14,700 in 2003-04 and the total cost of claims for this group has doubled as a percentage of liable earnings from 0.97 percent to 1.97 percent."

If self-employed farmer levies were to remain unchanged, other self-employed levy payers would have to meet the cost, Mr Braddell said.

Federated Farmers deputy director for policy Gavin Forrest said a self-employed farmer declaring earnings of $30,000 would pay $1300 plus GST in ACC levies in the current financial year. Based on the ACC August announcement, 2005-06 levies would have risen to $1420 plus GST. The recent announcement meant levies would increase further to $1585 plus GST.

He described the difference between the ACC's August prediction and the latest as "huge" . It cast serious doubts about the accuracy of ACC figures.

"We also have doubts that (ACC) costs have gone up as high as ACC has stated.",00.html

#7 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 01:58 PM

ACC - Prevention, Care, Recovery SearchNews Publications About ACC Contact us Help Making a Claim
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A farmer is injured every 28 minutes at work 15 June 2011

Every 28 minutes, a New Zealand farmer is injured on the job and every 23 days, a farmer dies from a work-related accident.

About 18,700 New Zealand farmers were injured last year while at work. Tragically, 16 of these injuries proved fatal. Farm-related injuries and fatalities cost ACC nearly $65 million last year alone.

“Farmers have demanding jobs and work in difficult conditions. They put in long hours in every type of weather, and they’re often on their own out in the fields.

“Every day they work with powerful machinery and handle unpredictable animals. The combination of these factors is hazardous and unfortunately, at times, results in disaster,” said Peter Jones, ACC Injury Prevention Programme Manager.

“Luckily there are a number of simple things every farmer can do to help reduce the risk that they’ll be one of next year’s statistics.”

The most common causes of injuries are animal handling, quad bikes and farm machinery. Last year, there were over 1,600 claims relating to handling cattle, and 345 relating to tractor injuries. Of the 16 deaths last year, six were caused by quad bike injuries.

While no region was exempt from incidents, farmers in the Waikato suffered the most injuries with over 3,600 claims lodged in the region. They were followed by the Canterbury region with over 2,840 claims lodged, and the Manawatu-Wanganui region with 1,632 claims.

Preventing workplace injuries is now all the more important since experience rating was introduced on 1 April 2011. Experience rating is a system which provides discounts on levies for businesses with a better claims history, and loadings for those with a poor workplace safety record. It works in a similar way to a no claims discount offered by a private insurer, and makes the final ACC levy each business pays fairer because it takes into account their safety record.

To find out more about experience rating and preventing injuries on the farm, visit the ACC team at Fieldays on 15 to 18 June – site number C4.

What steps have taken to ensure those in the farming and rural communities receive the full care and assistance that they may require when they have accidents?

That is practical assistance to help them on the farm shifting and feeding stock, milking cows, building fences, chainsawing and removing fallen trees etc?

Has Martin Williscroft Project Manager of Fraud/Investigations made any constructive and positive contributions to ensure that they do?

Williscroft and his Private Investigator "mates" would have first hand knowledge of what is required with the number of farmers and those in the rural community that he contributed to losing their livelihoods and properties with ridiculous fraud allegations of so many in that sector.

Farmers and those in the rural sector who have not been provided with practicle help that they had no option but to resort to doing things themselves or they may well have been prosecuted for animal welfare neglect..


#8 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 07:04 PM

Dairy Days to bring quad toll down

Monday, 17 October 2011, 2:57 pm
Press Release: Dairy Womens Network

17 October 2011

Dairy Days to bring quad toll down

The unwanted down side of more women involved in dairying is a greater number also involved in quad bike accidents, the biggest cause of on-farm injuries and deaths in New Zealand.

It is an unwanted equality, and one that the Dairy Women’s Network is aiming to correct.

Last year was a particularly black year for farming women, with two killed in quad bike accidents. A 62 year old woman was killed on her property in Kaikohe, while a young farm worker was killed near Westport.

Over the past eight years seven women have lost their lives in quad accidents on farms and every year, on average, five farmers are killed and 850 are injured. The accidents incur an ACC bill of around $7 million a year, and leave a legacy of loss, debilitation and pain.

The Dairy Women’s Network is working with the Department of Labour to increase the level of quad bike skills dairying women have, and in November is using its popular Dairy Days as a way to get the message out about safer riding.

“More women than ever are involved in the dairy industry, often as heavily as their male counterparts and the impact death and injury has on rural families and businesses is simply too great to ignore,” says Dairy Womens Network CEO Sarah Speight.

Women attending the Dairy Days - held nationally from 8-30 November - will leave with more knowledge on the key principles of quad bike operation, and information to pass on to staff back at the farm around quad bike regulations.

Ag ITO advisor Graeme Couper is one of the 10 instructors who will be attending the Dairy Days, providing hands-on tips to improve quad bike riding skills.

He believes women are often more open to improving their skill set, and play a vital role in passing those skills on to other staff.

“Often they may not be riding as frequently, and when they do they may be in challenging situations, like towing calf milk which can challenge your skills and the quad’s ability. We also hope to highlight things less obvious, like the need for good, ongoing maintenance programmes on quads to keep them safe.”

The Dairy Days are structured to provide plenty of opportunity to ask questions on all aspects of quad bike safety, and are set around “farm friendly” times between 10.00 to 2.00pm.

The Department of Labour is one year into an initiative aimed at reducing the level of accidents on quad bikes, and the campaign comes with four key messages that will be reinforced at the Dairy Days. They are to always wear a helmet, keep children off quads, train staff correctly and use the right machine for the job. The department is aiming to reduce quad bike accidents by 30% by 2013.

Department head of harm reduction Francois Barton said working with the Dairy Women’s Network reflected the valuable role women can play in improving quad bike safety on their own farms.

“We know they are often the influencers on the farm and we believe they can help reduce death and injury by the way they ride quad bikes,” he said. The department intends to have some of the inspectors from its team present at the Dairy Days, providing information on the quad bike safety campaign.

Dairy Days participants will learn more about the seasonal farm visits Department of Labour inspectors will be making around the country, ensuring farm quad bike safety is being taken seriously. Inspectors will be explaining the outcomes of these visits, which can include a range of enforcement options from written warnings, improvement notices and prosecution.

hukildaspida says: How about the Department of Labour ( )take a more positive instead of the punitive approach? Education is the best approach, not the ongoing "We will prosecute you" tact.

The Dairy Day quad bike sessions also aim to inform farming women who may employ staff about their obligations to ensure all safety measures are taken.

After a quad bike accident killed a Masterton worker in 2008, the employer was fined $78,000 and required to pay $60,000 in reparation to the worker’s family.

“We are hoping that women who attend the Dairy Days can become champions for safer quad bike riding when they get back to the farm. The impact of a death or injury on a farm from a quad bike is personal, social and economic, and anything that can help reduce that has to be good for that farm, and for the industry,” says Sarah Speight.



9 November 2011
Dairy Days

A women's learning is never done and we all know how difficult it is to find the time to get involved in learning opportunities.

The Dairy Women's Network Dairy Days are designed specifically to give you the opportunity to network and learn from industry specialists and other dairy women. These one-day topical workshops bring you education and the latest research to help you build your dairying business.
Dairy days focus on issues you have told us are most important to you.They are held through out the country from (usually)10.00am -2.00pm, and are intense, practical sessions led by specialists. In association -

Dairy Days March 2010
'Building your farm budget - from cashbook to cashflow'.

Dairy Days November 2011 - Quad Bike Days.

Build and Share your quad bike skills

As an on-farm leader, you're the right person to demonstrate and champion best practice in quad bike use. So regardless of whether you've been using a quad bike since you were 10, or have picked up the skills along the way, this workshop will help you become a pro. Your farm colleagues will be impressed!

The key principles of safe quad bike operations;
An overview of Health & Safety regulations and your obligations relating to quad bikes;
Why further training and practice is necessary to become proficient and gain a quad bike licence;
Where to go for more information about training.

We warmly invite you to get into gear and join us for this practical workshop.

Please Note: It is important that all pre-register for this particular day. You will then be contacted by the presenter who will discuss the content of the day and advise what material to bring.
The cost is $50.00 - please make payment when registering. Discounted to $40 if paid 3 days prior to event. Catering included. Late registrations and/or registrations on the day welcome.


November 2011

10am - 2pm. Fully catered.

Tues 8 Nov Hamilton Mystery Creek Event Centre;
Gate 2, 125 Mystery Creek Rd, Hamilton
(The Lion Park and Scout Hut)
Wed 9 Nov Central Plateau Earnshaw Farm
765 Forest Road, Reporoa.
Dairy Supply No.: 79045
Fri 11 Nov Whangarei Rockhill Orchard,
165 Simons Road, Maungatapere
Tues 15 Nov Taranaki Cooper Farm, 34 Oru Rd, Ngaere, Stratford
Dairy Supply No.:40627
Wed 16 Nov Masterton Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, Cornwall Rd, RD7, Masterton
Tues 22 Nov Nelson 213 Teapot Valley Road, Brightwater.
Dairy Supply No.: 30930
Wed 23 Nov West Coast Andrew & Michelle Robb's farm,
428 Taylorville Road, Greymouth
Thurs 24 Nov Timaru AgriBusiness Training
8 Pleasant Point Highway, RD5, Timaru
Tues 29 Nov North Otago Oamaru Racecourse,
Pukeuri-Oamaru Road
Wed 30 Nov Southland Southland Demonstration Farm
105 Wallace Town Riverton Highway

For further information email: [email protected]

For futher information, click here.
‹ Copy of November Dairy Days flyer and programme outline PDF File (469 kb)›

Downloading PDF Files
To view Adobe Pdf files, you need to have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer. If you do not have the reader, you can download it by clicking here.

Registration: November Quad Bike Days

© 2011 Network for Women in Dairying Terms and Conditions


#9 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 09:13 PM

Quad bike accident leaves 22-year-old man dead


By Natalie Akoorie
10:12 AM Friday Jul 27, 2012

Police were called to the scene this morning. Photo / File

A 22-year-old man has died following a quad bike accident in Hahei on the Coromandel Peninsula this morning.

Police and ambulance were called to the scene on Orchard Rd by a member of the public at 7am.

St John Ambulance Northern Communciations team leader Norm Ngatai
said initial reports were that the man was trapped but on arrival he was confirmed as dead.

Police Northern Communications Acting Inspector Danny Meade
said it was unclear when the accident happened but he said police would not be investigating.
"It's a tragic accident."

He said the matter would be for the Coroner to investigate.
By Natalie Akoorie | Email Natalie

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:46 AM

$51 ACC offer pips hurt picker
Anonymous. Hawkes Bay Today [Hastings, New Zealand] 15 Feb 2007: A.1.

A fall from a ladder has resulted in a battle with ACC for an injured orchard worker

Justin Walker believes he's been dealt a rough blow from ACC which could have left him surviving on just $51 a week after an orchard accident left him unable to work for the next three weeks.

Mr Walker, of Napier, had been picking pears on the top rung of his ladder in an orchard when the ladder broke, sending him crashing to the ground.

The bucket strapped to his body had been two-thirds full with fruit as he hit a branch and fell face-first to the ground.

Mr Walker said yesterday he could hardly stand up and his doctor's advice was to avoid lifting or putting strain on his back.

He said a medical assessment would indicate when he was ready to return to work and he intended to head straight back to the orchards.

Mr Walker had been working at the orchard for only three days when the accident occurred on January 30.

He said he had been told by ACC he was entitled to just $51 a week during the time his injuries prevented him from working.

Mr Walker believed ACC had calculated the figure based on the pay he received for the three days of work - $230. The pay for that period was divided by four, to calculate a weekly pay rate over a month, even though he had only worked three days.

Mr Walker said he was told by ACC he could be entitled to $51 a week, which was 80 percent of his calculated weekly pay rate.

A local MP helped Mr Walker apply for an emergency benefit at WINZ, a process which normally would have taken up to three weeks. He said he was being paid a benefit of $173 until ACC had decided how it would calculate a weekly payment while he was injured and unable to work.

The payment was just enough, however, to pay for his board and basic living expenses, he said.

ACC's chief operating officer Gerard McGreevy said ACC had not yet calculated the weekly compensation for Mr Walker.

He said Mr Walker's past and present employers had yet to supply the earning information that was used for the calculation.

Mr McGreevy said the situation could be considered unusual given Mr Walker's circumstances and the factors involved.

"An inconsistent work pattern, combined with a delay in obtaining his wage information from employers and receiving incomplete and misleading information from Mr Walker combine to make his a rather complicated case," he said.

Mr McGreevy said Mr Walker provided incorrect information regarding the period of earnings and his receipt of a WINZ benefit from the day after his accident.

"These have resulted in some delays," he said.

"The figure of $51 is not correct, as the factors outlined above have made it impossible to determine the level of weekly compensation to be paid," Mr Greevy said.

Mr Greevy said there was a complaint and review procedure Mr Walker could use if he believed the amount he was to be paid was incorrect or unfair.

It was estimated about 15,000 people were needed at the height of the harvest season and Mr Walker was concerned other casual employees may be left in his situation. Mr Greevy said, however, whatever a person was doing at the time of their injury, working in an orchard, riding a horse or driving a car, they were covered under the ACC scheme.


#11 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 11:54 PM

Girl badly injured in farm accident
Last updated 16:01 24/09/2012

A 6-year-old girl suffered multiple fractures to her legs when she was pinned between a vehicle and a fence post near Ashburton yesterday.

A Garden City Helicopters spokesman said the firm was called to a Mulligans Rd, Maronan, farm southwest of Ashburton about 2pm.

He understood the girl was standing beside a gate as her mother drove a four-wheel-drive vehicle and trailer through the gate.

The vehicle skidded on mud and caught the girl between the vehicle and the fence post.

The spokesman said the mother was "extremely distraught ... almost inconsolable".

"The wee kid was in quite a serious way. She had multiple fractures on both legs. She's not very well, or she wasn't yesterday."

He said she was lucky she did not go under the vehicle.

"It sounds like she was on the driver's side and mum was able to grab her and stop her going under the vehicle. She was very, very lucky."

He said he did not want to think what would have happened if she had gone under the vehicle.

"The outcome wouldn't have been good. It could've been tragic."

He said the girl was "stoic".

"She was tougher than a lot of adults with lesser injuries than what she had," he said.

Two ambulances also attended the incident. The girl was flown to Christchurch Hospital

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:33 PM


Farmers' risky little helper
By Phil Taylor
5:30 AM Saturday Oct 27, 2012

The second death this month of a quad bike rider brings the 2012 toll to five and raises issues of bike design and user responsibility, reports Phil Taylor

Quad bikes can be handy vehicles, and they can be fun, but they can also be deadly. Photo / Getty Images (Posed photo)

If you wish to experience something rare, take the road less travelled. To appreciate the lie of the land, you must take the high road.

That could be the motto of Riverland Adventures, the operator of quad bike tours in the rugged landscape south of Port Waikato.

"You can't see the land from the flat," company owner Percy Kukutai said when the Weekend Herald visited on Thursday.

The brochure reads: "At Riverland Adventures we pride ourselves on providing a culturally authentic, fun and safe quad biking experience."

Whether it was the open air, the adventure, the culture or all of these, of all the tourism choices within a 50-minute train trip of Auckland this was the one that most appealed to Chelsey Callaghan, 38. As the only Australian in the group, she received a special Maori welcome from Kukutai.

Kukutai was a market gardener before setting up his tourism business about four years ago. He is a natural. His family have been on this sharply contoured land 300 years and he is a guardian of its oral history. He and a friend have walked these hills from Port Waikato to Raglan, plotting their route from pa site to pa site.

The group that set off on October 11 wore helmets and had 20 minutes pf tuition on how to ride the bikes. There were eight people, with the five adults driving a quad bike each. Three, including Kukutai, who led, carried a child on their machine.

The tour was on public roads, much of it on the predominantly gravel Klondyke Rd, which swoops and weaves through hills of forest, bush and pasture. The views are spectacular.

The accident occurred near the end of the trip - 2.6km from where Klondyke Rd exits on to Tuakau Bridge-Port Waikato Rd, the main thoroughfare in the area. Because of its remoteness it was two hours before Callaghan, who had suffered a head injury that was to prove fatal, arrived at hospital via vehicle and then helicopter.

No one saw Callaghan crash. The woman behind got the impression she had been flung from the quad bike but that it had not rolled on her. It has been speculated that she may have been distracted by the view.

The road is narrow and steep, requiring a low speed, but is well-made, hard-packed and, on that fine day, was dry. One of the party said the safety briefing and tuition on operating the bike were "completely adequate". But she now wondered whether the safari was something that the average person should be doing.

Riverland Adventures had guided more than 1000 people on quad bike safaris, Kukutai said. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment - Labour (MBIE Labour, formerly the Department of Labour) confirmed it had no record of any other serious accident involving the company.

Kukutai said it was not the right time for him to comment on quad bike safety. He had been in touch with Callaghan's family and friends in Australia. "We have had our poroporoaki (farewell) for Chelsey," he said.

Constable Amy Weston of the Serious Crash Unit said inquiries were continuing and would include a mechanical check of the quad bike. The file would go to the coroner and, if evidence of negligence was found, to a prosecutor.

The ministry has the power to order Riverland to stop quad bike tours. It is awaiting information sought from the company as part of its investigation before it decides on its next step.

Callaghan's death came days after 10-year-old Shane White died after he was trapped under a quad bike in Wairarapa. Chief Coroner Judge Neil MacLean described the death as a wake-up call. Those two deaths bring the number of quad bike fatalities this year to five, which is the annual average. White is the only child among them.

Coroner Brandt Shortland has been assigned to hold inquests into recent quad bike deaths to seek common themes and make recommendations.

"The deaths are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of quad bike accidents," Judge Maclean said. ACC estimates there are 35 quad bike accidents on farms each day. Four years ago, British backpacker Sarah Bond died on an adventure tourism excursion, when the bike she was riding plunged 50 metres down a steep bank near Te Anga, 30km west of Waikato's Waitomo Caves

A debate is raging in Australia about whether roll bars should be required on quad bikes, following the deaths of 13 people this year. The change is supported by unions but not by manufacturers or distributors, who claim it would make the machines more dangerous because of the risk of injury from the roll bar or cage. That mirrors the situation here.

Perry Kerr, chief executive of the Motor Industry Association, said it did not condone roll bars. "In fact we believe in certain circumstances they will injure the occupant because basically you will hit your head on the bar and take your head off."

Kerr pointed to an absence of lawsuits in the United States - the biggest market for quad bikes - as an indication that there is no serious design flaw.

"They are designed to be ridden standing in the crouched position with no impediment and so they are certainly not suitable for seatbelts."

The rider needed to be free to adjust body position forward and back for ascents and descents and from side to side when cornering.

The industry cites a computer simulation study commissioned by quad bike manufacturers which indicate roll bars do more harm than good. However, the study is not accepted by all.

A report by the Australian Centre for Agriculture Health & Safety last year concluded there was a need to improve design "to ensure the protection of the operator in the case of the machine rolling". The report said half the quad bike deaths in Australia in 2010 involved the bike rolling on the rider.

What is missing is a design change that clearly improves safety without changing the nature and performance of the quad bike.

There are examples of roll bars both saving the rider from serious injury and causing such injuries. Andrew Simpson, a training manager with driver instruction company CARNZ Training, said more research and trials were necessary.

Simpson, who teaches quad bike skills, said he had spoken to those who believed a roll bar had saved their life and to those who blamed it for breaking their back.

He said manufacturers would fit roll bars if the benefit was obvious. "Surely, as we are riding we should be thinking about how to avoid getting into dangerous situations."

Until trials of new technology are concluded, Federated Farmers is urging users to ensure they use quad bikes responsibly. It is the same approach being taken by the ministry, which is pushing to reduce quad bike deaths and injuries through a safety awareness campaign, spot checks on farms with penalties including stopping the use of quad bikes until safety issues are addressed and prosecution in serious accidents where safety measures were flouted.

Its key safety guidelines are that riders wear a helmet and are experienced or properly trained. The ministry says that children under 16 should not be permitted to ride adult quad bikes (90cc-750cc), users not allowed to carry passengers unless the bike is specifically designed to do so, and that the bikes be used for purpose.

Despite being inherently unstable because of their narrow wheelbase and high centre of gravity, the industry refers to them as ATVs All Terrain Vehicles. The ministry does not like the term ATV, saying it gives the impression the bikes can go anywhere and do anything, resulting in accidents because a quad bike was used in a situation where a tractor or a ute was more appropriate.

Kerr believes there has been a significant improvement in quad bike use on farms where on average 850 people are injured a year. Of the five deaths this year only two were on farms, he said. He estimates 80,000 quad bikes are used on farms with most ridden at least half of the working day.

"Tragic though they are," said Kerr, "the overall rate of death and injury is relatively low and probably lower than when they were all riding horses.

"They are machinery, they are not toys. Used correctly, hopefully there will be no serious injury resulting."

Quad bikes carry warnings about proper use. Comply and you should be safe is the message and the implication is that the industry sees user fault rather than design as the problem.

But Dog and Lemon Guide editor Clive Matthew-Wilson said a leap in safety would come only with a breakthrough in design.

"History shows that education campaigns don't work well," he said. "And it is particularly hard to get farm workers, who tend to have a fairly macho culture, to drive quad bikes in a way where they are less likely to flip."

A technological solution might involve a roll cage with a net and or an automatic restraint device that held the occupant within the cage but allowed the movement required to drive them effectively and also retained the ease of hopping on and off.

"You have got to assume people are going to make mistakes and design to limit the consequences."

Quad data

• 850 people injured on farms each year riding quad bikes

• 28 per cent of all work-related farm deaths involve quads

• $7 million paid by ACC each year for quad bike-related injuries

• 2533 claims made to ACC in 2009 related to quads

By Phil Taylor Email Phil

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:40 PM

Would we please be able to have clarification if the total payouts include all services provided - Drs, Physio, Assessors, lost wages, etc?

These figures should be broken down for the Public to see where monies from our Public Purse are in fact going to those it was intended to.

Would we please be able to have clarification how much Earnings Related Compensation (ERC) for lost wages was paid out as an individual figure
to ensure transparency & accountability all around & to put it into perspective?

Thanks in advance.

Labourers top ACC claimants
Last updated 05:00 27/10/2012

Labourers and agricultural workers take the most strain on the job, according to the latest ACC figures.

Figures provided to the Herald by ACC reveal that in 2010, "labourers" in Timaru - the classification largely refers to the building and construction fraternity - made 210 separate claims, for a total payout of $361,823; while last year they made 230 claims, for a total payout of $263,525.

The agricultural sector was also responsible for several claims: "livestock producers" made 215 separate claims in 2010 at $380,689 and 193 last year for a payout of $253,600.

"Livestock producers" referred to anything from "dairy, sheep and beef cattle farming" to working in processing plants.

ACC could not indicate how these figures reflected as a percentage of the workforces, but agreed the nature of those occupations would lead to more frequent claims.

Construction Safety Council chairman Warwick Quinn
said the construction industry associations were working with ACC and the Department of Labour (now Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment) to establish better nationwide strategies for preventing workplace injuries.

"It's taken a few years for all aspects of the construction industry to come together. There were some poor results in the 1990s, and we've all learnt from them."

Mr Quinn said the council would soon introduce a nationwide health and safety competency framework .

"Once implemented, people who receive recognised training will be able to use this endorsement on other sites," he said.

"Building is a transient job by its nature and anything we can do to bring some consistency in workplace safety has to be positive."

Mr Quinn said people who received the endorsement would be expected to keep up with best practice training.

Other initiatives recently launched included a falls prevention campaign, while a Government review by an independent taskforce of the Workplace Health and Safety System was also under way.

ACC spokeswoman Stephanie Melville said it was important sectors worked together.

"No one leaves for work in the morning expecting that they'll be seriously injured on the job. And no employee will be prepared for the grave impact both physically and financially that a workplace accident can have on not only themselves, but on their families and friends," she said.

"All workplaces, big and small, can show that health and safety is not something we try to be good at, rather it's a cornerstone of what we do."

Ms Melville said "back strains" and "objects coming loose" were the most common reason for ACC claims.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:30 PM

Farmers urged to face up to workplace risks

Home » News » National
Thu, 25 Oct 2012
News: National

The number of farm injuries has decreased but farmers are still taking too many risks, says Federated Farmers.

Safety statistics show a slight decrease in on-farm injury claims for 2011, but Federated Farmers remains concerned that farmers are still endangering their health, lives and livelihoods.

"Statistics New Zealand's work-related injury ACC claim statistics show a small improvement in the agriculture and fisheries sector, continuing a decreasing trend for claims over the last three years from 250 per 1000 full-time equivalent workers (FTEs) in 2009 to 211 last year," says Federated Farmers health and safety spokeswoman Jeanette Maxwell.

"However, 28,100 claims is still far too many and there is still a lot of work to be done to get all New Zealand's farmers taking workplace safety seriously, as we still outstrip all other industries in the workplace injury and death statistics."

According to Department of Labour statistics there have been 23 workplace fatalities so far this year, including nine in the agriculture sector with accidents varying from tractor roll-overs and farm vehicle accidents to electrocution and being hit by a tree.

Most farm deaths, according to the department, involve vehicles or machinery.

Quad bike accidents have come under particular focus, prompting a special project aimed at reducing the number of accidents and fatalities. The latest fatalities occurred this month. A 10-year-old was killed in a quad bike accident in Wairarapa and an Australian tourist died after being severely injured in a quad bike accident near Auckland.

Federated Farmers is an active member of the Agricultural Health and Safety Council, which includes other industry bodies such as ACC, DairyNZ, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and FarmSafe.

"For some time, New Zealand has lagged behind other countries in workplace safety statistics across the board and MBIE has clearly signalled an intention to turn these statistics and the real life stories behind them around," Mrs Maxwell says.

"It is vital for everyone in New Zealand's primary sector to realise that the old 'she'll be right, it won't happen to me' attitude is letting us down - not only costing our farmers billions of dollars in lost productivity annually, but also placing a huge emotional strain on many rural families."

There is often little access to relief cover when a farmer is hurt and the impact of fatalities on families is horrific, says Mrs Maxwell.

Farming presents unique workplace challenges which must be identified and mitigated as much as possible for farmers to meet their responsibility of taking "all practicable steps" to prevent injury under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

"This can be difficult as farmers often have very large areas, with a range of terrain, stock types and machinery, to consider," says Mrs Maxwell, who is a member of one of the Independent Taskforce's reference groups, reviewing New Zealand workplace health and safety system.

"One thing we have to ensure is that any regulation enacted by MBIE is sensible and fit for purpose.

"Federated Farmers is continuing to work to ensure the ministry sees education as an important part of the health and safety message."

Agriculture is one of five sectors which are the focus of specific action plans involving collaboration with industry.

The Government wants to see a 25 per cent reduction in workplace serious harm and fatalities by 2020, with an interim target of 10 per cent by 2016.

Dangerous work:
So far this year there have been 23 workplace fatalities nationally, nine of them in the agriculture sector.
During the same period, there have been 3842 reported serious harm workplace accidents nationally, including 25 in the agriculture sector.
In 2007, 15 people were killed in workplace accidents in the agriculture sector (45 across all sectors); in 2008 there were 19 agriculture fatalities (54) with 10 (68) in 2009, 19 (77) in 2010 and 15 (41) in 2011.
A total of 344 serious harm accidents were reported by the agriculture sector in 2007 (6101 across all sectors), 333 (6350) in 2008, 306 (6161) in 2009, 320 (5945) in 2010 and 321 (6087) in 2011.
Since 2006 there have been 30 quad bike deaths including three in the Bay of Plenty (two in 2007 and one in 2008)
84 of the 211 reported serious harm quad bike accidents since 2009 have been in the Central region, which includes the Bay of Plenty.
- Source: Department of Labour

- The Bay of Plenty Times

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:00 PM

Last updated 05:00 12/08/2012

In Britain, it's being called a scandal. In New Zealand, there's been barely a squeak.

But with around one in 10 farmers in dire straits with high debt burdens and devalued farms, claims that complex “interest rate swaps” were missold to farmers who did not understand them are surfacing.

The swaps, traditionally used by sophisticated businesses with expert finance staff, were sold in 2007, 2008 and even 2009 by some banks to farmers as insurance against interest rates - and hence floating rate farm mortgages - rising rapidly, farmers say.

But when the opposite happened, the farmers who bought them were left locked in to high interest rates which they could not escape without paying hefty break fees.

Already heavily indebted, some farmers have lost their farms as a result of the instruments.

In Britain in March, the Treasury began an investigation following reports by the Telegraph newspaper that both farmers and small businesses such as hotels and golf clubs had been sold swaps they did not understand.

The same claims are now being made here, and one senior financier, who asked not to be named, likened the swap sales to the sale of Swiss franc and US dollar-denominated loans marketed by some banks to cow cockies in the 1980s as a means of getting lower interest rates.

They too went spectacularly wrong as a result of currency movements leaving some facing loan rates of more than 40 per cent.

Farmers who naively bought swaps following contacts from banks, have suffered two effects.

Firstly, they have been locked into paying interest rates of around 10 per cent, and the break fees on the contracts - similar to the residential mortgage break fees which caused an urban outcry in 2010 - are far too high to allow refinancing with another bank.

Sunday Star-Times spoke to one farmer who estimated the cost to break his swap as $1 million, leaving him paying nearly 10 per cent interest for the next couple of years compared with about 6 per cent for an ordinary floating rate farm mortgage.

“The bank says we are not making any money,” he complained. “But how can we? We have paid $1m more interest than we should have paid had we been in a normal floating rate loan.”

The second effect is the swaps have damaged farm balance sheets as they must be accounted for as a significant liability.

“Now I can see it is just a form of gambling, and I don't gamble," the farmer said.

Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills, an ex-banker, said there were some problems in some cases with the way the interest rate swaps were sold.

“Senior bankers have told me that some of these products have been pushed out there without enough explanation or understanding.”

Accountant Stephen Stafford-Bush, chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants influential regional advisory committee, is more forthright, and says he believes the swaps were missold in many cases.

“The big question mark is have the banks acted illegally? Probably

not. Have they acted unethically and immorally? In my view, yes," he said.

Stafford-Bush said many farmers who have come to him did not understand the risks they were taking. He said interest rate swaps were a commercial instrument suitable for large, sophisticated companies, not family farms.

A senior financier said the swaps were sold to farmers with the idea they could manage their own interest rate risk. "But these guys are out milking at 6am," he said. "Then they are out calving later. They weren't foreign exchange or interest rate money market dealers. They were farmers. They did not have the expertise or the time to do it."

Stafford-Bush feels there should be more “shared blame” instead of the financial costs falling entirely on farmers.

Farmer Theresa Nicholas said the swap sales and subsequent pain have remained under the radar because farmers suffering under the swaps were too afraid to speak publicly in case they anger their banks, which have the power to put them off their farms.

Similar claims have been made in Britain, and some will speak to the media only on condition of anonymity.

Nicholas said politicians did not want to know, and the Banking Ombudsman Scheme had a cap of $200,000 for complaints, which is too small to cover swap complaints.

A class action lawsuit was being discussed but several years of good dairy payouts, and a more sensitive treatment of affected farmers by banks derailed it.

Nicholas said farmers were able to negotiate some concessions with banks, such as lower interest rates, but had to sign gagging contracts enabling the banks to shut down criticism.

It is not known how wide the sale of swaps to farmers was, and the banks wouldn't say when questioned by Sunday Star-Times, answering specific questions with general descriptions of how they sell interest rate products now.

A Westpac statement said only: “Interest rate swaps make up a small component of our lending book. They are not sold without having a financial markets specialist give an explanation on how they work, so the customer can understand how they might fit their circumstances.”

Adam Boyd, ASB's general manager Global Markets New Zealand, said ASB does offer interest rate swaps to a limited number of rural customers to fix the interest rate on a customer's floating rate debt facilities, producing similar outcomes to fixed rate loans.

All customers are provided with a disclosure statement that outlines the benefits and risks swaps before entering into an agreement with the bank, he said.

"Modelling may also be provided on a case-by-case basis. In recent years there has been a general trend among rural customers towards floating rate debt facilities, with less demand for interest rate swaps."

An ANZ spokesman said interest rate swaps are one of a number of products that businesses, including farming businesses, have used to manage interest rate risk.

"We give customers general information on how the product works and, as with other products, advise them to seek independent advice before entering into a swap to ensure they fully understand the product and its suitability for their business."

Former farmer Jeanette Walker said the swap sales reveal much about banks, but also about how farmers wrongly trusted bank managers.

"People have to get to understand that banks are not your friends. Bank managers are not your business partners. They are in the business of getting the biggest return possible for their shareholders. They are not your mates."

- © Fairfax NZ News

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:55 PM

One in 10 workers make ACC claim
Last updated 11:35 17/10/2012

Almost one in 10 workers suffered an injury at work last year that led to a claim to the Accident Compensation Corporation, according to Statistics New Zealand.

The bulk of the claims, almost three-quarters, are by men, with the highest levels in the farming and fishing sectors.

But the overall level of claims has been steadily falling in the past decade. In 2002, there were 143 claims for every 1000 workers. In 2011 it was down to just 97 for every 1000 full time equivalent (FTE) workers.

In 2011, there were 187,900 claims made for work-related injuries made by 169,400 people. It was the first time the claims fell under 200,000 since the series of figures began in 2002.

Statistics NZ said men made up 71 per cent of all claims for work-related injuries in 2011.

Since 2002, men have consistently accounted for almost three-quarters of all work-related claims. The rate for males was 122 claims per 1,000 full time workers.

Younger workers (aged 15-24 years) and older workers (aged 65 years and over) had the highest claim rates across all age groups. Last year, just over one in eight workers in those two age groups made a claim for a work-related injury.

Pacific workers had the highest rate across all ethnicities, with 115 claims per 1,000 FTEs.

Workers from four occupation groups were the most likely to make an injury claim. Agriculture and fishery workers made the most, with a rate of 211 per 1,000 FTEs. This was followed by labourers and cleaners (183 claims per 1,000 FTEs), trades workers (180), and plant and machine operators and assemblers (166).

The trend for injury claim rates has consistently declined. Final figures for the period 2002-10 show a continual drop in the overall rate of injury claims, from 143 claims per 1,000 FTEs in 2002 to 111 in 2010.

The number of claims for fatal work-related injuries in 2011 was affected by the Canterbury earthquake in February 2011. There were 63 fatal claims in the Canterbury region in 2011, compared with 9 in the final 2010 data.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 04:59 PM


Farmer killed in quad bike accident

By Susan Sandys
9:03 PM Sunday Jan 6, 2013

A farmer aged in his 40s is believed to have been killed in a quad bike accident at Rakaia, near Ashburton, on Saturday night.

It is understood the man's body was found beside the road, and he was the only person on the bike when the accident occurred.

- Ashburton Guardian
By Susan Sandys

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:04 PM


Farmer killed in quad bike crash named

By Susan Sandys, Ashburton Guardian, Herald Online
2:35 PM Monday Jan 7, 2013

The scene of the crash near Te Haroto today. Photo / supplied

A number of quad bike accidents ending in death and injury over the holiday period has renewed calls for users to take greater care when using the vehicles.

On Saturday Rakaia farmer Andrew Baxter was checking irrigators when he crashed, suffering suffered fatal injuries.

His death followed that of teenager Rowan Cai Parker, 16, who was killed on Boxing Day when he lost control of a quad bike in south Otago and drove over a cliff, falling 150 metres onto rocks.

Seven others have been seriously injured in quad bike accidents recently, including 6-year-old Ashlee Shorrock who suffered broken ribs, a broken arm, a broken collar bone and was put into an induced coma after the bike which she was on with four adults crashed in Hawkes Bay.

Today a farm worker was injured when he crashed a quad bike, also in Hawkes Bay.

The incidents have prompted calls for better safety around bike use.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment spokeswoman Ona de Rooy
urged farmers to consider their stress and fatigue levels, particularly during daylight saving.

"It can be as easy as forgetting to check the quad bike before you head out or making a small mistake when moving livestock because you're too tired. These can all lead to fatal consequences.

"We would like to see farmers make safety a priority in 2013," she said.

But it was recreational users, not farmers, who were not getting the safety message, said Federated Farmers spokeswoman for health and safety Jeanette Maxwell.

"Recreational users, quad bikes and alcohol are a cocktail for disaster."

There were seven fatal quad bike accidents last year - two of those were recreational users, said Ms Maxwell.

"The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment needs to look at how it is communicating safety messages to casual quad bike users. Frankly, no one should be using a quad bike without the appropriate training and not all quad bikes are designed to carry two people."

Ms de Rooy said the ministry's quad bike safety campaign aimed at reinforcing safety messages to reduce quad bike injuries and fatalities will continue this year. Inspectors would also be checking how quad bikes are being used and issuing penalties where there were safety issues.

Chief Coroner Neil MacLean has previously voiced his concern over quad bike fatalities, saying simple safety messages around their use could "go a long way to preventing these utterly unnecessary deaths".

Quad bikes were okay when used for the purpose for which they were designed but when pushed beyond that, or used by children, they became potentially dangerous, he said.

"I suspect that the key message is training and awareness that they're not toys."

Typically, five people will die and 850 will be injured each year in accidents involving quad bikes on farms, according to ministry figures.

Recent accidents

Dec 26, 2012 - Rowan Cai Parker, 16, was killed when he lost control of a quad bike in the Chaslands area of South Otago and drove over a cliff - falling 150 meters on to rocks.

Dec 27 - A Wairarapa man in his 60s suffered broken ribs after the quad bike he was riding rolled on a muddy hill.

Jan 3, 2013 - Ashlee Shorrock, 6, suffered serious head injuries after the quad bike she was riding on with four adults crashed down a Hawkes Bay ditch. The four adults, including the girl's father and stepmother, were being treated for serious injuries.

Jan 5 - Farm worker Andrew Baxter, 45, fell from his quad bike in Rakaia and suffered fatal injuries.

Jan 7 - A 50-year-old farm worker suffered spinal injuries when he crashed his quad bike in the Hawkes Bay.

By Susan Sandys, Ashburton Guardian, Herald Online

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:41 PM

There is nothing wrong with Quad bikes, it's just how they are driven.. Do we know yet if this poor chap actually crashed his quad due to careless use? Or is it just another assumption...... that he did.


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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:32 PM

ACC quad-bike claims hit $29m over four years
Last updated 05:00 12/01/2013

ACC has paid 130 injury claims related to the use of quad bikes and other all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in South Canterbury in the last three years.

The highest number of accidents happened in Auckland, where 360 claims were lodged between 2010 and 2012.

This was followed by the Far North with 308, Christchurch with 255, Waikato with 239, and Hastings with 185.

In South Canterbury, the Timaru District had the highest number of claims for the three-year period, with 77. Waimate had 30 and Mackenzie 23.

ACC paid $29 million on 11,084 claims for injuries and 26 claims for deaths involving quad bikes and other ATVs throughout New Zealand since 2008.

Among those were 260 children aged 4 or under, 472 children aged between 5 and 9, and 733 aged 10 and over.

The ACC figures cover all accidents - work and non-work - and those that occurred on public roads, farms and beaches.

The accidents involved 8236 males and 2874 females. About 65 per cent of claims - 7156 - were for non-work accidents, while 3944 occurred at work.

Riders breaching rules on public roads can be charged by police.

Federated Farmers recently issued a statement asking the Business, Innovation and Employment Ministry to "find a better way" to educate recreational users about riding safely.

"While many farmers are heeding the safety message, the ministry . . . needs to look at how it is communicating safety messages to casual quad-bike users," spokeswoman Jeanette Maxwell said. "Frankly, no-one should be using a quad bike without the appropriate training and not all quad bikes are designed to carry two people."

There are more than 100,000 ATVs in New Zealand, mostly on farms. There are several types of licences for the bikes, depending on where and how they are used, but the New Zealand Transport Agency says passengers should be carried only on quad bikes designed for the purpose.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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