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FARMSAFE Australia Symposium FARMSAFE Australia Symposium International perspective “ What the NZ coronial inquests can teach us” Parliament House – Canberra.

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Presentation on theme: "FARMSAFE Australia Symposium FARMSAFE Australia Symposium International perspective “ What the NZ coronial inquests can teach us” Parliament House – Canberra."— Presentation transcript:

1 FARMSAFE Australia Symposium FARMSAFE Australia Symposium International perspective “ What the NZ coronial inquests can teach us” Parliament House – Canberra 31 October October 2013 Brandt Shortland – NZ Coroner

2 NZ context- coronial perspective  Legislative framework – s57 Coroners Act 2006 “Purposes of Inquiries”  5 Inquests – death of 5 farmers - 2 days of expert evidence  How do we make quad bike use safer?

3 s57 Coroners Act 2006 s57 Coroners Act purposes of an inquiry (paraphrased) 1. Establish cause & circumstances of death 2. To make recommendations or comments in reducing deaths in similar circumstances 3. To refer to another agency for investigation if in the publics interest.

4 Coronial inquiries s57 (2) Coroners Act 2006 (paraphrased) The second purpose is to make specified recommendations or comments (as defined in section 9) that, in the coroners opinion, may, if drawn to public attention reduce the chances of the occurrence of other deaths in the circumstances similar to those in which the death occurred. Look to Evidence based recommendations * Govt not legally compelled to follow recommendations.

5 Coronial Inquiries - Inquests Coronial Inquiries - Inquests Initially there were 7 cases targeted  3 in Northland  2 in Auckland  2 in Waikato  5 Hearings completed.  One of the Auckland cases went to a prosecution – Australian tourist. No need to continue inquiry.  One of the Waikato cases referred to the Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) as the issue is about care leading to death in the hospital after QB crash.

6 Recent inquests cont. Invitation to appear : 2 days of evidence 10 & 11 April final submissions due 31 May  It was important to get a cross section of experience and expertise from the industry; - academics / advocates for ROP’s - farmers & rural sector experts - motor industry reps / MoBIE - trainers & educators et al

7 5 inquests - Quad Bike deaths My role was to focus; - on what can we learn? - Developing a better understanding of the issues. NZ coroners continue to open inquiries; - within their own regions -make their own comments and recommendations.

8 Recommendations & Comments ?

9 1. The term “ATV"  The term “ATV” is misleading, Stop using it.  Qb’s are not all terrain – they have well documented limitations.  NZ distributors have used the term for many years as a means of marketing.

10 2. MOBIE endorsement of programmes Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MOBIE) Key Message: 1) Qb riders must be trained and have the requisite experience when performing their duties and functions. 2) Choosing the right vehicle for the right job – it may not be a Qb ! 3) Always wear a helmet 4) Prevent children from riding adult Qb’s.

11 3. Wear a helmet  This has been a united voice from across the agricultural sector.  Impression most distributors will provide their clients with a complimentary helmet.  NZ Standards approved helmet.

12 4. Training & Education Remains a key recommendation in the immediate and long term future. Continuation of funding for tertiary training programmes – more accessible. Skills based on all aspects of the Qb ; ◦ Hazard identification and why ? ◦ Maintenance standards, tyres and why? ◦ Riding skills – active riding why? ◦ The use of attachments on Qb’s why? ◦ Personal accountability when using why ? ◦ Qb Farm Licence

13 5. Development and retention of expertise NZ has plenty of grass roots /experienced individuals. We lack genuine technical expertise. Need to build up and retain expertise and knowledge base in NZ for Qb; tractors and other farm machinery. Both in knowledge and personnel Loss of individuals to other sectors – failure to retain

14 6. ROP’s Remains the most debated issue. The” Mexican Stand- Off” between the rhetoric science of the manufacturers and the credible challengers. Estimated about 15% of Qb’s in NZ have a ROP of some sort. Options from commercially recognised products to the home made weird and wonderful. Australia leading the challenge and leading the example with ROP use. We await results in the next few years.

15 ROP’s cont NZ also challenging the manufacturers science through ACC. NZ continue to look to the Australia and work on trans-Tasman basis going forward. I would endorse an independent unit dedicated to research and development from independent sources on Qb’s; tractors and other farm machinery. Looking at better information about after market products ; test results; dangers; risk -spray units – baffled or unbaffled - the use of trailers - ROPS and CPD’s

16 Overview 1.Pragmatic approach to safer QB’s use. 2.The issues remain complex and challenging– legally/politically/financially 3.Design issues remain the most debated/ROP’s and the manufacturers evidence now directly challenged. 4.The QB still has a dominant role in NZ farming. Won’t be replaced just yet. 5.NZ to strengthen the Trans- Tasman ties in building the knowledge & expertise base.


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