I have been hosting a series of meetings in the electorate over the past few months called The Kuriger Conversations. These are an open forum for local people to come along and discuss issues of the day and to share thoughts and views. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet many people so far and to listen to the interesting topics raised. I have recently hosted meetings in Pirongia and Te Kuiti and look forward to the next one which is being held at the Burchell Pavillion, Te Awamutu on Monday 24th August from 9am-10.30am so do come along for a cup of tea or coffee and a good chat.
I recently attended a Farmers meeting in Raglan where the concerns with the Health and Safety Reform Bill were discussed. Farmers in particular wanted clarification to understand what the new law will mean for them working the land. More understanding was wanted on recreational usage on the land and the Farmhouse. The change to clarify that the farm land is only workplace when work is actually being undertaken provides a common sense approach to managing risk and assurance to farmers when recreational users such as trampers, mountain bikers, hunters and four wheel drive clubs want to enter farm land. If no work is being done in a particular part of the farm, those tracks and recreational areas are not subject to this Bill. In this situation, farmers need not fear that they have an obligation under Health and Safety legislation to those recreational users. The government will be making a further amendment to the Bill through a Supplementary Order Paper which will confirm that the family farmhouse is not part of the workplace.
The government has also listened to the concerns about whether the Bill would negatively affect volunteers, and so the coverage of volunteers will remain as it is under the current law. This will ensure volunteering will not be affected. Volunteers make a significant contribution to our communities and it is important that certainty is provided to our volunteer groups.
I had a fantastic morning in Kawhia and would like to thank and acknowledge Alan and Glenda Nicholson, Ross Dockery and Nick Tuwhangi for an incredibly informative session about Oyster and Mussel farming. I learnt so much and valued the time spent with them. These industries are an integral part of our coastal area for generations to come.
I spent a great afternoon with the Grey Power, Waitomo Branch as a guest at their recent meeting. I was delighted to meet many of the members and answer their questions and enjoyed the mix and mingle afterwards. Thank you for hosting me.