22 Feb 2024

Pāmu replaces quad bikes on all its farms after deaths

1:22 pm on 22 February 2024
What Pamu has replaced its quads with.

Photo: Supplied

State-owned farming company Pāmu has replaced quad bikes on all its farms across the country.

Also known as Landcorp, the company launched a health and safety programme in 2017 after three staff deaths in six months.

Chief executive Mark Leslie said due to the number of quad bike-related deaths on farms generally, Pāmu made the call to remove 440 quad bikes off its 110 farms.

Pāmu studied best ways to keep people safe on different types of land and explored alternatives to quad bikes.

For dairy farms, it has plumped for two-wheeled bikes and four wheel off-roaders. In hill country areas, it has gone for side-by-side off-roaders.

The use of quad bikes on farms has been under a spotlight in New Zealand due to the number of deaths and injuries.

WorkSafe found most fatalities on farms are vehicle related.

In the 19 months to July 2023, there were 11 deaths on farms involving four-wheel motor bikes.

Two years ago, Safer Farms commissioned an industry-wide look at how to keep farmers safe, known as Farm Without Harm. One of its four areas of focus was around the safety of using farm vehicles.

Leslie said the Pāmu programme had not been cheap but improving safety on farms was a priority.

"Our estimate is that it probably cost a million dollars extra year in capital expenditure. And up to $700,000 a year in operational expenses," Leslie said.

"It's not a cost to be forgotten, but, equally, you can't put a cost on people's lives.

"We believe it is the right decision."

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