20 Tuesday September 20 2016 Your Local Views Health and safety rules endanger businesses Hororata-based Selwyn Sawmills is closing due partly to the costs of meeting new health and safety requirements. Co-owner AJ Halliday writes about the need to find a sensible balance on health and safety matters Having watched the politicisation of Health and Safety for the last several years, it comes as little shock to most of the ‘doers’ (primary producers and manufacturers) to see established family businesses being forced to close their doors due to restrictive and expensive edicts from Worksafe NZ. In my experience, there is a huge disparity between what the legislators (ie career bureaucrats in Wellington who have never picked up a chainsaw or driven a forklift) consider ‘safe’ and ‘actual’ risk. To judge actual risk, you need to be reasonably knowledgeable in the operation of a process and the machine involved. Is the ‘safest’ option for a fencer not to use a post driver because he can’t guard it to the level demanded by Worksafe? How does this affect his productivity and efficiency if he has to dig the holes by hand? Is he not at further risk of back injury by digging these holes? And what about the cost to the economy of this labour intensive process – fencing prices would treble! (And seriously, how would you guard a post driver anyway?) One inspector from Worksafe commented to me that ‘administrative controls’ (procedures and techniques to minimise risk) are not acceptable anymore. For hundreds of agricultural and manufacturing processes, administrative controls are the only tools available to the business owner. Ear muffs are considered an administrative control to reduce noise in processes where machinery simply can’t be reengineered to create less noise. So to follow this argument to its logical conclusion, should every work venture that involves chainsaws be banned despite being one of the most effective tools ever invented? In my eyes, primary producers are the backbone of the New Zealand economy and despite Government assurance that it is trying to stimulate growth in the regional economy, it appears there is very little incentive to continue employing people, paying taxes and rising compliance costs, and generally contributing to nationwide fiscal health through rates, insurance and banking. I have a strong personal belief in Health and Safety, but with the punitive approach exhibited by Worksafe, how do you fight to save a marginal business, and equally, why would you bother? Lincoln car parks debate Lynn Townsend (right) responds to Spokes Canterbury chairman Don Babe’s view on the removal of car parking on the main street of Lincoln in last week’s edition It seems a shame that Don Babe feels as bad as he does about visiting Lincoln township. All because there are too many cars and not enough people??!! If you want to get to know people you need to make the effort to fraternise and socialise with them. They won’t come to you!! When I go to Lincoln I don’t go to watch cars go by or park either. I go, because I want to conduct some business in one of the shops, perhaps have a convivial ale in the local hostilery , post a letter, and more often than not say gidday to a friend who I might not have seen for a while. SELWYN TIMES But there is one thing that frustrates me more than anything else, when I visit my beloved Lincoln town, and that is when I cannot get a car park within the close proximity of where I want to go. This situation is getting progressively worse. How will it be when we have two cycleways on Gerald St at the expense of 75 car parks. I won’t be able to meet my friends will I – because I am damn sure I won’t be biking there. I don’t know about car parking in New York but I do know something about it in Lincoln. I think the best example of what car parks can do for a business is the Lincoln Supermarket. How that business has grown since it was surrounded in car parks. Always lots of cars there. Not many bikes. •To read Babe’s column last week go to www.starmedia. kiwi 20 -50 % OFF ALL BEDROOM FURNITURE FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY! Asten Bedroom Collection The Asten collection brings warmth & character into your bedroom with rich tones of American Ash. 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SELWYN TIMES Tuesday September 20 2016 21 Reader viewpoints Courtenay resident Ronder McKinlay writes on the Prebbleton Tavern winning it’s appeal against the Selwyn District Licensing Committee’s decision to prevent it advertising We said: A Rolleston doctor has said free visits for under 13-year-olds is leading to appointments being taken by children who don’t need to see a doctor. Dr Philip Schroeder suggested this is taking appointments from those in greater need when he spoke to The Selwyn Times about the issue. You said: Shannon Burrows: And it’s freeing up the acute services. It’s meaning people are seeking help if they are unsure... instead of only if they can afford to which to me means everything. It means that one very poorly child that needs attention will hopefully get the help they need where as before they missed out... Sometimes with dire consequences Debbie Q Simmons: Didn’t take long for this to come up. It’s all about the money the health CARE doesn’t exist and hasn’t for many years now. I think the doctors should stop complaining and do the job they signed up for alcohol prices outside: It is my view that the decision to allow the Prebbleton Tavern (or any other tavern) signs advertising alcohol is the correct one. What a waste of taxpayers and, I suspect, ratepayers money. Health Care not care about your bank account. Amy Curtis: End of the day any patient that comes in ‘needs’ the appointment. Weather the doctor thinks more children are coming in because it’s free or not. I take my children to the doctors when I’m not sure if they are ok.....That’s what doctors are there for. Weather it’s free or not I’m booking that appointment. They might get checked and be ok but how am I meant to know? I’m not, because I’m not the doctor. Better to be safe than sorry. That’s what doctors are there for after all. Complain they will but it won’t change a thing. Power of education Amy Adams Selwyn MP A GOOD education can give any child from any background the opportunity to get ahead and make the most of their life. The Government understands the value of education in influencing the long-term outcomes for our children, which is why we have increased the education budget by 35 per cent during our time in Government. Research shows the early years are particularly important, which is why we have more than doubled spending on early childhood education. We have also increased spending on special education learning support by 30 per cent. On top of the $1.35 billion schools receive now in operational grant funding, we are investing $43 million over four years to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds. This funding will be allocated to state and state-integrated schools to support around 133,000 students across New Zealand who have lived in benefit-dependent households for 75 per cent of either the first five years of their life, or for the last five years. We are targeting financial support to these students because we know they’re at risk of educational under-achievement. Here in Canterbury there are 11,649 students who fit into this category. The Government is allocating a total of $1,081,493 in extra funding, which will be divided amongst the 269 schools these students attend. Lower decile schools will in general benefit more from the targeted increase. This is to be expected because these schools have more of their students in the target group. This initiative demonstrates the Government’s willingness to think outside the square and do things differently to try and improve the outcomes for those kids who face the most challenges. Another new approach that is aimed at raising student achievement is the Government’s $359 million ‘Investing in Educational Success’ initiative. Under this initiative, more than 1260 schools and 18 early childhood education providers across the country have now formed communities of learning to work together to overcome challenges they have identified for their students. In the Selwyn electorate, 23 of the 38 schools are members of communities of learning. What this means is students are benefiting from shared teaching practices, resources, and expertise. Teachers from neighbouring schools are now working alongside each other on goals to help improve educational outcomes in the classroom. Getting the right resources to the right kids is an essential part of making the school system more responsive to the needs of those who may otherwise struggle to succeed. 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