Does it matter who owns our farms and factories?

April 21, 2009

Should we be concerned about the possibilty of Chinese investment (and therefore a measure of Chinese control) in NZ dairy farms and factories?

This question came from Farmer Baby Boomer , in response to yesterday’s post on Fonterra’s investment in China.

I answered a month ago in  it doesn’t matter who owns what when I said . . . who owns what isn’t important, it’s what they’re permitted to do with it that matters.

What they’re permitted to do depends on our culture and our laws. Overseas investors might need education about the former and definitely need respect for and to adhere to the latter.

As long as our laws protect workers, customers, creditors, contractors, the environment and anyone or anything else connected with the enterprises foreigners invest in we have nothing to worry about. If the laws don’t work for overseas owned businesses they won’t work for New Zealand owned ones either in which case it’s the law which is at fault not the owners and investors.

If it’s acceptable for New Zealanders and New Zealand companies to invest in other countries then we have to accept investment from foreign nationals and companies.

Surviving tractor accidents

November 28, 2008

Pique Oil left a comment on an earlier post about seatbelts in tractors saying:

I work in the OSH industry and one of the most frustrating things is seeing a seatbelt done up to activate the sensor, but operators sit on top of it.
Here is a youtube link that shows a forklift fatality. Not gory at all but a seatbelt would have stopped him being thrown out the back and crushed to death.
seatbelts save lives. Anyone who thinks that they are a nuisance or inconvenient or Fred would have died if he had worn his etc. etc. should ask themselves whether their widow would have preferred they wore a seatbelt.

I agree, my earlier post wasn’t arguing seatbelts shouldn’t be worn, it was to say it’s difficult to convince people to use them (and other safety equipment).

The photo below is a tractor after it rolled five times and finished on its wheels, facing the opposite direction from which it had started.

It had a seatbelt but the driver wasn’t wearing it. At one stage he remembers his legs going outside the cab and thought “this is how people die”. We think he then hauled himself back in by the steering wheel.

He ended up with a bad gash in the head (possibly done by fire extinguisher which hadn’t been secured) and fractured five pedicles on his spine. He’s made a full recovery but could very easily have died.



Farmer Baby Boomer also left a comment on the earlier post:

Was listening to newstalkzb’s Danny Watson discussing this yesterday. A guy rang up and talked about ’springbelt’ – a belt for tractors which is in the way unless you do it up. He claimed it is positioned so that it is quick and easy to do up.
It is on the web at
May be interesting to get on a trial see if it is convenient or just adds frustration to the ” in and out of the cab ” type jobs you mentioned.

If it works that could be the answer because no matter how often people are warned of the dangers, it’s too easy when you’re busy and not aware of any dangers, to ignore simple precautions.

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