Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Feds: Staff Shortages Are Undermining Safety, Mental Wellbeing

Skilled staff shortages are not only taking a toll on productivity but also farmer mental wellbeing, Federated Farmers Dairy Chair and rural health spokesperson Wayne Langford says.

"Farmers across New Zealand are having to push the limits to get silage/baleage cut, with many crops in the South Island being harvested when it’s wet.

"With variable weather conditions and a lack of skilled contracting staff, farmers are being pushed to make questionable decisions, such as pushing on with mowing because if they don’t they may not see the contractor again for weeks."

Langford said these sorts of decisions ultimately affect on-farm profitability, some of which is seen immediately and the rest later in the season when poorer quality feed is fed to animals.

"It’s really tough on farmers’ mental wellbeing seeing a crop they have grown sitting in the rain. Some farmers are working really long hours and pushing the boundaries of safety to get the job done.

"There are numerous photos on social media of work being carried out under poor conditions with the pressure on to get cultivation complete. Farmers feel particularly despondent about how they will achieve the new Freshwater regulations under the stricter re-sowing dates that will apply next season."

The government has taken some steps to alleviate staffing issues by allowing time-limited border exemptions for up to 210 agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. But the sector is still short of around 200 of these skilled staff, who can’t be trained overnight. It’s estimated there are more than 700 dairy jobs unfilled, and the shortage of vets and experienced shearers is a huge worry to livestock farmers.

"Of course with border restrictions we need strict quarantine arrangements to keep the pandemic at bay, but I really encourage Ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s new Cabinet to listen with an open mind to farmers and contractors on these issues," Langford said.

"For the sake not just of farms but the wider economy, we need the best people in these roles."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Financial Markets Authority: Online Investing Platforms Transform Attitudes To Investing

Eight out of 10 New Zealand investors have a more favourable view of investing and financial markets after using online investing platforms, according to research released today by the Financial Markets Authority - Te Mana Tātai Hokohoko... More>>



Barfoot and Thompson: Auckland Housing Prices Shrug Off Winter Concerns

Auckland house prices shrugged off the normal winter downturn, concerns about increasing prices and warnings of possible future interest rate rises in July.
“Mounting concerns about the prices being paid and possible future interest rate increases did nothing to dampen July trading... More>>



Stats NZ: Sharp Falls In Unemployment And Underutilisation

The seasonally adjusted unemployment and underutilisation rates fell to 4.0 and 10.5 percent, respectively, in the June 2021 quarter, Stats NZ said today. The unemployment rate continued to fall from its recent peak of 5.3 percent in the September 2020 quarter... More>>


ASB: Labour Shortage Sting Set To Cause Issues For Years According To Latest Quarterly Economic Forecast

There are positives and negatives in the latest ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast as New Zealand continues to bounce back strongly from COVID-19. The closed border is putting additional strain on the country’s labour market... More>>

Transport: July 2021 New Vehicle Registrations Boosted By EV Rebate Scheme
Motor Industry Association Chief Executive David Crawford says that July 2021 sales of new vehicles were boosted by the recently introduced rebate scheme. July 2021 registrations were 15,053 units compared to 12,263 units for July 2020... More>>



ASB: New Support Finder Tool Helps Connect Customers With Thousands In Government Support

ASB research alongside benefit numbers from the Ministry of Social Development shows an increased number of Kiwis are struggling financially, and many may not be aware they’re eligible for government support... More>>