The Dominion Post
Help farmers, don’t punish them
Duncan Garner, while admitting to a lack of first-hand experience, blamed farmer arrogance and complacency for the quad bike toll and concluded it was time to forcefeed some sense into our rural brothers (January 31).
As one with experience of the four options for on-farm hill country transport (foot, horse, 2 and 4 wheelers) his conclusion is simplistic, reactionary, shallow, unhelpful and wrong.
Essential physical activities are all more dangerous than the stuff most of us do. Thinking authoritative ranting demanding big-stick penalties and ridiculous rules will fix it is self-delusion.
Negative attitude changes are already prevalent where it matters from this Putin-like vindictive approach as capable people see themselves demonised. These people use effective but dangerous tools because they have to make a living. Ignorantly applying harsh penalties is not the answer.
I seem to remember when the chips were really down with the Christchurch earthquakes, the free help given by farmers was found very effective and much appreciated by the recipients.
Informative help, not bullying scorn, is the proper course to take here. ALISTER WHITE