National is being humiliated over its “health” and “safety” bill. Is worm farming dangerous or not? Judith Collins thinks it might be: “I’ve been assured it’s not because of worms turning dangerously; it’s actually because of heavy moving equipment and things”. John Key goes through the motions in this video (“John Key explains why Worm farms are considered more dangerous than beef farms”) – but his heart isn’t really in it. Four days ago Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse said “I think we’ve landed this at the right place”.
But yesterday Woodhouse seems to have changed his mind:
Worm farming will be taken out of ‘high risk’ category in health and safety bill
Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse accepts worm farms being high-risk is a “bit silly”.
Someone should ask Key and Collins how they feel about the news that the policy they were defending was a “bit silly”. (Seriously, please – someone should ask them).
Why are the Nats all over the place on health and safety? Why was the legislation delayed? Why the internal divisions and infighting? Andrew Little thinks he knows:
Little blames the “watered-down” bill on National MPs and Ministers being “terrified of the farming lobby”. He said farmers have reverted to a “classic culture” of thinking they shouldn’t be bound by the same rules as the rest of society.
“I totally reject that and in the absence of leadership from politicians on the government side, we actually need the farming community, responsible farmers, to step up and say we can do better, we’ll take responsibility… and we will do what is right to improve New Zealand’s health and safety record.” “That responsibility sits as much with the farming community as it does with politicians,” he said.
National is terrified of the farming lobby? That would do it. Maybe farmers reminded a few sitting MPs what just happened in Northland, and the prospect of surrendering a few rural seats to NZ first was enough to bring the National Party to heel. Something sure has to explain the fact that they ended up fronting this crock.