Trading Among Farmers

Farmer Freddy finds out what is proposed with the planned Fonterra share trading scheme.

"Pebbles," said Farmer Freddy, as he sat back in his armchair in front of the fire, "I've been meaning to tell you. Bambam - the new sharemilker - called me to talk about his move onto the farm next week."

"How's he getting the stock here, Dad?" asked Pebbles. "By truck?"

"No, the place he's leaving is not too far from here so they'll be walking along the road," replied Freddy. "He was aware that it's good practice to stand the stock off pasture for at least four hours before the move, and things like that, but he was wondering if there were any legal issues he needed to be aware of?"

"Yes, there are some things he needs to be aware of Dad," replied Pebbles. "Most local authorities have stock control by-laws that set out what farmers can and can't do when they're moving stock."

"Where can Bambam find those by-laws?" asked Freddy.

"Most Councils will have their by-laws on their websites, but, you could also go into the Council and ask to see a copy of it," replied Pebbles. "Most of the bylaws have similar requirements. For example, you can't move stock at night, and you can't move stock on a public road if another route is available. You need to keep stock under control, to take care to avoid any damage to property along the road and to avoid creating any safety issues for other road users or residents along the route."

"That all sounds reasonable," says Freddy. "He won't need a permit or anything, will he?"

"He'll need to check the local by-law," replies Pebbles. "Some Councils don't require permits, but other Councils do require permits in certain circumstances. For example, he might, depending on how far he has to drove the stock. There might also be restrictions on moving stock through urban areas."

"Fair enough," says Freddy. "Are there any other legal issues we should be thinking about for Gypsy Day?"

"Well Dad," replies Pebbles, "obviously you'll need to check that the current sharemilkers have complied with the obligations in their sharemilking agreement. For example, you'll want to be satisfied that they have closed up pasture, stored enough feed and applied the amount of fertiliser that they were required to. You'll also want to check that the milking plant is in good order."

"At the same time," Pebbles continues, "you'll want to check that the sharemilkers' house is left in a reasonable condition as required by their tenancy agreement. If so, you can then apply to the Department of Building and Housing to get the bond released."

"Crikey," says Freddy. "I didn't realise there was so much to do. Oh well, plenty of things to do tomorrow then. By the way, have you met Bambam before? He's a nice fellow from good solid farming stock."

"Don't try and set me up with any sharemilkers again Dad!" retorts Pebbles. "Besides, Bambam sounds a bit too much like he come out of the stone age for my tastes ...."


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