The Health and Safety Reform Bill, will classify worm farming and cat breeding as high risk, ahead of sheep, beef and dairy farming.

A list of industries classified as 'high risk' was released by Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse, and included the category "other livestock farming."

Alongside cats and worms, the category also covers the breeding of dogs, and the farming of rabbits, alpacas, crocodiles and snakes.

During Parliament's Question Time yesterday, Labour MP Sue Moroney asked Mr Woodhouse how worm farming was more dangerous than cattle farming, when more than one-third of New Zealand's workplace deaths in the past 5 years had happened in the agricultural sector.


"The member does trivialise the 11 deaths in the category of other livestock farming, of which worm farming is one. There were 11 people killed at work, and more than 1,000 serious injuries," Mr Woodhouse responded.

Ms Moroney also asked why the list deemed minigolf as being dangerous than "actual golf," why putting up curtains in a building was more dangerous than demolishing a building, and why driving a tourist bus was more dangerous than driving a school bus.

Labour leader Andrew Little called the legislation a national joke.

"It's overly complicated, ill thought out and rushed through to appease National Party backers, putting the lives of New Zealanders at risk."