Rural contractors can learn about changes to employment law, transport legislation and agricultural chemical application rules at the Rural Contractors New Zealand's (RCNZ) roadshows this month.

One of the four roadshows will be held at the Croydon Hotel, Gore, on May 23 from 2pm to 8pm.

The event will include an agrichemical presentation which attracts professional development points for renewal of registered chemical applicator accreditation, and the zone annual meeting.

RCNZ's chief executive Roger Parton said 12 people had registered for the Gore roadshow but he was keen to see more attend.


He said the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) had called for submissions on a range of drivers' licence changes, which could result in a return to the work time and logbook rule for contractors and farmers driving less than 25-tonne agricultural vehicles combinations over 40kmh on the roads.

Proposed changes also include reducing the number of vision tests required during a person's driving career, and simplifying the progression through the various heavy vehicle licence classes.

Parton said the proposed changes meant drivers would require a class 2 licence for driving agricultural vehicles over 40kmh and that required compliance with the work time and logbook rule, which was of concern for contractors who needed to harvest crops ahead of impending rain or who faced other time and work pressures at that time of year.

''That will be a nightmare for contractors during the busy season,'' Parton said.

''All agricultural vehicles were put under class 1 in 2013 to overcome that issue.''

He said the association intended to make submissions on the proposed changes.

Submissions close on May 3.

Nufarm and Croplands are hosting the ''agrichemical afternoon'', which includes a presentation on new spraying technology, and changes to certification.


''There are significant changes with the certification requirements dependent on the class of chemical being handled.

''If they are handling class 6.1A and 6.1B chemicals they will need a certified handler certificate.''

To handle a class 9 chemical, they must either hold registered chemical applicator accreditation or several unit standards related to the activity they perform.

He said the handling of all other agrichemicals fell within Health and Safety at Work Act, which required a worker to be properly trained in any materials they were to use.

Approved handler certificates expire either on their expiry date or at the end of 2019, whichever comes first.

''That means those using the agrichemicals need to find out what agrichemicals they use and ensure they have the appropriate certification by the end of 2019.''

The roadshows will also cover new employment legislation changes, including domestic violence leave, new minimum wages and break requirements and any other changes.

The association's legal advisers are updating and upgrading all employment agreement templates and associated documents, which will be available for downloading shortly.