Hamish McKay shares farm tragedy that 'haunted' him as a kid

Rural Exchange 25/01/2019

Rural Exchange host Hamish McKay has spoken out about the high number of farm deaths in New Zealand, sharing a haunting story from his childhood.

Recent figures show more people continue to die in workplace accidents in the agriculture sector than in any other.

Sixteen workers died last year, including five in December.

Appearing on The AM Show on Friday, McKay told Duncan Garner the number is too high, and shared how a farm tragedy had affected him.

"As a kid, I was haunted by the story of a local farmer in the area where I grew up, who had a long dry-as-a-bone jacket on. It flipped over the back of the tractor seat and got caught in the power take- off unit, and he got wrapped into it," he said.

"He had no chance."

"That has stayed with me and those sort of stories need to be told."

He said it was up to individuals to take responsibility.

"At the end of the day you can have all the education in the world, but it comes down to judgment," said Mr McKay,

"The flow on effects of five deaths in one month in the farming community is huge."