The Stock Crossings Working Group was established to develop best practice guidelines for stock movements across and along roads. In doing so, it reviewed all the existing issues, policies and practices, and assessed the merits and disadvantages of each. The result was a discussion document in 2001, followed by draft Guidelines for Stock Crossing issued in 2004. These Guidelines were reviewed and revised Guidelines were released in April 2010. A further review led to the third version of the Guidelines being released in 2014. Download Guidelines.
In December 2005, Waikato District Council presented a policy to have no stock crossings at-grade by 2015. The Council decided to issue no new permits for at-grade crossing, and to subsidise 25% of the costs of underpasses replacing existing crossings. The decision followed an extensive consultation process, and fed directly back into the subsequent development of the national Guidelines for Stock Crossings.
As the guidelines evolved, there was increasing acceptance of the use of stock underpasses as opposed to at-grade crossings. Waikato District Council has been one council firmly committed to the use of stock underpasses for the benefit of farmers and their stock, as well as to achieve savings on road maintenance and increased safety for road users.
Membership of the group comprised representatives of local authorities, the New Zealand Transport Agency and Federated Farmers. The convenor was George Ridley of Matamata-Piako District Council from the group's inception until late 2007, when Murray Hasler of Gore District Council assumed the role. With the successful ratification of the Stock Crossings Guidelines in the national Register of Network Standards and Guidelines in July 2010, this working group completed its task.
The RCA Forum is grateful to George and Murray, and to the many others involved in this working group, including: Stephen Griffin (Buller), Bill Greenwood (NZTA), Kevin Thompson (Rotorua), Gavin Forrest (Federated Farmers), William McGimpsey (Federated Farmers), Nicola Ekdahl (Federated Farmers), Ian Cox (NZTA), Fiona Knight (administrator of the working group for a decade) and Wayne Newman (administrator, Cresmere Consulting) for completing this work.