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Federated Farmers Will Work With New Government

28 November 1999

PR131/99

Federated Farmers Will Work With New Government For Farmers

Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) will work with the new centre-left government, when formed, to ensure that farmers and rural communities get the best possible outcome from yesterday's election.

Vice President Tom Lambie today announced that Federated Farmers would continue to work with whichever Government held power, in the best interests of farmers and rural communities.

"I congratulate the incoming Government and the next Prime Minister, Hon Helen Clark, on the election result. Federated Farmers looks forward to working closely with the new Government."

"The Labour Party's rural policy stated that "the land-based industries remain the cornerstone of our wealth" and Federated Farmers will be expecting the new Government to demonstrate that importance through their policy."

"Having survived two droughts and the Asian Crisis, agriculture is posed to deliver for the economy, but there can be no let up in cost containment. We still have to compete in an unfriendly and distorted marketplace."

"Federated Farmers also expects Labour to continue National's efforts to lower both domestic and international trade barriers and tariffs. We welcome the joint approach to the current WTO round in Seattle, with both Hon Lockwood Smith and Hon Jim Sutton travelling to the talks. Labour's rural policy states that Labour will be push for access to markets."

The federation has serious and on-going concerns with the Labour and Alliance plans to alter New Zealand's industrial relations law, and to reverse the ACC reforms. "These policies have delivered incredible gains to the land-based industries. I believe that altering those economic basics will retard the economy," said Mr Lambie.

Federated Farmers also welcomes the prospect of renewed microeconomic and regulatory reform in areas such as roading, electricity and telecommunications. Labour must recognise that there are not commercial incentives for monopoly providers to meet the particular needs of rural areas.

ENDS

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