Rural Protest leads To Opposition Bickering
Rural Protest leads To Opposition
Farmers up and down the country have been protesting against the Government's proposal to have a five-metre walking accessway along significant waterways. Today Federated Farmers launched its Visitor Access Protocol and handed over a petition protesting against the Government’s land access proposal. The protest was colourful but rather small.
ACT and National Party MPs spent more time engaging in verbal altercations with each other than any Government MP’s. ACT’s Rural Affairs spokesperson Gerry Eckhoff was particularly vocal in abusing the absent National Party MP Nick Smith, and Dr Smith's proposals for rural access. National Party associate spokesman for Agriculture, Shane Ardern attempted to ingratiate himself with the discontented rural masses by assuring them National was on their side. Most of the ACT Party MPs, some wearing orange fright wigs assured the protestors the National Party was very definitely not on their side.
A number of the discontented rural protestors were themselves a tad grumpy with the ACT Party. Some expressed to Scoop their indignation that the ACT Party had hijacked their protest. Maori Party Leader Tariana Turia who had last week attacked the Government’s land access proposals was not spotted by Scoop at the protest. Last week Federated Farmers confirmed Ms Turia had contacted them and was encouraging Iwi to attend the protest. No visible Maori Party presence was observed by Scoop during the protest however.
A small minority of the protestors were from outdoor recreational groups who seemed to think a third way was possible between the Governments proposals and the farmers desire to shut their gates and leave them tied up with orange ribbons.
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