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National's Unbelievable Incompetence

Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton is staggered by National's hypocrisy over the Napier-Gisborne rail line.

He says the Opposition's performance in the House on the issue illustrates how utterly lacklustre the National Party front bench can be.

"On two consecutive days the National Party has demanded that I buy the Napier-Gisborne rail line," Jim Anderton said.

"This is an unbelievable issue for the National Party to pursue.

"The National Party sold the railways so that the Government has very little leverage over what happens to it.

"In nine years, the National Party never went anywhere near a struggling region. It would have stood by motionless while the region continued to decline.

"In contrast, this Government is actively involved with the Tairawhiti-Gisborne region. We are involving local authorities, the private sector, the Ministry of Economic Development, Te Puni Kokiri, Transfund, Transit NZ and others. A report on an integrated transport strategy will be delivered by 1 April next year.

"It takes breathtaking gall for the National party to come into Parliament now and demand that the Government should pay any sum of money to buy the railway.

"I cannot understand how the National Party could expect the Government to do more. The National Party has vigorously campaigned against the Government doing anything at all.

"If ever there was an example of the incompetence of the tired, leaderless National party, its absurd posturing over the Napier-Gisborne railway is it," Jim Anderton said.

Ends

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