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The National Party Is Bereft Of Ideas

The National Party is devoid of any original ideas, Rural Affairs Minister Jim Sutton said today.

"In fact, so bereft of ideas are they that they are desperate for farmers to write a rural affairs policy for them."

Mr Sutton said it was not surprising that National was out-sourcing its policy formulation. Its rural affairs spokesman Shane Ardern was so far down National's rankings that anything he had to say probably couldn't be heard by leader Jenny Shipley.

"I don't think she can even see him when he's sitting in his seat, way up the back of the House."

National was having to go around the country calling 24 meetings to work out a rural policy, after having failed rural people, Mr Sutton said.

In contrast, Labour recognised the importance of the rural sector - Mr Sutton is ranked number 8 in the Government ? and Labour had delivered on its promises to rural people, he said.

"From initiatives such as the Sustainable Farming Fund and the Heartland Services Initiative, to initiating reviews of apple export rules, wine industry legislation, and rural school bus transport, Labour has come through for rural people," Mr Sutton said.

"With Jenny Shipley's move from Ashburton to central Auckland, ranking agriculture responsbiilities at the all-time low of 20, and being bereft of any ideas to help rural people, National is sending a shocking message to rural communities."


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