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National Party In Disarray Over Irrigation Policy

24 July 2002

National Party In Disarray Over Irrigation Policy

The National Party is in disarray over irrigation policy, Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton said today.

He said that Otago National candidate Gavan Herlihy was in a panic at losing his seat to outstanding Labour Party candidate David Parker.

"So he's promised that $500 million will be made available for irrigation, and that the money will come from the privatisation of LandCorp. That is totally inappropriate. Any public money should only be spent on fully researched and cost-effective schemes.

"But Aoraki National candidate Wayne Marriott told a meet the candidates meeting in Fairlie that he was totally opposed to the "willy-nilly" spending on publicly-funded irrigation developments.

"Mr Marriott can't have cleared his comments with Mr Herlihy, and Mr Herlihy can't have checked out his with Don Brash."

Mr Sutton said he always preferred to under-promise and over-deliver, rather than the other way around.

"The last National Party candidate that promised spending on irrigation that he couldn't deliver on was Maurice McTigue ? and he was summarily dealt to by rural voters."


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