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Clark rides roughshod over rural concerns

Clark rides roughshod over rural concerns

Helen Clark’s blind rush to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol is proof of the Government’s callous disregard for rural New Zealand, says National’s Agriculture spokesman, David Carter.

“Once her signature goes on that document today, it’s our farmers who will pay.”

Mr Carter says he’s not surprised that Federated Farmers and Business New Zealand have both decided to stage a no-show at the signing ceremony.

“Ratification is going to compromise the competitiveness of New Zealand agriculture. Our international exporters stand to lose market share to Australian exporters, our biggest competitors for beef, lamb, wool and dairy on world markets.

“Farming has bolstered the New Zealand economy for the last three years. Agriculture’s performance has managed to mask the Government’s poor economic management, but is Helen Clark giving anything in return? Hardly.

“Instead, she’s jeopardising our largest foreign exchange earner by jumping into ratify Kyoto. It’s obvious farmers’ costs will increase – a sector that’s been hammered by a nearly 20 percent jump in farm input prices in the last three years.

“Our farmers can’t afford this. I challenge Helen Clark to remember that as she celebrates the signing of the Kyoto Protocol today,” says David Carter. Ends

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