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Labour Neglects Land-Based Industry

Labour Neglects Land-Based Industry

ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today congratulated Massey University Professor Ian Warrington for challenging the Labour Government's leadership of New Zealand's farming industry.

"Dr Warrington's comments are especially courageous, given Prime Minister Helen Clark's penchant for whacking those who speak out against inadequate governance," Mr Eckhoff said.

"The land-based industry is the foundation of New Zealand's wealth creation, yet it is constantly ignored by the Labour Government. It is quite pitiful to watch the Government's `progress' in issues such as unemployment, yet totally ignore the contribution of rural New Zealand, which this and past Governments have described as a sunset industry.

"Labour is almost criminally negligent in its steadfast refusal to adequately fund the ultimate public good - bio-security. Jim Sutton is wholly responsible as the Minister of Rural Affairs and Bio security, yet is totally ineffectual as the advocate for land-based industry within Cabinet. Dr Warrington is absolutely correct to insist that the government has its priorities all wrong.

"Ms Clark should replace Mr Sutton as the Rural Affairs Minister, and allow him to concentrate full-time on trade. It appears nobody in Cabinet has the wit to understand just how crucial rural New Zealand is to the New Zealand economy, past, present and future," Mr Eckhoff said.

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