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Sutton Unfit To Be Minister

Sutton Unfit To Be Minister

Rural Affairs Minister Jim Sutton is demonstrably unsuited to the role of Minister and should resign - his failure to advocate for rural industry, and to accept the enormous contribution that dairying makes to our economy defies belief, ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today.

"Mr Sutton's attack on the dairy industry - aided by hand wringing, self-centred groups - totally ignores the constant environmental improvement made by the industry over a long period of time," Mr Eckhoff said.

"Regional councils have all the authority they need to prosecute illegal discharge into streams or rivers, yet the Minister accuses the entire industry of whinging - despite huge effort and expense by dairy farmers throughout New Zealand.

"Just why a supposed Rural Affairs Minister doesn't understand the effect of drought on river flow and water quality, is quite beyond me. Mr Sutton should explain why he thinks it is acceptable for some of the urban district councils to discharge human effluent into rivers - and, for example, for Dunedin to discharge raw sewage into coastal waters.

"No one in the rural sector can recall the last time this Minister stood up on their behalf. Meanwhile, Mr Sutton looks the other way as rural schools close all over New Zealand," Mr Eckhoff said.

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