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No-show Ag Minister past use-by-date

David Carter National Agriculture Spokesman

3 May 2004

No-show Ag Minister past use-by-date

"The Agriculture Minister's no-show at the signing of an important bilateral agreement is proof Mr Sutton is past his use-by-date," says National's Agriculture spokesman David Carter.

He is commenting on Mr Sutton's failure to attend today's signing of the bi-lateral co-operation arrangement on agriculture and forestry with his Chilean counterpart, Jaime Campos.

"This arrangement is a positive step towards negotiating a trade agreement with Chile and Singapore. The agreement will provide better trade access for our exporters.

"After years of hard work to secure better trade access in South America, the no-show is an affront to Chile and an embarrassment to New Zealand.

"It is also an affront to the farmers that Mr Sutton is supposed to represent. "For the past four years Mr Sutton has done a poor job representing farmers.

"He has clearly lost interest in his job if he's not prepared to attend important international meetings such as this," says Mr Carter.


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