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National relegates agriculture to a low priority

26 October 2005

Hon Jim Anderton MP, Progressive Leader

National party relegates agriculture, fishing, forestry and biosecurity to low priority rankings

The National Party list placings for spokespeople on Agriculture, Fishing, Forestry and Biosecurity are a sad reflection on the policy priorities of a political party that claims to represent 'Heartland New Zealand', according to Progressive Leader Jim Anderton.

"The key primary sector industries which earn between 63 and 65 per cent of New Zealand's merchandise export earnings have been given high priority by the Labour Progressive government, by placing them with the 3rd ranked Minister in Cabinet.

Jim Anderton, at number 3 in the Labour Progressive Cabinet, is Minister of Agriculture, Biosecurity, Fisheries and Forestry.

"It is staggering to see that the National Party, supposedly the party that champions the farming community, has spread these portfolios around between number 10 (Agriculture), number 23 (fisheries and biosecurity) and number 27 (forestry), in their shadow cabinet.

"Forestry is New Zealand's third largest export industry, and yet National have ranked it at number 27.

"I don't want to hear another word from them on these issues if this is the disdain they show for our exceptionally important primary sector and the biosecurity measures required to protect it," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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