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Anderton needs to walk the talk over drought plan

David Carter MP National Party Agriculture Spokesman

7 February 2008

Anderton needs to walk the talk over drought plan

Jim Anderton's decision to convene a national drought meeting is the first step down a much longer road, says National's Agriculture spokesman, David Carter.

"Mr Anderton now needs to ensure he walks the talk and provides some practical solutions immediately.

"Farmers throughout the country have been making it clear to me that urgent action is needed to address drought-related problems, so it's pleasing that Mr Anderton appears to be listening.

"Many farmers are facing desperate times, with some believing the drought affecting large areas of the country is the worst they have seen in their farming careers.

"I can only hope he listens to the advice given and implements some sound initiatives to address the problem.

"I can assure Mr Anderton that one of the biggest issues that will be raised is the brick wall farmers come up against when they try to address the problem of water storage.

"The miles of red tape they encounter make it almost impossible to get consent for such projects. This is a real hindrance for farmers who should not be facing such difficulties when it comes to addressing their irrigation needs.

"The Resource Management Act badly needs to be reformed and streamlined to allow easier processing of such consents and to ensure farmers are better equipped to deal with future droughts.

"If the Government is serious about providing relief to dry farms it will need to move fast to implement such measures.

"Jim Anderton needs to make sure this won't be another one of his infamous talk-fests."


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