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Saving Rotorua lakes? Or saving Rotorua seat?

Hon Dr Nick Smith MP
National Party Environment Spokesman

26 March 2008

Saving Rotorua lakes? Or saving Rotorua seat?

Today’s belated announcement of $72 million to help save Rotorua’s lakes has more to do with Labour’s desperation to save the Rotorua seat, says National’s Environment spokesman Nick Smith.

“This funding is an admission of failure. For nine years the pleas of help from councils have fallen on Labour’s deaf ears.

“To suddenly commit $72 million just months out from the general election exposes this for the cynical electioneering it is.

“When I raised this issue nationally in 2003, Labour dismissed the perilous state of these lakes as a ‘local issue’.

“The only thing that has changed in that time is Labour MP Steve Chadwick’s majority, which has plummeted from 7,744 to just 662.

“National believes water quality is one of the most important and challenging environmental issues facing New Zealand. That is why we have been campaigning since 2003 to have these lakes cleaned up.

“Labour has failed to act until it has become politically expedient for them to do so.”


ENDS

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