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Nothing for Northland And Regions in ‘I See Red’ Budget

22 MAY 2015

Nothing for Northland And Regions in ‘I See Red’ Budget

The regions are off National’s radar in Budget 2015, and promises made to Northlanders by the Prime Minister have been broken, says the New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“If regional New Zealand wanted confirmation National has no plan for them, then the $50 million extra Whanau Ora received proves it in bucket loads,” says Mr Peters.

“Whanau Ora, panned by the Auditor-General as a waste of money, has got twice the money to that going into regional research institutes. It’s an amazing bribe using our money just to secure two Maori Party votes.

“Northland fully expects to get one of the new public-private Primary Research Centres which will receive $25 million over three years - but it’s hardly a big sum to be shared among several new institutes.

“The Prime Minister came back to Northland after his crushing by-election defeat and told voters he was ‘going to actively work to regain your trust and confidence’.

“The Budget does nothing for that. National’s pre-election promises to Northlanders were missing. The Puhoi to Wellsford highway. Ten two-lane bridges. Ultra-fast broadband rollout. Taxpayer paid cellphone coverage. Nothing. Money to upgrade the Auckland to Whangarei railway. Nothing. An investment in the most obvious Port in Whangarei – Northport. Nothing.

“And any so-called boost for Northland health is farcical, when the DHB is owed more than a million dollars for treating foreigners.

“After five years of a frozen police budget there appears to be little this year for police, and it’s obvious they are still cost cutting. Kohukohu station is closing ‘pending recruitment’ and upgrading of the police house. What a way to treat the Northern Hokianga. Given the squeeze on staffing at police stations as far south as Bluff, the North Hokianga is not exactly holding its breath for that position to be filled.

“Our farmers, struggling under some of the highest interest rates in the world being caused by this government’s reckless debt-fuelled spending, will be gutted to see not one mention of Reserve Bank reform in the budgets.

“We never thought we would see the day when a National government would borrow to perpetuate a beneficiary culture instead of backing small business, hardworking people and farmers to create real jobs. It is no wonder we see red,” says Mr Peters.

ENDS

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