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Rural people appreciate the progress made

Rural people appreciate the progress made in health and education

On the back straight of the rural tour, National MP John Carter said today rural people value the progress the Government has made in protecting rural services.

Speaking from the Rangitikei today Mr Carter said education and health are not the contentious issues they may have once been.

"Rural people realise that National has done a lot in the past decade to ensure provincial New Zealand has access to high quality and relevant healthcare and education," said Mr Carter.

He said in education, local schools are getting more funding per pupil than urban schools; the Government is providing transport assistance to over 100,000 people; and a huge effort has gone into clearing the deferred maintenance backlog from the 1980s.

"Also, people we spoke to are pleased the Government has placed significant emphasis on ensuring all schools are to be hooked up to the Internet," said Mr Carter.

Meanwhile speaking from Kaikoura, fellow MP and South Island rural tour leader Eric Roy agrees that education and health have not featured highly amongst the issues raised.

"Many have told us that the Government's Hospital Services Plan has given them considerable certainty about the future of their public hospital services."

"We first experienced such positive comments in the earlier part of the tour. In Murchison, in the West Coast Tasman electorate, local people told us that it was reassuring to know that their 11-bed local hospital will continue to service the area. Rural people can see that National is fully committed to their health needs," said Mr Roy.

Both the North and South Island rural tours wind up in Wellington tomorrow afternoon.

ENDS

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