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Fed. Farmers say Laila Harre missing the point

7 February 2001 PR 10/01


Federated Farmers Say Laila Harre Missing the Point

Federated Farmers' Vice President Tom Lambie considers that the Prime Minister and Minister of Labour through their tacit approval of Associate Labour Minister Laila Harre's visiting the picketing waterfront workers in Nelson, are missing the point in their support of the waterfront picketers.

"Regional development and rural communities are dependent upon innovation and increased efficiency - not protecting the jobs of a limited few," said Mr Lambie.

"Timber, horticulture and agriculture are the lifeblood of the Nelson economy. In order for New Zealand exporters to be internationally competitive we need constant innovation in how we do business," said Mr Lambie

"Innovation and meeting market demands has led to farmers, increasing their use of specialised contractors, many of whom are based in the Nelson region. Contractors from anywhere in New Zealand are utilised, provided they are competitive and have the expertise to do the job."

The last fifteen years have seen farmers embrace that approach and develop an attitude that sees regional communities now capturing the benefits. A key element in that success has been continuous improvement on the waterfront.

"Federated Farmers is dismayed that process could be halted and even reversed by the union action being taken at present."

"The government should be more intent in finding a resolution to the government employed veterinarians strike where 120 people are putting the jobs of thousands of regional workers and the livelihood of rural communities at risk, let alone a $1.4 billion dollar market

"How real is Ms Harre's concern for jobs in the regions?" asked Mr Lambie.

ENDS

For further information: Tom Lambie 026-113-161 Tony St. Clair 025-837-712


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