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Access Reforms A Dogs' Breakfast

19 June 2005
PR 095/05
Access Reforms A Dogs' Breakfast

Property owners in the Mackenzie country will be making clear their opinion on the proposed access legislation when a Federated Farmers-sponsored petition makes its way through South Canterbury on Monday, June 20.

“The access reforms are ill-considered and unnecessary," said South Canterbury Federated Farmers' Vice-President, David Williams.

“The government has yet to produce evidence that the public has difficulties accessing waterways. Neither has it justified jeopardising the safety and security of rural homes and businesses by removing farmers' right to manage who comes on to their land.

“For months the government has been intimating certain measures will be included in the legislation and then refusing to debate them on the grounds that legislation has not yet been drafted. And after months of saying the legislation would be tabled before the election, a government minister said last week that he was unsure if that was now the case. The whole thing’s a dog's breakfast,” concluded Mr Williams.

To show what Mackenzie farmers think of the process so far, they will be feeding their dogs breakfast from 'government legislation' boxes when the petition reaches Ruataniwha, near Twizel, at around 8.30am on Monday.

The Federated Farmers' petition has attracted some 28,000 signatures throughout the country -- including 2,500 collected at Mystery Creek last week. More signatures are being collected as four 'road trains' carry the petition to Wellington, where it will be presented on the steps of Parliament. Prime Minister Helen Clark has been invited to accept the petition at 1pm, Thursday, June 23.

After the 'dogs’ breakfast' at Ruataniwha, petition forms will continue their journey through Tekapo (9.45 am) to a civic reception in Fairlie (11 am), then to Geraldine where they will be transferred to the care of Mid Canterbury Federated Farmers at the Arundel Bridge (12.45pm) to continue the journey north.

Media are welcome to attend the 'dogs' breakfast' and other Action Orange events taking place while the petition is moving through New Zealand.

For a list of petition routes and contact names go to www.fedfarm.org.nz/Access2.html


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