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Farmers Applaud NZ Herald Campaign

13 November 2007

Farmers Applaud NZ Herald Campaign

Federated Farmers congratulates the New Zealand Herald for its important contribution to public debate on the Electoral Financing Bill.

“The Herald’s ‘Democracy Under Attack’ campaign is journalism at its best. The editor and his team deserve applause for recognising the importance of this issue and giving it solid analysis and opinion over many pages,” said Don Nicolson, vice president of Federated Farmers.

“Farmers are hoping that the government will wake up and listen to New Zealand’s largest daily newspaper and many other media covering the public outcry over the Bill, and the scores of letters and opinions decrying the legislation in its current form.

“The Bill goes way too far and contradicts one of its key stated purposes: to promote participation in parliamentary democracy.

“It is seriously flawed and requires significant amendments to avoid curbing the ability of non-governmental organisations like ours from engaging in policy debates – including taking action on behalf of our members. This is surely not the intention of the Bill’s drafters and we urged MPs to address these concerns.

“Policy and advocacy is a crucial aspect of Federated Farmers’ work on behalf of its members. It would be a tragedy for democracy if we were prevented from doing so because of bad law,” he said.

“So all power to the NZ Herald’s campaign to maintain freedom of speech and rail against the favouring of the incumbent government through the public purse,” Mr Nicolson said.

ENDS

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