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Canterbury Gets Raw Deal Over Govt Business Forum

"In a remarkable display of short-sightedness the Government has snubbed the Canterbury Chamber of Commerce over its high profile business forum next week," Christchurch based National MP Pansy Wong said today.

"The guest list for the Government function, being held in Auckland next Tuesday, includes the Auckland Chamber of Commerce and the Wellington Chamber of Commerce. But the Chambers of Commerce in both Canterbury and Otago have been over-looked.

"That's a slap in the face for the South Island, coming from a Labour Government which has already made it clear that the North Island is their primary concern.

"Earlier this year Labour Party president Bob Harvey said 'We don't necessarily like anything about the South Island. We don't care much about it, we don't like South Island people and we don't like South Island jokes.'

"And Helen Clark has labelled South Island West Coasters as 'feral' and 'inbred', and frequently argues that elections are won or lost in Auckland.

"It is getting to the stage where Mainlanders feel as if we are being treated like second-class citizens by this Government.

"This Government has spent a lot of time talking about regional development. But they have made it clear with this business forum that they do not want to hear what the representatives of Canterbury businesses have to say about the future of the relationship between Government and business.

"That is a deeply regrettable state of affairs," Pansy Wong said.

Ends

A printable formatted copy of this press release will be available on http://www.national.org.nz along with an archive of previous releases.


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