“The Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor have once again declined to meet with Groundswell, turning their backs on a group who feels let down and betrayed by the Labour Government,” says ACT’s Primary Production spokesperson Mark Cameron.
“Groundswell represents a large group of New Zealanders who are doing it tough. Thousands of New Zealanders turned out to protest a raft of Government regulation in July.
“It’s astonishing the Government can see how alienated a group of people feel and yet not care enough to even meet with them.
“It’s been four months since the protest, the Prime Minister could find the time if she wanted to.
“The organisers of the Groundswell Protest have raised legitimate concerns about the issues facing rural New Zealand.
“Rural New Zealand has become a punching bag for the Government. They’ve taken blow after blow as a raft of new regulations shows just what this Government really thinks about the primary sector.
“Whether it’s freshwater and winter grazing, a ban on live exports, Significant Natural Areas, indigenous biodiversity or a tax on utes, Three Waters, rural New Zealand has taken a hammering.
“All 10 ACT MPs attended protests around New Zealand, and we will show our support for future protests.
“This is a Government that doesn’t listen. It has a ‘we know best’ attitude, shown last week with Three Waters and now with Groundswell. I will meet with Groundswell this Friday. I encourage the Prime Minister and Minister to take 15 minutes of time to do the same.”