National Leader Simon Bridges has today launched the ‘Have Your Say’ listening campaign for Rural New Zealand as the next step in National’s 2020 election policy development process.

“We know farmers and growers contribute $42 billion a year in exports that sees 350,000 people employed in the sector, and New Zealand’s success depends on it. This success is underpinned by sustainable business practices that continue to enhance the environment for our children.

“We want to make sure rural communities can access top-quality public services and infrastructure like broadband, rural policing, education and health services.

“Having the right policies in place to help rural communities thrive is vitally important. Therefore we are keen to hear from the grassroots on issues that may evolve into policies to turbocharge rural and provincial New Zealand.

“We’re making sure we do the work in Opposition so we’ll have the plans and policies in place should we earn the right to govern again in 2020. The current Government didn’t do its homework and it shows with over 180 working groups, potential new taxes, and other rushed policies creating huge uncertainty.

“While sector returns still look solid, primary sector business confidence has plummeted on the back of worries about Government policies like employment law reforms, climate change and environmental regulations, petrol taxes, the slowdown of overseas investment, and a wide-ranging review of the dairy industry.

“Rural New Zealanders deserve to be heard, so we’ve launched an online portal to give them an easy way to share their views. National MPs will also be out in their regions talking directly to rural New Zealanders.

“National holds every rural seat in Parliament except one, and we’re proud to represent rural New Zealand. Together we can develop a plan to deliver on the things that are important to rural communities. We’ll do that work, and we’ll be ready with plans and proposals in 2020.”

The Have Your Say – Rural New Zealand survey can be found here

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