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Shane Jones is ignoring the South Island in his three year pursuit for votes in Northland, National’s South Island Regional Development Spokesperson Andrew Falloon says.

“Of the funds allocated so far by the Regional Development Minister, less than five per cent has been earmarked for the South Island. That’s staggering. The mainland accounts for thirty per cent of New Zealand’s regional population.

“By contrast, Northland - the home patch of Shane Jones, Winston Peters and Kelvin Davis - has been promised nearly half the fund despite making up less than seven per cent of our regional population.

“Worse, more than one-fifth of the money meant for the South Island has been suspended and may not be paid due to a Serious Fraud Office investigation.

“If he was serious about economic development in the regions, he’d be backing projects like the Waimea Dam, four-laning State Highway One between Christchurch and Ashburton, and mining on the West Coast, all of which are unlikely to happen under a Labour-Greens-NZ First Government.

“Instead, Shane Jones is taking money off taxpayers in every other region in the country to hand around Northland in a desperate attempt to save his party.

“It’s a blatant vote-buying exercise,” Mr Falloon says.

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