John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.
“While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities, National today announced a taskforce to fiddle around with the rules.
“Conversely, Labour has announced a $200 million initiative to co-develop Regional Growth Plans.
“Labour understands the regions are the lifeblood of New Zealand’s economy and Local Government New Zealand today welcomes our ‘practical measures to create change’.
“This contestable funding is necessary because National’s short-sighted obsession with a building a handful of roads has starved the regions of much needed investment.
“Nowhere is this illustrated better than with the Government’s plan to demolish the newly strengthened one-lane Motu Bridge between Gisborne and Opotiki to make room for a new road.
“John Key’s desperate attempt to claim Labour will impose costs on the regions shows he doesn’t understand our policy. Labour’s Regional Growth Plans will support industries such as aquaculture and horticulture.
“Regional New Zealand will be better off under a Labour Government. Only Labour has a strategic, long-term plan to breathe life back into our regions,” David Cunliffe says.