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Winston Peters criticises 'mischievous', 'deceitful' farming leaders

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 16 Oct 2019, 8:20PM
Winston Peters also criticised the Sky and NZ Rugby deal. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Winston Peters criticises 'mischievous', 'deceitful' farming leaders

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 16 Oct 2019, 8:20PM

Winston Peters has hit out at the "bulldust" coming from farming community leaders over freshwater reform proposals. 

The topic remains a sore point for the farming community after the government announced their plans to clean up our freshwater systems. 

The report stated that many farmers and growers are taking action to ensure clean rivers, but their efforts are undermined by those who aren't.

Proposals include only allowing new irrigation or farms to be converted to dairying, where there’s evidence it won’t increase pollution.

There could be more fencing to keep stock out of waterways and reduce erosion, and compulsory standards for intensive winter grazing.

Asked about the high farmer engagement against the proposal, the Deputy Prime Minister told The Country's Andy Thompson that the coalition agreement makes it clear that they have farmers' backs covered.

However, he says that the policy is necessary to meet the demands of a global economy as they must meet international standards. 

"Some people in the farming leadership have been mischievous, and worse than that, just plain deceitful, and my message to that is, what were you useless people doing when Fonterra was going belly-up?"

Peters says that the policy is being criticised despite a final proposal, shaped by public feedback, not yet being released, reiterating that there still could be changes to the plans. 

"Get off your useless high horses. Your performance has been terrible the last 30 years." 

Peters also took aim at the deal signed between Sky Television and NZ Rugby. A five-year deal was announced on Monday which will see All Blacks games screened exclusively on Sky. 

The NZ First leader says that the deal will see prices driven up as there is not enough of a market, and he hopes that a bill that will make the games free-to-air will be drawn. Peters says that major sports are screened on government-owned networks in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Peters says that non-sporting fans would just have to accept the cost.

"That's their choice. If a nation has certain characteristics, and one of ours is that we're keen on sport." 

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