Winston Peters tells farmers 'help is on its way'

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 18 September 2019, 3:01PM
Winston Peters has weighed in on the freshwater saga. (Photo / NZ Herald)

He has been away for a few weeks, but in his return to The Country, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters made it clear that he has lost none of his bark or bite.

Peters joined Jamie Mackay for his first interview since he had surgery that saw him take several weeks off, and there was plenty of ground for them to catch up on.

Namely the Government's plans to clean up the country's freshwater systems, which has earned the ire of farmers. 

Peters defended the reforms, but says that his part has a plan to save "you from that."

“We always have had and if you and your farmer listeners would be a bit more patient you'll see that the one party prepared to defend provincial rural agricultural New Zealand's interests is going to make sure you get a fair go.

He says that we cannot go on with polluted and despoiled rivers and that this is capable of being fixed up, but that New Zealand has to use farmers as our first line in the army to “win this battle for us”.

"We always believed that from the word go. It's not a them-and-us situation. Whether it's in the country or the city, everybody's going to have to pitch in to clean this country up.”

Peters insists that the only way the farming community in this country is going to survive economically and internationally is by having respectability of their production.

“If they don't, they'll be shut out by other world markets who are playing the game and who'll look at us and say 'no, no, you guys are not clean and green, are not pure like you say, and we don't want your product'. And every farming person who knows anything about international marketing knows that.”

The New Zealand First leader had a simple message for listeners.

“I know in my absence, you've heard a plethora of rumours and humbug and nonsense, but the simple message that your farming community should know is that New Zealand First is a party with a lot of people with farming backgrounds in it.

“When it comes to farming? Hang on, because help is on its way.”

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