Peters: Govt 'sabotaging' rural areas
Winston Peters has accused the Government of sabotaging rural New Zealand and says the "dairy farmer disaster" is already happening.
The NZ First leader told his party's annual conference in Rotorua today there was deep concern in the provinces as dairy prices continued to fall.
"The dairy farmer disaster is happening in an environment of deliberate false optimism masking the real facts," he said.
"The per kilo price is going to go under four dollars in a climate where dairy farmer budgets were based on at least $6.50 per kilogram."
Mr Peters, who took the Northland seat from National in the March by-election, said the country's primary production regions were being neglected.
"There is a new awareness in the provinces, they know that National has sabotaged rural New Zealand," he said.
Mr Peters told delegates the Government was in denial over the impact of its immigration policies.
"People on the streets, the motorways, and public facilities like schools and hospitals, know what's happening," he said.
"Immigration consumption is now the only expanding part of our economy, and it's at the expense of ordinary New Zealanders, old and new, whose interests are being swept aside."
Mr Peters said more than 1100 immigrants were arriving every week, and they needed homes to live in.
"This puts pressure on the rental and housing market and forces Kiwis to compete with tens of thousands of people coming here on work and student visas," he said.
"Don't blame the immigrants or the foreign buyers for what they are doing, blame those in this country who encourage it."