“The Labour government has once again forgotten the Mainland as it releases policies and completely ignores the South Island,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“This morning the government announced a youth crime policy that specifically mentioned just four regions; Auckland, Waikato, Northland and Bay of Plenty.

“Here are just some of the headlines from Christchurch in recent weeks: “Gun shop in Christchurch hit by ram raid.” “Neighbourhood targetted by ramraid smash and grabs.” “Christchurch youth crime spikes to worst in the country.” “ChCh dairy owner to call it quits citing rising crime.”

“This government seems to think the North Island is all that matters. Last week the government announced $4 million fund to support local councils in Auckland, Hamilton and Bay of Plenty with crime prevention programmes. Again, no mention of the South Island.

“According to the Social Wellbeing Agency, there is little difference between youth with high needs in Christchurch and the Waikato.

“The South Island was left in the highly restrictive Level 3 during the lockdowns when they should have been set free and South Islanders are paying for Auckland’s light rail with the government borrowing billions for the project.

“Megan Woods and Poto Williams are the only top 10 Cabinet Ministers from the South and they should be doing more to fight for the Mainland.

“Labour loves to talk about the team of five million but they constantly forget about 1.2 million of the population.”

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David Seymour