“The ACT Party is today providing some facts for Stuart Nash about rural New Zealand following his disgraceful comments in Parliament today,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson and dairy farmer Mark Cameron.

“Nash claimed in Question Time while filling in for Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor that Groundswell is a mixture of “racism and anti-vaxx”

“Groundswell represents tens of thousands of everyday Kiwis concerned about the avalanche of red tape being imposed on farmers and rural New Zealand.

“Nash might be interested to see some of the vaccination stats from around rural New Zealand. Despite their isolation, they are some of the highest in the country for first doses including:

Riverview: 91.4%

Omata: 92.1%

Mangaonuku 93.5%

Haast 90.3%

Clutha Valley 91.4%

Sanson 91%

“Farmers kept the economy going through COVID. In return rural New Zealand has taken a hammering, whether it’s freshwater and winter grazing, a ban on live exports, Significant Natural Areas, indigenous biodiversity or a tax on utes. 

“ACT is listening to rural New Zealand. That's why all 10 ACT MPs will be at these protests around the country showing our support.

“Stuart Nash should apologise to rural New Zealand. As an electorate MP in a region where farming, horticulture and viticulture are vital to the region, he should know better.”