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Ed Sheeran

Northland farmers bit hand that waters

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Northland candidate Shane Jones says claims New Zealand First is trying to buy votes in the electorate are bizarre and pathetic.

Opponents claim Provincial Growth Fund spending in the region was an abuse of power.

But Mr Jones says the region has just been through one drought and fears another next year - and it is the farmers who lobbied him to come up with water storage options.

"I take forward proposals to the bureaucracy. They work them up. We come up with a $70 million practical response to cope with water scarcity, boost water resilience for industry. All of a sudden that is derided as something tainted, designed to buy the seat of Northland. How pathetic. In actual fact this is the sort of politician you want. No Māori ever says that about me. It comes from a tiny vocal group associated with the ACT Party and the National Party," he says.

Mr Jones says this election New Zealand First has to fight not just its political opponents but a younger media which no longer cares for or respects what the party stands for.

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