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A recently released economic analysis from DairyNZ has shone a bright light on the true costs and implications of the Government’s freshwater package for the West Coast, says National’s List MP, Maureen Pugh.

“This is the latest in a long string of bad news stories for the West Coast,” Mrs Pugh says.

“The analysis shows the West Coast taking a 3% hit to our GDP over the next thirty years, with an averaged cost per household totalling over $120,000 over that time period. That’s over triple the average national cost and will really hurt locals’ back pockets.

“The costs might be expressed in percentages and dollar figures, but the true cost to be measured is the devastating social impact this will have on our communities.

“Once again, this Government is clearly illustrating that if you can farm it or mine it, they’re going to tax it or ban it. They talk a lot about compassion, but where is their compassion for productive New Zealand?”

Mrs Pugh is asking where the long-term help will come from if rural communities are left without jobs and people move away to find employment.

“I want our young people to see a future for themselves and their families here in our community, but this Government is stealing that from them.

“My issue isn’t the objective – everyone wants our waterways to be clean. My issue is the radical approach this Government is taking, driven by green ideology, and the pace of change required.

“The Government needs to move at a pace that farmers and communities can keep up with or we risk leaving communities like the West Coast behind.” Mrs Pugh concluded.

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