### ODT Online Fri, 9 Aug 2013
Cuts in South ‘sick joke’, Peters says
By Dene Mackenzie
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters arrives in Dunedin today determined to talk to as many people as possible about the local and regional economy. When contacted in Wellington, Mr Peters said he was concerned about the lack of regional development throughout New Zealand, particularly in areas where significant infrastructure had been paid for long ago by the taxpayers.
“Much of this is unused. It is not being expanded to help regions grow. I’ve listened to this psycho-babble for 28 years. The last person to have a regional development plan was Jim Anderton.”
Mr Peters quoted cuts in the regions to state housing, hospital services, schools, government departments and social services. “The infrastructure is there in places like Oamaru, Dunedin, Timaru and the West Coast.” The spending of money in Christchurch and Auckland was a “vote-gathering exercise”, he said. It was a “sick joke” that so much of New Zealand’s exports came from Otago and Southland – along with other regions – but they were being neglected.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr