National MP and farmer Shane Ardern has fired a bit of a broadside at his party, claiming that its farmers have become “lost in action”. During a select committee meeting this week, he took a swipe at fellow National MP Jacqui Dean, asking why her Waitaki seat wasn’t held by a farmer. Dean is a former children’s TV host.
Ardern went so far as to challenge a couple of farmers in attendance at the committee to go back and find someone to replace Dean. Ardern reportedly asked “Who’s the MP now? And why are we absolutely lost in action, absolutely lost in action, as far as MPs in Parliament now are concerned?” Ouch!
Apparently his fellow National MP, the retiring but never shy Sandra Goudie, claimed that farmers had become a “misunderstood minority” within National.
This is an interesting insight into the way National has changed. Farmers used to rule the roost but there has been growing disquiet in recent years that the party has been taken over by financiers and bankers. Interesting to see two of their MPs being so open about it though.
Note: The above comments were reported in a Newsroom story, which is only available if you’re a subscriber.