National leader Simon Bridges last week launched a Have Your Say campaign for rural New Zealand.

"We know farmers and growers contribute $42 billion a year in exports that sees 350,000 people employed in the sector, and New Zealand's success depends on it. This success is underpinned by sustainable business practices that continue to enhance the environment for our children," Mr Bridges said.

"We want to make sure rural communities can access top-quality public services and infrastructure like broadband, rural policing, education and health services.

"Having the right policies in place to help rural communities thrive is vitally important.
Therefore we are keen to hear from the grassroots on issues that may evolve into policies to turbocharge rural and provincial New Zealand.

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"We're making sure we do the work in Opposition so we'll have the plans and policies in place should we earn the right to govern again in 2020. The current government didn't do its homework, and it shows, with more than 180 working groups, potential new taxes, and other rushed policies creating huge uncertainty."

While primary sector returns still looked solid, business confidence had plummeted on worries about government policies like employment law reforms, climate change and environmental regulations, petrol taxes, slowing overseas investment and a review of the dairy industry.

"Rural New Zealanders deserve to be heard, so we've launched an online portal to give them an easy way to share their views. National MPs will also be out in their regions talking directly to rural New Zealanders," Mr Bridges said.

"National holds every rural seat in Parliament except one, and we're proud to represent rural New Zealand. Together we can develop a plan to deliver on the things that are important to rural communities. We'll be ready with plans and proposals in 2020."

¦The Have Your Say — Rural New Zealand survey is at www.national.org.nz/haveyoursay