National has finally realised it is being hit in the regions and has released a bizarre report in a desperate attempt to cover up the damage it has caused, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.
“The regions are struggling under National. They have been ignored for five long years. Labour is speaking up for the regions and putting our time and efforts into the provinces.
“National is running scared, it knows it is losing support. The Government’s report simply catalogues historical spending across all services, including welfare, education and health.
“This data is more than a year old and has nothing to do with regional development and investment.
“It doesn’t show the real problems facing the regions.
“Since 2008 incomes in Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast have fallen by 3.3 per cent and in Gisborne and Hawkes Bay by 2.6 per cent.
“In the last year house prices in Wanganui have fallen by 4.6 per cent and in Southland have fallen by 6.6 per cent.
“Over 4600 people have the left Waikato for Australia in the past year, along with 1800 from Northland.
“Steven Joyce and Bill English clearly don’t get it. They have lost touch with the regions.
“Today I have been with my entire caucus in Dunedin to hear the concerns of local people and businesses. It is clear people in the regions are furious with this Government.
“Labour is listening to small town New Zealand,” David Cunliffe says.
 Adjusted for inflation