3 Jul 2011

Federated Farmers president takes Goff to task

9:00 am on 3 July 2011

Federated Farmers' outgoing president Don Nicolson has taken Labour leader Phil Goff to task for calling the federation the National Party in gumboots.

The federation maintains it's not aligned to any political party.

Mr Nicolson told its national conference in Rotorua that both the comment and the timing were offensive.

"At this point I can almost see Phil Goff re-tweeting his jibe that we're the Nats in blue gumboots," he said.

"At the same time he said that there was John Hartnell in Christchurch at a meeting with the Christchurch City Council for a combined Farmy Army and Student Volunteer Army effort in that battered city.

"Mr Goff, it was an ill-timed, insensitive and frankly rude commentary."

John Hartnell, whom Mr Nicolson referred to, has been co-ordinating Federated Farmers' earthquake support in Christchurch.

Mr Goff, who also spoke at the conference, did not respond to the criticism.