NZ Herald - Farmer calls Jacinda Ardern claim 'bollocks' ahead of protest in Morrinsville

A Morrinsville farmer has dismissed Labour leader Jacinda Ardern's claims to understand farming as "bollocks" and said her late grandfather would be appalled ahead of a protest rally in the town on Monday.

Farmers are set to meet for the rally under the 'mega cow' in Morrinsville - the town Ardern grew up in - claiming they are fed up with feeling like the punching bags of the election.

Ardern has often invoked her upbringing in Morrinsville, saying it had given her an appreciation of the issues facing farmers and horticulturists in New Zealand.

Morrinsville farmer and rally organiser Lloyd Downing said Ardern's claim was "bollocks."

"Her father was a policeman. She doesn't know anything about cows. And her grandfather in my opinion would be turning over in his grave because he had a drag line in diggers and drained most the country out there in the swamps and plains to Te Aroha."

Ardern responded by saying her father had also worked on the dragline and she doubted her late grandfather would be appalled.

"He was staunch Labour so he wouldn't be turning in his grave."

She said her other grandparents were also farmers in the region and very few would use irrigation so would not be impacted by Labour's water tax.

Ardern was playing up her rural roots at a campaign rally in Hamilton on Sunday, telling them of her upbringing, her experience driving a tractor and saying New Zealand had to address the fact that 60 per cent of its waterways were not swimmable - including a lot in Waikato.

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