Barbara Kuriger on why she's wearing 'rural business attire' in Parliament
Taranaki-King Country MP Barbara Kuriger arrived at Parliament in rural business attire today to support young people pursuing agri careers.
Kuriger sported Red Band gumboots, overalls, a DairyNZ milking apron, a Te Kuiti shearing singlet and a Levno cap.
"It's a fun way of highlighting the everyday business attire of thousands of Kiwis as well as agri careers," Kuriger said.
The Speaker of the House had given Kuriger permission, and a few colleagues from across the political divide also wore their gumboots.
Kuriger arrived in Parliament during Question Time and stayed for a photo opportunity with her gumboot-wearing colleagues.
"While my Red Bands will be clean, they have seen a lot of action on the farm and at Field Days across Aotearoa," she said.
Listen to Jamie Mackay interview Barbara Kuriger on The Country below:
There was a serious side to the day as well, as Kuriger's aim was to highlight the New Zealand Rural Games Trust's $15,000 scholarship.
The scholarship supported struggling youth into agri tertiary study, and young rural sports athletes.
The scholarship programme began seven years ago for rural sporting associations, Trust Chair, Margaret Kouvelis MNZM, said.
It was now extended to include secondary schools that support the Allflex Clash of the Colleges and the Westpac Agri Futures.
"The scholarship caters for school leavers seeking an agri tertiary education who are struggling to meet the financial needs of such a pathway," Kouvelis said.
Half the scholarship funds were raised at an auction during the Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards in March.
The other half was from donations made by friends of the Rural Games, including Sir John Kirwan – an avid supporter of improving rural wellbeing.
One of the most popular items auctioned was Barbara Kuriger's offer to wear her gumboots in Parliament, said Kouvelis.
"During the auction, it grew a few legs with more items of clothing offered up as her colleagues Rangitīkei MP Ian McKelvie and Palmerston North MP Tangi Utikere egged her on."
Everyone who bid and donated to the scholarship fund was very generous, Kouvelis said.
"It's inspiring to have so many people realise the importance of encouraging innovative young people to the agri sector so that we can continue to lead the world in primary production."
Kuriger will arrive in Parliament during Question Time.
It will be followed by a photo opportunity on the steps of Parliament with her parliamentary colleagues from various parties who'll be wearing their gumboots in support.
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