Rural business attire to the fore in Parliament to highlight agri careers and rural sports

In the spirit of helping young people pursue agri careers, Taranaki-King Country MP Barbara Kuriger will arrive at Parliament in rural business attire this afternoon.

Sporting Red Band gumboots, overalls, a Dairy NZ milking apron, a Te Kuiti shearing singlet and a Levno cap, Barbara Kuriger will be more than ready to tackle the bear pit.

"It’s a fun way of highlighting the everyday business attire of thousands of Kiwis as well as agri careers."

Barbara Kuriger said she is pleased to say the Speaker of the House has given permission, and a few colleagues from across the political divide will also be wearing gumboots.”

“While my Red Bands will be clean, they have seen a lot of action on the farm and at Field Days across Aotearoa.”

Barbara Kuriger said there is a serious side to the day as well – highlighting the New Zealand Rural Games Trust’s $15,000 scholarship to support struggling youth into agri tertiary study, and young rural sports athletes.

Trust Chair, Margaret Kouvelis MNZM, said the scholarship programme began seven years ago for rural sporting associations and has now been 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."

Margaret Kouvelis said half the scholarship funds were raised at an auction during the Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards in March. The other half is 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 Margaret 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.”

Margaret Kouvelis said everyone who bid and donated to the scholarship fund was very generous.

“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.”

Barbara 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.

The New Zealand Rural Games Trust was established to create a national and international platform for rural sports athletes to shine. By showcasing the sports that ‘built our nation’, we hope to help close the rural-urban divide by bringing young people from all walks of life together.

Every March, in Palmerston North, the Trust runs and manages:

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Rural business attire to the fore in Parliament to highlight agri careers and rural sports