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.
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.
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.
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: