Farmers tell government ‘enough is enough’ – Wyatt Ryder and Shane McAvinue:
Farmers across New Zealand have told the Government “enough is enough” and are giving it a month to address their concerns.
This afternoon, farmers, tradies and agricultural sector workers began protesting in cities and towns across New Zealand against several Government reforms.
Thousands turned out in the South, with huge turnouts in Gore, Dunedin, Alexandra and Wanaka.
Utes, tractors and farm dogs descended on towns across New Zealand, with a plane and four helicopters taking part in the Gore protest. In the aftermath of the protests traffic is moving slowly throughout Dunedin and in other parts of the South. . .
More than 50 protests are taking place around the country today, with rural people in particular getting out to oppose the government’s environmental policy. Alex Braae went north to Dargaville.
The roads get a bit more bouncy when you turn off State Highway 1 to head out to Kaipara. Perhaps it was just because I was driving what might be the worst van in the country, but all of a sudden the shallow potholes started to look a lot more threatening.
Part of that is because the primary industries are succeeding. Milk tankers, stock trucks and logging trucks all put pressure on the roads, and constant maintenance is needed to keep them in shape. Locals believe these repairs have fallen by the wayside.
The destination was Dargaville, to report on a protest – one of more than 50 taking place around the country, organised by a group called Groundswell. They were bringing together as much as they could of the rural world – “farmers, growers and tradies” – as they put it, to protest government regulation and highlight a sense that too many costs are being imposed on rural businesses too quickly. . .
Traffic was disrupted around the country today, with convoys of tractors and utes with dogs on board arriving in dozens of centres around New Zealand, as farmers protested against government regulations.
Groundswell NZ organised the ‘Howl of a Protest’ in more than 40 towns and cities over recent environmental regulations, the ‘ute tax’ and a seasonal worker shortage.
Co-founder Laurie Paterson said the “ute tax” was the issue people pointed the finger at, but farmers were also unhappy with the bureaucratic approach to the national policy statement for fresh water management.
From July this year, people buying new electric vehicles (EVs) could get as much as $8625 back from the government. The scheme will be funded through levies on high-emissions vehicles from 1 January 2022. . .
Clear message for govt. – MP – Sudesh Kissun:
MP for Southland Joseph Mooney, National, says farmers sent a clear message to the government by taking to the streets in huge numbers at Groundswell NZ protests across New Zealand today.
Mooney was in Gore with National’s agriculture spokesperson David Bennett where a big number of farmers took their tractors and utes to town to show their objection to the government’s unworkable regulatory approach in the farming sector.
“It is a sad indictment on the government that farmers felt they had to take their tractors and utes to town to be heard,” says Mooney.
“But with the government unwilling to listen to farmers’ concerns they’ve been left with few other options.
In Auckland tractors drove down Queen St. In Christchurch they circled the cathedral.
At the largest protest in Christchurch, curious onlookers smiled and cheered as 2000 farmers in utes and tractors filed through Cathedral Square.
Chants of “enough is enough” rang out and the sound of dogs barking reverberated through the square as protesters voiced their concerns.
Groundswell NZ protest co-ordinator Aaron Stark said he had earlier received death threats, but the protest was peaceful. . .
Thousands of farmers and a fair number of their dogs descended on towns and cities across New Zealand yesterday to protest at increasing interference by the Government in their way of life.
From Kaitaia to Invercargill, convoys of tractors, farm vehicles, trucks and utes took part in the Howl of Protest event, organised by Groundswell New Zealand, against what they say are unworkable regulations and unjustified costs.
The protest was organised against policies like the Clean Car Discount, which will subsidise clean vehicles by charging fees on high-emissions vehicles.
Protesters were also anxious about the eventual pricing of agricultural emissions, which will happen by 2025 – a decade after agriculture was first slated to enter the Emissions Trading Scheme. . . .