Central Alexandra was in gridlock on Sunday as farm vehicles filled the main street with toots, howls and applause.
In Alexandra about 200 vehicles, including about four tractors, took part in Groundswell’s “Mother of All Protests”, completing a continuous circuit of Centennial Ave from about 1pm as farmers and others industries involved in the rural sector converged.
The protest was the successor to July’s “Howl of a Protest”, which led to large gatherings in most centres nationwide to oppose what Groundswell sees as over-regulation of the rural sector by the Government.
Key points include Three Waters reform, the national policy on freshwater, significant natural areas, the national policy on indigenous biodiversity, seasonal worker shortages, climate change policy, the Crown Pastoral Land Reform Bill and the clean-car package.
Those taking part in Sunday’s mobile protest gathered outside the town at Bridge Hill and Blackman and Galloway Rds, determined to take a stand against what farmers see as increasingly unworkable legislation.
In keeping with Groundswell’s rules, most signs were on brand, although some vehicles did carry signs from other lobby groups such as Voices for Freedom, albeit with a farming focus such as “No Farmers, No Food”.
Following the Groundswell protest, about 300 people, some who had been in the Groundswell convoy, converged on Pioneer Park for a separate protest that had been pulled together rapidly.
There speakers were quick to distinguish themselves from Groundswell but said they supported it before talking about myriad concerns they had regarding the direction New Zealand was taking.