Tradies and farmers are planning to drive their utes and tractors down Oxford St in Levin next Friday, joining a national protest against a raft of new government rules and regulations.
The nationwide Howl of a Protest was being organised by a group calling itself Groundswell New Zealand, in opposition to what it called "unworkable rules being thrust upon us by Government".
Laurie Paterson, of Groundswell NZ, said it was representing farmers, food producers, contractors, tradies and councils.
Its social media page had quickly grown to 10,000 followers.
Paterson said while the "ute tax" was grabbing the headlines, they also had concerns on government policy around freshwater, significant land areas, indigenous biodiversity, seasonal overseas workers, climate change and high-country legislation.
The ute tax was a clampdown on fringe benefit tax rules relating to utes, designed to make sure that employees pay tax on their work perks such as using a work car for personal use.
But Groundswell claims the aim of the ute tax was to force people from diesel to electric vehicles, and there was no economic alternative electric vehicle essential to those used by farmers, horticulturists, industry support people and tradesmen.
"It is clearly unworkable and another financial burden," he said.
Protests were being done with traffic managements plans and with the support of police and the council. He urged protesters to be in the news for the right reasons.
The protest had quickly grown legs. There were now 44 towns and cities throughout New Zealand participating in Howl of a Protest.
Organisers had circulated protest material calling on people to join protest action on July 16. The local protest group was meeting at Donnelly Park at 11am. The convoy would then leave for a drive through Oxford St at noon.
Levin Scaffolding Ltd owner Roy Williams was organising the Levin protest. He said he was one of a growing number pushing back on a raft of new laws being introduced by the Government.
"It actually affects everyone. They really have no idea. Business will have to pass on these costs to consumers," he said.
"You are not going to get much firewood in the back of a Suzuki Swift."
Williams himself said he was not anti-electric vehicles. He said the science and supply wasn't there yet to make electric vehicles workable. He feared legislation was too far ahead of the technology and the infrastructure required to make it work.
"The jury is still out on hybrids," he said.
Williams had this week set up protest banners on the state highway either side of Levin.