Hundreds of farmers, growers and tradies are expected to take to the streets around Northland tomorrow in a ''howl of a protest'' at what they say is increasing government interference.
Protests in Whangārei, Dargaville, Kerikeri and Kaitaia are among 47 due to start around the country at 11am.
Each will involve utes, tractors and other vehicles converging on the town centre, a statement from rural lobby group Groundswell NZ said, and a 12.30pm ''bark-up'' when dogs will be encouraged to make a noise.
Whangārei coordinator Tracey Thomasson said she expected up to 200 vehicles.
Initially she was worried no one would turn up but now she was concerned numbers in the convoy could be hard to manage.
Participants would gather at Barge Park in Maunu at 11am and make their way from noon via Maunu Rd, Water St, Bank St, Dent St and Port Rd to Okara Park.
Thomasson said tomorrow's protest was the culmination of years of frustration.
''This has been coming for a long, long time, people have had enough of government interference in their lives. Groundswell was a couple of cockies who got frustrated with unworkable laws being placed on them and it just exploded. It has provided an avenue for people to express how their concerns.''
The ''ute tax'' — a scheme which increases the price of high-emission vehicles to subsidise electric vehicles — was only the last straw, but it had brought the rest of the country on board with the rural sector.
Thomasson, who runs a calf-rearing operation at Hikurangi, said she was finding compliance costs crippling.
''We're not a big corporate farm, it's really hard. We're barely breaking even.''
She had been fielding phone calls all week from food producers and people in related industries who had also had enough.
She hoped tomorrow's protest would make Northland MPs ''open their eyes and remember they're not elected to represent Wellington to us, but to represent us in Wellington''.
A large protest is also expected in the Mid North, where a march against Significant Natural Areas (SNAs) in Kaikohe last month drew an estimated 2000 people.
Participants will gather at the Kerikeri Sports Complex on Waipapa Rd at 11am before making their way via the Heritage Bypass to the town centre.
The Kerikeri event is coordinated by Kate Lowe, who also organised a public meeting in Kawakawa last month which drew 500 people concerned about SNAs.
Kaitaia's ''howl of a protest'' will start at the A&P Showgrounds on South Rd, next to Te Ahu, with the convoy heading up Commerce St and possibly as far as Awanui. The Dargaville event will start at Pioneer Rugby Park on Murdoch St.
Groundswell's demands include the scrapping of the National Policy Statement on Freshwater, SNAs, and the National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity.
The group also wanted overseas seasonal rural workers to be prioritised through MIQ and the ''ute tax" to be withdrawn while no electric vehicles are suitable for use on farms or orchards.
The lobby group said the SNA proposal punished landowners proactive about conservation and turned biodiversity into a liability. Native ecosystems on private land could be better protected through QE2 covenants.
Government climate change policies were also unworkable, the group said.