The organisers of Kerikeri's Howl of a Protest, one of dozens to be staged around the country on Friday next week (July 16), are inviting farmers, growers, tradies, ute owners and all land owners to meet in the Sports Complex carpark, on the corner of Waipapa Rd and the bypass, at 11am,, with their tractors, utes and a couple of dogs.
The protest will head into Kerikeri at midday.
Kawakawa beef farmer Kate Lowe has had enough of what she says are unworkable regulations and costs that are being piled on to farmers, and the whole of New Zealand. And thousands of people one one end of the country to the other appear to agree with her.
The depth of that anger will be proved one way or another on Friday next week, when communities large and small stage 'Howl of a Protest' processions.
"We have put a stake in the ground," Lowe said yesterday, adding that SNAs were among the more egregious assaults on the country's land owners.
"By the Far North District Council's own admission, the Far North's SNA areas have grown by 12 per cent in 10 years, without any government interference. That means FNDC has increased land covered by this ludicrous SNA proposal from 30 per cent to 42 per cent," she said.
"The FNDC is clearly out of touch with its community, and out of control. SNAs need to go once and for all, because farmers and land-owners know what is best for their land and environment."
Groundswell NZ, which is co-ordinating the protest nationally, said it was "laser-focused" on standing up for farmers, food producers, contractors, tradies and councils against unworkable rules that were being thrust on them by central government.
It wanted the National Policy Statement on Freshwater to be scrapped, leaving fresh water guidelines to catchment groups in association with regional councils, along with "big stick" regulations for Significant Natural Areas, wetlands, landscapes "etc.," in favour of funding for successful systems such as the QE2 Trust.
The National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity also had to go, and seasonal rural workers from overseas should be prioritised through MIQ for rural contractors, horticulturists, dairy farmers, market gardeners and orchardists, which more than ever were doing the "heavy lifting" for the economy.
It also wanted to see the back of the "ute tax."
Meanwhile Federated Farmers Northland Province has no intention of backing down on its opposition to the (SNA) proposal, and is encouraging Northlanders to march.
Northland president Colin Hannah said members would be supporting the 'Howl of a Protest' in Kerikeri in numbers.
"New Zealanders from all over the country have spoken loud and clear that SNAs are not okay," he said.
"Farmers and rural land owners do not deserve to have their livelihoods put at risk by the overzealous restrictions the SNA proposal could place on their business operations.
"Rural folk know how to look after their land and should be left to do just that without unnecessary and unfair interference from councils and government agencies.
"Local body councillors need to remember who voted them in, because if they don't stand up for their communities they won't be re-elected in 2022. Right now they are not standing up for their people, and that's why people are having to march to voice their displeasure."