Tractors, utes, trucks, and even a few ride-on lawnmowers stretched as far as the eye could see on State Highway 2 in Katikati as part of a national protest against the Government on Friday.
Hundreds of vehicles descended on the Western Bay of Plenty township at midday to demonstrate their upset at what some have described as an "interfering Government" imposing too many rules on the rural sector.
The Katikati rally began in two parts: gatherings at the southern and northern ends of town before marching along the main street and coming together at Moore Park.
Amid a constant stream of tooting from passing traffic, organiser Christina Humphreys said many in the rural sector had been "mumbling into their beards" until now.
A large crowd held flags and signs and waved at passing motorists honking in support.
Ingrid Raath, from Tauranga, said she took part because what affected farmers also affected the wider community and it was important to listen to their concerns.
"I'm fully in support of the farmers because they supply food to not just themselves but to all of us."
Avocado grower John Doull led the procession on his Massey Fergusson tractor "Myrtle", a make he said was used a lot in the 1950s to help break the land.
The same make of tractor was used in 2003 by then-Taranaki MP Shane Ardern to mount Parliament's steps in protest against the proposed methane tax.
"If things don't improve, then I'll be going up those steps again," Doull said.
A man, who would not be named, said he was sick of the "interfering government" and it was getting harder to make ends meet while dealing with increasing compliance costs.
The convoy paraded past hundreds of people standing roadside, cheering them on, as the march headed to the park. A clicker counter at the park tallied more than 500 people.
While some held signs calling for more support for farmers, others took the protest as an opportunity to criticise media, New World Order, and vaccinations.
At the park, Humphreys spoke to the crowd and said she was very proud of everyone who took part. She said there was a number of issues and people were feeling overwhelmed by the red tape.
"You have to say 'no' and we've done that today."
Humphreys was supported by Tauranga MP Simon Bridges and Western Bay councillor Margaret Murray-Benge.
Bridges said the crowd deserved gratitude.
Bridges told the Bay of Plenty Times he was actually surprised by the turnout as Kiwis were typically pretty laid back. This was the biggest protest he had seen in the Western Bay of Plenty for at least the past decade, he said.
"It shows you can push and push ... but people have come out in force."
Asked why he believed there was such a strong turnout, Bridges said there were a lot of rules and regulations affecting people such as farmers and the so-called ute tax added to this.
Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said he understood the "pressure" rural communities felt under the weight of Government policy reforms, the NZ Herald reported.
"There are a lot of things happening at the moment in the economy to try and make sure New Zealand's economy remains both fiscally and environmentally sustainable. We've been working very closely with rural communities on this," Robertson said.
"I understand that at the farm level they are feeling the pressure of that change," he said.
Robertson urged farmers to work with the Government.
"What I'd say is we have to work together on that, just as we worked together to resolve issues around Mycoplasma Bovis, just as we worked together to support those who lived in rural communities through Covid, just as we worked together to ensure air freight gets out and exports get out," Robertson said.
He echoed comments made by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern earlier this week that action on climate change was important for New Zealand's trading relationships.
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