It takes a lot to get farmers off their land. But Friday's Howl of Protest saw a goodly representation of every man and his dog fire up the Massey Fergs and John Deeres around the country and take to the streets in protest.
There wasn't just one issue that had got them so riled up.
Farmers don't see why they should be taxed to assist high-income city dwellers into electric cars when the rural community has no alternative right now but to use internal combustion engine 4WDs to do their work.
It's not just the ute tax, though. It's the moves to pricing on agricultural emissions. It's the higher environmental standards on water. It's the protection of sensitive land aka the land grab. It's all of the everything.
It's the gun buyback scheme that saw farmers branded rednecks when some were reluctant to relinquish their guns because they doubted that the buyback would make New Zealand a safer place. They were right.
It's the Ashburton Bridge being out of commission with no plans to build a better, safer link to the rest of the South Island, when $785 million has been announced for the Boomers' Bike Bridge to Birkenhead.
It's constantly being told how to do their jobs by faceless bureaucrats and politicians who have no idea what they're talking about.
Remember the hoo-ha about pugging? In 2020, a month after Cabinet signed off on rules around winter grazing, they had to be "adjusted" because the Government conceded they were impractical and unworkable, just as farmers had said they would be.
It's being told that farmers and growers can't rely on cheap overseas labour anymore – they have to hire New Zealanders and pay them more if they want the staff they need to do their jobs.
I wonder how many urban New Zealanders would be willing to give up the cheap overseas imports that make their lives more enjoyable and comfortable and buy eye-wateringly more expensive furniture and clothes and cars made by New Zealanders getting a decent wage.
It's the constant sneering from vegetarians and animal rights groups and hardcore greenies that they're despoiling the environment and inflicting cruelty upon animals and ultimately responsible for destroying the planet, when so many farmers are building conservation areas on their own land out of their own pockets and helping to fund scientific projects to improve their efficiency and reduce their environmental footprint – such as AgResearch's High Metabolisable Energy ryegrass.
This grass can grow up to 50 per cent faster than conventional ryegrass, is more resistant to drought, and can produce up to 23 per cent less methane (the largest single contributor to New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions) from livestock. Farmers aren't Luddites. You don't get to be the most carbon-efficient dairy producers in the world by ignoring science and innovation.
It wasn't just farmers who took to the streets. Many tradies also joined the convoys around the country, also fed up with all of the everything.
It would be tempting for the Government to dismiss the protests as a minority industry looking to protect its own interests. And it will also be tempting for the Government spin doctors to portray the protesters as pale, stale males unable to move with the times. They would be very foolish if they did so.
Just last month, one of the biggest protests seen in the Far North saw Māori converge on the Far North District Council offices, opposing the council's plans to declare large swathes of land as SNAs – significant natural areas.
Māori saw it as a breach of their rights as landowners and were upset at a lack of consultation, but it wasn't just Māori who were part of the hīkoi. They were joined by significant numbers of Pākehā farmers and property owners, a fact veteran activist Hone Harawira remarked upon.
Labour can look to the polls and point to the fact that the extraordinary support they received at the last election is holding up. But in part that is due to the fact that National still doesn't have its act – or Act – together as a viable opposition.
Still, the Prime Minister would do well to remember the shower regulations that, in part, scuttled Helen Clark's chances of an historic fourth term. It was just another nanny state policy from a Government increasingly interfering in the lives of its citizens and it was the final straw for voters. Sound familiar?