Opinion: With all eyes on the farming community at this weekend's "Mother of All Protests", The Country's executive producer Rowena Duncum pleads for protesters to remain dignified.
This weekend, once again rural New Zealand has the chance to stand as one against unworkable Government regulations, with Groundswell NZ's "Mother of all Protests".
What began as a simple tractor protest has now morphed into something well beyond co-founders Bryce McKenzie and Laurie Paterson's wildest imaginings.
In July more than 60,000 men, women and children with dogs, tractors, utes and placards descended on over 50 towns and cities across the country.
Many travelled hours to do so, such was the depth of feeling and the depth of angst.
It was an emotional day.
"People were coming up to us saying, 'Today I feel proud to be a farmer'," Paterson said.
"They shouldn't just feel like that on one day."
Make no mistake - this Sunday could well be bigger again, thanks in no small part to the timing of the Government's Three Waters announcement, which has added further fuel to the fire.
So, here's where my plea to rural NZ comes in.
All eyes are on you.
If you want to protest, please do so with dignity.
Do so in a way that makes you proud to be a farmer.
And do so in a way that makes rural New Zealand proud of you.
I hate to use it, but the phrase "we are living in unprecedented times" still does ring true.
After being bombarded with "Unite against Covid 19" messages for months on end, it seems as if the opposite is happening now, with division around the vaccine infiltrating all manner of relationships – in workplaces, friendship groups and even families.
The vitriol in wider New Zealand is evident on any social media platform.
Everyone is highly charged.
We learnt from the first protest that the entire rhetoric from such an incredible day, such a proud day, such a positive day, can hinge on a couple of extremely inappropriate placards.
Further down the track, it emerged that some of the most offensive placards belonged to professional protesters.
It's no coincidence theirs were the signs replicated on social media and by news outlets.
They made a statement.
The wrong statement.
So, I make no bones about this - there will be people like that seeking to hijack this protest again.
And again I ask, please make your voices heard in a way that echoes the sentiments of the majority from the first protest.
If you're making a placard, think what it would look like on the front page of the paper.
Think what it would look like in an overseas news bulletin.
Think about how anti-farming organisations could use it to damage our reputation.
We want to make sure it's real farmers' voices that are heard, not that of professional protesters using our voices to further their own agendas.
Bottom line - be proud to be a farmer and you can't go too far wrong.