More than 500 people have piled into Whanganui Racecourse protesting what they label "unworkable regulations" targeting rural communities.
Organised by Groundswell NZ, more than 55 protests occurred in towns and cities across the country on Friday, where farmers, tradies and industry workers gathered before launching into a large-scale convoy.
In Whanganui, around 200 utes, tractors and heavy vehicles convoyed around the city, some donned with protest signs.
The convoy left from the racecourse, before travelling along State Highway 3, turning onto Glasgow St and then Victoria Ave.
The convoy then crossed the city bridge, continuing along Anzac Parade until the SH3 roundabout, by which point the convoy returned to the racecourse.
Protest organiser Angela Watson, owner of Whanganui's Watson Earthworks, said the turnout was much higher than expected.
"We've got a load of people here - more than we expected," Watson said. "People in Whanganui have really turned out and sent a message.
"There's Whanganui businesses here, farmers and tradies. Some employers have even let their staff off work to come and protest."
Watson said the group had a list of issues they were protesting, ranging from freshwater regulations to the "ute tax".
"Government policies are targeting farmers and rural people and this is about coming together and sending a message that we're not happy."
Whanganui Federated Farmers' president Mike Cranstone was also at the protest, saying he was thrilled to see such a vocal turnout in support of the farming community.
"It was an impressive turnout. There is a huge amount of frustration in our rural communities, but also our business people who showed their support.
"It obviously wasn't organised by Federated Farmers, but we support the cause and the message. Our rural communities are finding it tough."
But while there were no significant issues at the protest, a participant's sign did draw the ire of social media, being shared hundreds of times on Twitter.
"We live in New Zealand, not Aotearoa," the sign read. "Stop ramming Māori language down our throat."
Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer shared an image of the sign on social media, questioning its relevance to the protest.
"What a shameful display from a sector reliant on tangata whenua relationships," she said.
Watson said it had no relevance to the campaign.
"If I knew it was there I would have asked them to take it down. That's not what this is about," she said.
Whanganui MP Steph Lewis said she couldn't attend the protest due to prior commitments, but respected the right to protest.
She said she believed the current government she is a part of had done a "significant amount" for farmers and that government policies were necessary to resolve issues such as dirty waterways and climate change.
"Under this government, we have invested quite significantly in our regions and rural communities to look after them and to make sure we have the infrastructure to do our jobs.
"Yeah, there is a lot of change being put on the table for discussion at the moment, but that's exactly it - it's about having a discussion. A discussion involves all parties being able to express their view."
Also at the protest was Whanganui based National List MP Harete Hipango.