A howl of a protest in Katikati

Organisers of the Katikati protest. Photo: John Borren.

Farmers, growers, tradies and their dogs are set to converge on Katikati today as part of a national “howl of protest”.

Groups in more than 50 towns and cities across New Zealand, from Invercargill to Kaitaia, will take part in the planned demonstrations aimed at sending a message to the government.  

Their grievances are clear, with a rural groundswell focused on standing up for farmers, food producers, contractors, tradies and councils against what they say are unworkable rules and unjustified costs being thrust on them.

The Katikati protest, organised by the KKCando Concerned Ratepayers in conjunction with Groundswell NZ, is also an opportunity to “remind people of Katikati’s road congestion issue and our need here for a bypass,” says local coordinator Christina Humphreys.

“This is a nationwide protest against Jacinda Ardern and the Labour government’s proposed tax on diesel utes, tractors, trucks, etcetera, all in a bid for New Zealand to have all electric vehicles, which is not possible or practical.”

As well as the local road issue, there are seven key points that Groundswell NZ want to make clear.

The group wants the national policy statements on indigenous biodiversity and freshwater scrapped along with regulations for significant natural areas and wetlands.

“Attaining fresh water guidelines should be the jurisdiction of catchment groups in association with regional councils,” says Groundswell NZ’s Bryce McKenzie.

“The government regulations are a land grab, and private property rights must be protected.”

They also want the ‘ute tax’ to be withdrawn.

“There is no alternative electric vehicle,” adds Bryce, “and utes are essential to those economic heavy lifters – farmers, horticulturalists, industry support people and trademen. This is another financial burden.”

Another request is that overseas seasonal workers be prioritised through MIQ in order to help support rural contractors and the horticultural, dairy and fruit picking industries, while climate change is another issue that Bryce says is unworkable.

“These sectors are doing the heavy lifting for the New Zealand economy, now more than ever, and the mental strain of continuous long hours and product loss in becoming unbearable.

“Large areas of farmland are being incentivised into pine. This policy is a significant cost burden borne by the world’s most emissions-efficient farmers.”

Starting at noon on Friday, July 16, the Katikati protest has a Hilux leading a convoy coming from the south side of town, with another convoy coming from the Kauri Point northern end of town.

After proceeding slowly along Main Street Katikati, the two convoys will converge on Moore Park.

Following a short speech from Groundswell there will be a ‘dog’s howl’.

“If the dogs don’t howl or bark we will toot horns,” says Christina, who sent a map of the route to participants that includes an image of Winston Churchill saying “we shall never surrender”.

“We hope this large, nationwide protest will show government that we are unhappy people and not impressed about losing our democracy and being legislated from our farms and businesses.”

The KKCando Concerned Ratepayers are inviting locals to support the protest, and all dogs must be on leads.

“New Zealand is a great place to live, and it is worth fighting for.” says Christina.

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Posted on 17-07-2021 20:06 | By Slim Shady

The farmers should down tools and shut up shop. They would have the country on its knees and begging for a change of Government within 4 weeks. Nurses and teachers we can live without for much longer. They have the power to do this. And plenty of backing. Go for it.

So Sad

Posted on 17-07-2021 11:26 | By Ceem

Continuing on from Scott’s entry " So, bac sically, some members of one of the most affluent sectors of society are" - suffering" from an effluent government and it’s latest so-called policies.


Posted on 16-07-2021 13:30 | By Kancho

Well townies if you can match the productivity of farmers then NZ would be far better. NZ productivity is decreasing very poor in comparison to most countries in so farmers carry the economy. A lot are certainly not affluent at all work long hours and stress. They generate more for our country so think about what you produce that makes a difference. Townies should try working on a farmer most wouldn’t last a week. Many have utes for trades recreational use too. A punitive tax is wrong EVs are coming anyway and now short supply prices rising because of government marbket meddling

So sad.

Posted on 16-07-2021 11:09 | By scott

So, basically, some members of one of the most affluent sectors of society are trying to play the victim card, and portray themselves as a persecuted minority. To that end, they’re willing to protest on Friday with their tractors and dogs. All in order to defend their utes, and their right to pollute. The saddest thing about this is it reinforces the parochial outlook evident our small towns and cities.


Posted on 16-07-2021 10:10 | By Yadick

Why do these protests always have to block and disrupt roads. They’re bad enough as it us without people trying to enforce their ideas by using them for protests. They endanger lives and if someone got hit they’d all be up in arms. Keep your protests to the footpaths like the nurses did. Protesters including hikois (or whatever they’re called) should not be allowed on roads and especially main highways.

Good on them

Posted on 16-07-2021 09:56 | By Kancho

Not sure if a protest will be in Tauranga but would be there to cheer them on . Voters remember this and join at the next election and get rid of this government

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