Groundswell of farmers converges on Tauranga

Trucks, utes and cars with trailers formed a ring around Tauranga on Sunday afternoon protesting what many deem to be unworkable regulations. Photos: Daniel Hines.

Update 2pm Horns can be heard at Mount Maunganui and around Tauranga as the Groundswell NZ 'Mother of all Protests' circles the city.

Vehicles are carrying signs carrying messages such as  'I don't trust 3 waters', 'Enough is Enough, and 'No 3 waters' as they head along Takitimu Drive, over Tauranga harbour bridge and on to Mount Maunganui.

"The protest was spread out,' says a SunLive reader.

"There are a lot of utes and cars, with some tractors. There were a couple of trucks. Mainly the utes had signs up and were travelling quite slow on the express way.

"They'd come in waves and then nothing and then come through again."

At 1.35pm every driver stopped, turned off their engines, opened their windows and turned up the volume on their radios where a Groundswell statement played over the airwaves on Newstalk ZB.

“Enough is enough! We are standing against the unworkable regulations that impact you and your family New Zealand,’ says a Groundswell spokesperson. “It’s time to unite and force government to take notice and acknowledge Groundswell.”

“Groundswell NZ is a volunteer group of farmers and rural professionals advocating for our Grass Roots farmers and rural communities.

“It all started with a tractor protest about the National Policy on Freshwater but with overwhelming national support have grown to encompass far more.”

Groundswell NZ is also seeking a halt to, and rewrite of, unworkable regulations – freshwater, indigenous biodiversity, climate change and Crown Pastoral Land Reform bill (new regulation affecting high country farmers); a stronger advocacy voice on behalf of farmers and rural communities; seeking solutions to environmental issues that are tailored to regional/district differences; and supporting the hundreds of grassroots initiatives like Catchment and Landcare groups, QEII covenants, and biodiversity and conservation trusts.

The event on Sunday afternoon is part of the plan to build momentum towards the ‘Groundswell Gathering’ that is taking place in February 2022 at Parliament in Wellington.

Update 1.15pm Farm tractors, utes and cars are starting to converge on Tauranga joining in with a long loop of protest around the city.

The Groundswell NZ  'Mother of all Protests' vehicles have been seen travelling along Takitimu Drive on the way towards Mount Maunganui over Tauranga harbour bridge.

They will then circle back along The Strand before heading on towards Poike, the Barkes Corner before returning back towards Mount Maunganui.

A SunLive reader reports driving  to Greerton says that "there were protester cars all the way from Mount to Greerton on opposite side of the road from us.

"It was hard to read signs but most say 'No to three waters' and 'No farmers, no food'."

Earlier, 12pm:

Hundreds of farm vehicles, tractors, trucks, utes, vans and cars are expected to converge on Tauranga on Sunday afternoon bringing the main city roads to a standstill as part of a national protest.

Hailed as ‘The Mother of all Protests’, the motorcade encircling the city is a planned stand by Groundswell NZ against what many feel are unworkable regulations.

At 11am, utes, tractors, trucks and cars leave from Pyes Pa, Katikati, Kaimai Range, Oropi, Te Puna, Paengaroa and Te Puke heading towards Tauranga.

Once arriving at the city outskirts, the vehicles will join in a large city loop that extends from Barkes Corner to Adams Ave, aiming to be circling Tauranga by 1pm.

At 1.35pm every driver has been asked to stop, turn off their engines, open their windows and turn up the volume on their radios where a Groundswell statement will be played over the airwaves on Newstalk ZB.

“Enough is enough! We are standing against the unworkable regulations that impact you and your family New Zealand,’ says a Groundswell spokesperson. “It’s time to unite and force government to take notice and acknowledge Groundswell.”

Each driver has been asked to stay in their vehicles and follow Covid-19 safety guidance.

“Groundswell NZ is a volunteer group of farmers and rural professionals advocating for our Grass Roots farmers and rural communities.

“It all started with a tractor protest about the National Policy on Freshwater but with overwhelming national support have grown to encompass far more.”

Groundswell NZ is also seeking a halt to, and rewrite of, unworkable regulations – freshwater, indigenous biodiversity, climate change and Crown Pastoral Land Reform bill (new regulation affecting high country farmers); a stronger advocacy voice on behalf of farmers and rural communities; seeking solutions to environmental issues that are tailored to regional/district differences; and supporting the hundreds of grassroots initiatives like Catchment and Landcare groups, QEII covenants, and biodiversity and conservation trusts.

The event on Sunday afternoon is part of the plan to build momentum towards the ‘Groundswell Gathering’ that is taking place in February 2022 at Parliament in Wellington.




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11 Comments

Democracy in New Zealand,

Posted on 25-11-2021 17:00 | By R. Bell

is alive and well. Morepork engages in his usual, repetitive nonsense. The U.N. Charter on indigenous rights was passed to protect ALL indigenous people of the world whose rights were, and in some cases still are trampled on by colonial and other regimes. Co- governance is part of N.Z law and is advantages to all New Zealanders, it is an integral part of our democracy and gives no advantage to either parties to the treaty that started this nation. Three Waters is no exception, Its governance model simply gives Maori a say in a matter they are intimately involved in, it works well, as proven by the joint governance or The Urewera and the Whanganui River. Chiefs do NOT make the decisions, elected board members do. Stop your scare mongering Morepork, people are no longer afraid of Maori participation, and recognise racism when the see it.

3 waters is just a part...

Posted on 23-11-2021 11:26 | By morepork

... of the overall deconstruction of our Democracy. Your right to a referendum is being cancelled by backroom meetings that are opaque and answer to no-one. A second-tier unelected elite, based on Race, will govern the country using a UN document as the basis for their authority. This document was created to protect indigenous people in countries where they had no rights and were being exploited. That is NOT NZ. A Government with any backbone would take a stand for our independence and Democracy and get a level playing field for ALL our citizens. What is being sold as "co-governance" is covert takeover of our Democratic system, replacing it with a tribal tradition where the Chiefs make the decisions and no dissent is tolerated. 3 waters is part of He Puapua, which MUST be stopped. This Government has to go; vote to change it, while you still can.

@ Solo

Posted on 22-11-2021 14:46 | By Kancho

Better infrastructure isn’t precluded as it’s about funding and the government hold the key and limit council ability. They could use taxpayers funding and give loans to local government. However they want to set up bureaucracy and as we see from kiwibuild so not very confident . There is no guarantee of more expertise as in fact that already exists . Nor does 50 percent of control and governance by Maori bring experience or expertise as they are political appointments from iwi. You say council are amateur but I see no difference with iwi. Nor is it racist to question racial appointment not by merit or democratic process

NZ Water sold for off shore$

Posted on 22-11-2021 13:04 | By 2up

Our water supplies need to be controlled and secured. Currently we have councils around the country giving water away for very little $, some of which ends up sold by private overseas based companies for huge profits. this needs to stop and controls put on the free flow.

Wake up people?

Posted on 22-11-2021 10:32 | By an_alias

Please @Solo when is a faceless govt appointed bureaucrat who does not answer to local democracy ever produced a good result ? How did central controlled food production work out for Russia under Stalin, yeah it only cost millions of lives. You think having elite govt appointees means they know what they are doing. Man, you think 50% owned by Maori’s means they know what they are doing, your statements have zero logic. You need local democratic oversight or our resources will be destroyed by govt bureaucrats. Those complaining about some small inconvenience of there motoring is ridiculous if we lose local democratic control which is the goal of the UN. People have to be confronted with protests to actually make them think it seems. Would we be here without the politicians from both sides pushing agendas ?

Farmers?

Posted on 21-11-2021 23:46 | By Solo

Why on earth don’t people want to work toward sustainable water infrastructure? Councils generally have great (educated and trained) staff, but are ruled by amateurs (elected members). This is the issue. So our most valuable resource (water) is governed by mostly amateurs. Really? Three Waters allows for more expertise to be applied to the management of our greatest resource. Stop worrying racists - Maori aren’t going to run off with all the water. They might just be able to provide some balance regarding the quality of what we all consume and use - for the good of all.

GRRR

Posted on 21-11-2021 21:43 | By Yadick

Is this the latest little game to play. Make your point by blocking the roads and pizzing off the innocent motorist while MPs sit in their air-conditioned office or fav Cafe supping their lattes having a good laugh. We all, including me, complain at hikoi’s blocking our roads, illegal Covid19 roadblocks, and then all a sudden you, not me, deem it OK to push your point by doing basically the same thing. There’s many ways to make your point. The persistantly squeaky wheel gets the oil. I do not in any way support 3 waters or the racism with it but I don’t support stupid either.

No to 3 waters

Posted on 21-11-2021 17:52 | By Kancho

I wouldn’t join a protest of this type but I am totally opposed to 3 waters . I think the best option is to make every vote count Labour and green out as soon as we get the chance at the next election. They didn’t put up 3 waters at election time as they wouldn’t have been elected. Clearly they waited to force it through. Setting up a central bureaucracy and taking ratepayers assets and control to appointed governance to fifty percent iwi . An attack on local government and democracy. Tax payer funding assistance is all that’s required.

Good on the farmers

Posted on 21-11-2021 17:24 | By an_alias

You would have to be pretty clueless not to understand the issues farmers are facing with a govt that ignores all feedback and just does what they want. Most of NZ is against 3 waters apart from the politicians who have a UN agenda to push.

Groundswell NZ

Posted on 21-11-2021 14:13 | By WSTAKL

These people are fully funded by the NZ Taxpayers Union. They will never have my support.

Could someone

Posted on 21-11-2021 13:59 | By DaveTheCynic

ask these protestors what, exactly, is unworkable about the proposed regulations. None seem to be able to articulate any coherant answer, apart from "Gummint lady, Gummint bad."

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