First, thanks to everyone who has been in touch with positive feedback on the “shovel ready” protest that we held last month. I was grateful to Kumeu Courier for its coverage of the event.
A few people told me that it was the first protest type of event they’d ever attended, as a measure of how upset they’re feeling about the lack of action and investment here in the northwest.
I had a “déjà vu” feeling recently when I was told by another group of people that they’re also not usually the protesting kind. These separate but similar conversations took place at the “Groundswell” protest events of last week.
I joined various farmers and their supporters in Helensville and we travelled together in convoy to Orewa. At that same site we were joined by others who had made the equivalent trip from Wellsford. Across the country similar movements were taking place.
Again, these are not in the category of person who relishes making placards, chanting slogans, tooting horns and generally making a fuss.
Most people are too busy most of the time living their lives to be highly engaged with politics, which is fair enough and in fact much more healthy than the alternative.
Farmers and friends turned out in numbers, however, to make clear their displeasure at a number of changes that affect their ability to provide for themselves and their fellow Kiwis. I should probably add “the world”, as New Zealand primary producers feed many overseas. The fact that Kiwi farmers manage to produce in a more environmentally friendly way than their foreign counterparts shows clearly that we should support them for the sake of the planet, as well as patriotism.
Without getting into the detail of the particular policies, I think it’s worth recalling that Wellington shouldn’t bite the hand that literally feeds us all.
To be clear, I support our rural communities to keep producing the food and fibre that we need to sustain us, especially when so many are working hard to do that in an environmentally responsible way.
Ed. I happened to be in Helensville when the protest took off on its way to Orewa. It took over 15 minutes for the tractors, utes, cars with trailers, vans, trucks etc. to pass by. The streets were lined with waving, supportive public, with much hooting and cheering. It really was a signt to behold. Let’s hope it brings about some sanity from Wellington