Groundswell NZ is a volunteer group of farmers and rural professionals advocating for our Grass Roots farmers and rural communities.
Groundswell NZ's main focus continues to be on the unworkable regulations impacting the rural sector. Like increasing numbers of New Zealanders, farmers have felt badly maligned by this current government and its policies. Like the protestors in Wellington we also have been ignored by the Government and called denigrating names. We can empathize with their frustration.
Whether you agree or not with the people protesting on parliament grounds is not the debate anymore. What this government, that proclaimed it would govern for all New Zealanders, has done is turn its back on a good number of its people.
How hard can it be to at least front up and talk to the people assembled on parliament grounds?
The final straw for me, and what prompted me to go public, is the way government is treating these people - turning the sprinklers on them knowing there was a storm coming, and playing loud music at night so as to not let them sleep and make them feel miserable. No farmer would treat animals like that!
Although this protest has a different focus to Groundswell NZ, we support their right to be heard and cannot understand or agree with the Government's actions. What is becoming of our once united and proud country?
Bryce McKenzie is a west Otago farmer who, along with Laurie Paterson founded Groundswell New Zealand