“Howling” of New Zealand farmers protesting Ardan government taxes and regulations

Thousands of New Zealand farmers across the country have traveled to the streets of more than 40 cities and towns on tractors and utes to protest new taxes and regulations enforced by the Ardan government.

A “howling protest” sponsored by Groundswell NZ, an organization of farmers, producers, contractors and merchants, is protesting a number of new taxes and environmental regulations they say are punishing the rural sector. It was.

This regulation was announced after the 2019 Environmental Survey entitled “Environmental Aotearoa” (pdf), The country said it is in a harsh environmental situation with the potential for catastrophic biodiversity loss and massively polluted waterways brought about by dangerous agricultural and industrial practices.

Groundswell co-founder and protester Bryce McKenzie Said The RNZ on July 16 acknowledged that farmers needed to make changes to help the environment, but said the New Zealand Government’s universal approach to regulating the rural sector would not work.

“Peasants aren’t putting their heads in the sand and saying they’re okay. They’re definitely working very hard to get things right. Understand why regulations are regulated. Difficult to [are] We intend to speed up that process, “said Mackenzie.

Karen Barker, a farmer coordinating the Rotorua branch of the Howl of a Protest, NZ Herald Farmers and producers were fed up with “continuous government intervention.”

She said that many of the regulations imposed on them in recent years are unrealistic and exorbitantly expensive, creating “immeasurable mental tension.”

“We are always told what we can and cannot do. Everyone I know has the courage and we can no longer remain silent. The entire New Zealand food basket is at stake. I hope the people of the town will support us. “

The protest organizers have released seven points (pdfThey want the government to take immediate action, prioritizing new national policy statements on freshwater and indigenous biodiversity.

In addition, farmers want foreign agricultural workers to be allowed into the country and immediately dispose of what the New Zealand government calls the “Ute tax” or clean car package rebate scheme. I want

The system, which came into effect in July, allows people buying new electric vehicles (EVs) to regain up to NZ $ 8,625 from the government and will be funded through taxation on high-emission vehicles from January 1, 2022. Means to be offered.

However, farmers, horticulturists, industry supporters, and merchants are afraid to bear the brunt of the government’s new taxation because it is the main use of high-emission vehicles, and electric vehicles are now replacing these vehicles. States that it is not available.

“There is no electrical alternative to ute, an integral part of New Zealand’s economical heavy-duty vehicles,” said Groundswell. “Without alternatives, the policy is clearly infeasible and simply another financial burden.”

Judith Collins, the leader of the Kuomintang opposition party who participated in the protest on Friday, responded.Collins previously Said RNZ said it would abolish taxes as soon as it wins.

“Why do they have to pay because the government couldn’t handle the emissions?” She said. “I think the government move is just a tax on those who have to work to make a living to enable others who want the’good’. “

“For many families, this is simply out of their reach,” Collins said.

Epoch Times Photo
Nationalist Party leader Judith Collins will speak on Budget Day 2021 at Congress in Wellington, New Zealand, on May 20, 2021. (Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images)

New Zealand Transport Minister Michael Woods previously stated that the plan was to expedite the transition to cleaner vehicles. He also said that there are several electric trading vans currently available and manufacturers have shown that electric utes will be available soon.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a Facebook speech Said She upheld the rights of farmers and the agricultural sector to protest across the country, saying that these were issues where she and the government were “working hard to respond.”

Ardan said he understands how important the primary industry is to New Zealand, both domestically and economically.

“Last year alone, we found that food producers in particular are important not only domestically but also to the economy. They have maintained an incredibly strong recovery for us in the wake of COVID-19. And have continued to produce, “she said.

However, she said New Zealand has a reputation for excellence in favor of the export sector and is expected to show that New Zealand is doing “their bit” around the environment, especially freshwater and produce. I did.

However, Ardan promised that she and the government would work with the local sector to tackle these challenges.

“My commitment is to keep us working together,” Ardan said.

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