July 19, 2021
Grab bag of issues swelled farm protests
National Party deputy leader Shane Reti is accusing the media of downplaying last week’s farming protests.
National Party MPs were out in force at Friday’s tractor and ute-driven protests, which seemed to be about opposition to climate change measures and efforts to clean up the environment.
Dr Reti says despite the large numbers who turned out at towns and cities around the country, it only ended up as the third item on the television news and page two of the major daily newspapers.
He says the marches tapped into widespread disquiet.
"What was interesting was how some of the issues we were dealing with on Friday were suddenly pulled into race-related arguments. There were Māori and non-Māori talking about freshwater, talking about SNAs, talking about indigenous biodiversity, talking about labour shortages, talking about the crown pastoral lead land. There was no racial path to this. Everyone was sharing the same issues.
Dr Reti says in Northland there were as many Māori as Pākehā farmers in the protest.
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