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Stratford Press - 2021-07-21

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Showing support for rural sector

News

Alyssa Smith

Tractors and utes with dogs in the back rumbled through Stratford for a national protest. More than 100 vehicles drove through Stratford in a convey to show their support for the Howl of a Protest event. Organised by Groundswell New Zealand, the event is a protest against government regulations covering freshwater, significant natural areas, indigenous biodiversity and the “ute tax”. The Stratford protest started on Flint Rd with vehicles then driving down Broadway to the War Memorial Hall in Stratford. Thomas Annabell was one of the many people in the convoy line. “It’s about showing our support to the rural sector. It’s the backbone of the country, we can’t live without it.” Gavin Buckthought is in the farming industry and says the new regulations are not fit for purpose. “The Government seems to be out of touch with reality and our rural sector. These new regulations are uncalled for and are making farmers’ lives harder with unjustifiable costs. If we can’t run a ute, we can’t provide a service.” Clare Coatsworth (10) was at the protest to show her support. “Our farmers are very important and they keep the country going. If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have food, milk, or a lot of other items.” Dimmocks100 % Stratford was one of the businesses supporting the protest. Co-owner Megan Dimmock says the regulations affect everyone. “Our farmers and tradies are the backbone of this nation which affects all of us. They support us so we need to support them.” Megan, who comes from a farming background, says she understands how the farmers feel. “At Dimmocks 100 % Stratford we support our farmers. To show our support we had a number of sales for our farmers and tradies and dog treats for any dogs that came in store.”

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