Thousands of West Coasters rally against 'one size fits all' Government policies

Around 4000 West Coasters have descended on Greymouth's Messenger Park on Sunday to protest against "one size fits all" Government policies.

Many at the rally said they are worried that business growth is being stifled, driving young people away from the region as a result.

Protesters had a message for the Government. As one person put it: "Talk to us, not about us."

It was a sea of faces, standing in solidarity and calling for action.

"I am here today to appeal to the Government to listen to us and to ask for your support as a region to band together for this to happen," one person said.

Organisers of the rally said they are upset by a raft of legislation changes including the banning of new mines on conservation land, restrictions on farming and proposed changes to freshwater fishing laws.

"It's the uncertainty, it's holding back business confidence on the West Coast," protest organiser Peter Haddock explained.

"Young people are looking at moving off the Coast and we believe one shoe does not fit all as far as regions go."

Haddock said all MPs - including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern - were invited to attend Sunday's event.

National Party leader Simon Bridges was one of the few to take up the offer.

"There's a real sense that the Coast is under attack, that its way of living... its livelihood connected to the land is under assault so I'm here to support the growing anger," he said.

Event organisers on the Coast are now hoping others in Wellington are listening too.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz