Groundswell reveals routes for nationwide protests against Government's proposed emissions levy

Groundswell members have revealed the routes as they gear up for nationwide protests today.

Tractors will be driving through city centres across the motu as Groundswell, an advocacy group for farming and rural communities in New Zealand, protest against the Government's new scheme proposing to price agricultural emissions.

Last week, a consultation document was released to the public proposing GST-registered farmers and growers who meet certain livestock and fertiliser use thresholds will have to pay levies on emissions from 2025.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the proposal "is an important step forward in New Zealand's transition to a low emissions future and delivers on our promise to price agriculture emissions from 2025".

She said farmers will benefit from the country becoming the first to develop a system for pricing agricultural emissions by gaining price premiums and boosting export earnings.

While the Groundswell campaign said it supports a focus on reducing farm emissions it is against the levy and is pushing for emission reductions through integrated environmental actions on farms.

Groundswell told Newshub earlier this week they have had a "massive" response following the Government's announcement and tens of thousands of Kiwis have signed up to protect the rural and farming communities from the emissions levy the group has described as a "tax on food production".

The protest, called 'We're not going to take it', will begin on Thursday at around 8am across Aotearoa with large numbers expected at main city centres at noon.

"This is our chance to show the Government that the public backs our farmers and rejects this punitive, counterproductive, and unworkable tax," the organisers said in a press release.

Christchurch will be attracting protesters from around Canterbury with convoys from Timaru through Ashburton and Rolleston, and Oxford, Amberly and Rangiora. The city will also see vehicles roll in from the West Coast including Hokitika and Greymouth.

The convoy has planned to meet at Hagley Park on the corner of Moorhouse Ave and Lincoln Rd at 12pm.

Convoys from Southland and South Otago are expected to meet at Queens Park in Dunedin, Wellingtonians will gather at the Wellington Cenotaph and Aucklanders will drive to Victoria Park at noon.

The full list of cities and towns along with details on meeting points and times for the protest can be found here. 

A police spokesperson told Newshub they have been in communication with the protest's organisers to discuss potential routes and plans.

They said police staff will be monitoring the roading network and will respond to any issues as they arise.

"Police recognise the lawful right to protest, and we also recognise the public has a right to go about their lawful business," the spokesperson said. "Our focus is to ensure the safety of all parties while ensuring any disruption to the public is kept to a minimum."

In Auckland, police are advising motorists to expect some disruption across the motorway network, particularly State Highway 1, during the latter part of the morning.  

"Police will be actively monitoring the motorway network to ensure a planned convoy can take place safely and with minimal disruption."