Shane Jones' redneck comments 'remarkable show of disrespect' - Todd Muller

National MP Todd Muller is hitting back at controversial comments made by Forestry Minister Shane Jones during a rural protest.

Jones on Thursday described 50 Shades of Green marchers as "ngati-redneck-ery", seeming to suggest they're a tribe of rednecks.

National's agriculture spokesperson Muller said Jones' comments were disappointing and not a way to act.

"This is a remarkable show of disrespect to hundreds of farmers who travelled a long way to have their say," Muller said, adding Jones should apologise.

Muller told Newshub farmers feel under attack.

"They want the Government to actually listen to them to celebrate what they do, not condemn what they do."

Federated Farmers vice president Andrew Hoggard believes concerns from the sector are being ignored.

Hoggard told Newshub that Jones' comments were unnecessary.

"I don't know if that would have helped at all," he said. "It would have been better quite frankly for him to listen, take it in and have a constructive dialogue."

Labour minister Willie Jackson meanwhile jumped to the defence of Jones after his bizarre address.

"Those farmers are a bit out of line," Jackson told The AM Show on Friday.

National MP Judith Collins, appearing with Jackson on the show, believes Jones is a laughing stock.

Collins said farmers were probably furious, but also bemused.

Shane Jones and Willie Jackson.
Shane Jones and Willie Jackson. Photo credit: Getty/The Am Show

"I know farmers pretty well and the general view I think would be, 'what's he [Jones] up to'?" an amused Collins said.

A spokesperson for Jones said on Thursday said a sign held up with an expletive remark is what made him upset and lash out at the crowd. 

Jones admitted the Government needs to find a balance. But he said the protesters were "antagonistic to what the Government is doing" and were "unwilling to acknowledge" that the National Party voted in favour of the Zero Carbon Bill.