A farmer group set up in opposition to new freshwater rules is expanding across the South Island.
Groundswell NZ was established in Southland after a tractor protest in Gore last year and is calling for more "common sense" on the issue of freshwater regulations.
The group recently held a number of meetings in Canterbury and the West Coast which attracted hundreds of people and has also found a number of regional coordinators in the regions.
Spokesperson Bryce McKenzie told Magic Talk's Rural Today the group was surprised by the turnout at the meetings.
"We didn't think people would recognise us at all but we found out that all farmers, all people on waterways, are struggling with the same thing - so that gave us something in common immediately," he told host Dominic George on Wednesday.
There has been widespread criticism by farmers to the freshwater regulations introduced by the Government last year.
Some of the more controversial rules - such as those relating to winter grazing - were supposed to come into effect in May, but have now been deferred for a year after farmers complained they were impractical and unworkable.
McKenzie says farmers are already "getting fantastic results" protecting the country's freshwater bodies through catchments groups and more rules and regulations won't help the situation.
"[Farmers] are doing a lot of work and they've spent a lot of money over the years to try and help make the waterways better."
He said as well as the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, Groundswell also had concerns over regulations concerning the protection of indigenous biodiversity and significant natural areas.
"It's very, very difficult to put these three things together so farmers have something easier to understand and comply with, but that's got to be the way we've got to go," he said.