Fed-up farmers to flood into New Zealand streets in protest of Government 'ute tax'

Fed-up farmers will flood New Zealand streets and towns on Friday in protest of the Government's 'ute tax' - and one of them says he hopes city-dwellers will join the cause.

Bryce McKenzie, a farmer from Gore and spokesperson for the Groundswell group which is organising the protest, told The Project on Wednesday he expects "thousands" of farmers will take part.

The protest aims to draw attention to what farmers say is mounting regulation for the industry.

It follows outrage over the Government's Clean Car Package. The rebate scheme has been dubbed a 'ute tax' by opponents, given that it rewards people who buy electric vehicles and penalises new high-emission vehicles such as utes.

As well as the 'ute tax', McKenzie says the group is specifically opposing regulations around freshwater, significant natural areas and indigenous biodiversity - rules he says were introduced without sufficient consultation and are "unworkable" for farmers and growers.

"Forcing things on people that they haven't been consulted on [is] causing a lot of anxiety and a lot of stress and tensions in the rural sector."

McKenzie says farmers try to cut down their emissions where they can, but it's not always practical.

"We use a lot of motorbikes and four-wheel drives to try cut down on emissions, but we also need those utes for heavy work, especially down here [in Gore] with snow and everything.

"I'd hate to think what would happen if you had an EV and the battery went flat - it wouldn't be very secure."

He says he hopes those protesting aren't angry but are just trying to show solidarity. He also hopes urban people will join the protest too.

"We're not doing this to upset urban people at all - we hope they join us. They realise where their food comes from - at least I hope they do!"

Watch his full interview above.