Scott Bright has always been involved with farming. He grew up on a farm, worked on a farm and has always been involved in the farming industry and its people, one way or another. These days he only has small holding but is actively involved in raising the profile of groups that have sprung up recently to counteract what is being seen as fervent erosion of both common sense when it comes to our rural industries and New Zealander’s rights and freedoms.
“I’m passionate about New Zealand and all the great things that come with living in our great country. But in recent times, legislation by this current government is being railroaded through into policy without listening to industry leaders and men and woman on the ground who actually can see that what they are suggesting is both unworkable and unsustainable.”
Legislations that include our water such as the Three Waters Bill, and others that cover indigenous biodiversity, climate change and the Crown Pastoral Land Reform bill (new regulation affecting high country farmers). All contain a high level of unworkable regulations that in the end the consumer will have to wear with higher prices across everything from rates through to the price of fruit and vegetables.
In early October, Scott met up with other locals and took trailer loads of locally grown vegetables to protest at the Freedoms and Rights Coalition Freedom picnic organized in the Auckland Domain. The protest ran under Auckland’s Level 3 conditions and Scott says that most that where there followed the rules.
“I had committed to going as we had a job to do, to feed those that were out of jobs, or had lost income due the Government’s lockdown requirements. It was a peaceful event, with social distancing and mask use. The messages were clear by a number of speakers and the atmosphere one of peace and unity. “Yes, there were groups there that perhaps have had bad press in the past. But everyone had the same message. We have had our rights and freedoms removed and we need to unite for freedom.
Having read through a lot of the current legislation moving through parliament, I am shocked at the level of draconian measures that are being pushed through with no regards for the impact they will have on New Zealanders. I would encourage everyone to read them and make a submission as things are just being pushed through under the guise of emergency and necessary due to the current Covid pandemic.”
Recent reports by Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta that she won’t rule out forcing a law change that would require local councils to adopt the contentious Three Waters Bill raise big flags for Scott and many in the groups he is involved with. Under the proposal, all 67 local and regional councils' drinking, waste and storm water assets would be absorbed by four large regional entities. In return, the government would pay for billions of dollars' worth of much-needed infrastructure and repairs. But many councils remain unconvinced and the lack of time for consultation within their communities before submissions is a major concern.
“No one argues that there are big issues facing our infrastructure across both urban and rural communities and that environmental issues need to be addressed within the faming communities. But the way this government is going about it should be of real concern for New Zealanders. Our democracy is being threatened.”
Scott is one of the Pukekohe coordinators for Groundswell NZ. A group that is ‘Standing Up Against Unworkable Regulations” and who’s mantra is “Educating, Supporting and Talking Common Sense with our rural communities throughout New Zealand.” Many elocal readers would have been involved with supporting the group when they and their supporters took tractors, utes, dogs and vegetables into the cities across New Zealand in what was one of the biggest protests in recent years.
The Government has been silent on their demands and plans are afoot for a ‘Mother of all Protests” next month on November 21st. The group is growing daily and the date is one to be put in your diary if you are fed up with your rights being taken from you whether you are a farmer, business owner or simply not able to get on with your daily life.
The format will be similar to last time, you are invited to travel into your local NZ town, big or small and aim to be there at 1pm. You can contact your local Groundswell group using their facebook page. Come in your Ute, your tractor, your truck or car – or march along on foot if you wish.
At 1.35pm on your local Newstalk ZB frequency, the Groundswell Statement will be played over the airwaves. Turn up the volume, turn off your engine, open the windows so all can hear – get out & stand up New Zealand.
“Enough is enough, Stand up against the unworkable regulations that impact you & your family New Zealand, it’s time to unite and force government to take notice and acknowledge the Groundswell. Join in & help us build momentum towards the “Groundswell Gathering” that will take place February 2022 at Parliament.”