Groundswell NZ was founded in 2020 by two southern farmers who were frustrated with unworkable regulations. Now supported by a volunteer group of farmers and rural professionals, they've brought the issue of unworkable regulations into the mainstream, and represent an authentic rural voice.
Groundswell co-founder, Bryce McKenzie, goes viral on Facebook with a post about unworkable regulations, including winter grazing, and first mentions the idea of a tractor protest.
The First Protest
Supporters rally to fill Gore’s Main Street in protest of unworkable regulations on farmers, particularly the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.
Groundswell NZ launches their first petition to demand change to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management as the government ignores the available practical solutions.
First Public Meeting
Over 700 farmers attend a Groundswell NZ public meeting at Southern Field Days, as support for the movement grows.
South Island Meetings
Concerned farmers flock to public meetings held in Oamaru, Ashburton, Amberly, Greymouth, and Fox Glacier about the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and Significant Natural Areas.
7 May 2021
Agriculture Sector Meeting
Groundswell NZ hosts the leaders of New Zealand’s agriculture sector, including Federated Farmers, Beef+Lamb, and DairyNZ, to discuss the major issues facing grassroots farmers and growers.
24 May 2021
Letter to Councils
Groundswell NZ wrote to all councils demanding they clearly state their position on Significant Natural Areas and pause Significant Natural Area mapping.
16 July 2021
Howl of a Protest
Groundswell NZ explodes across the country in nationwide protests against unworkable regulations, with tractors and utes filling town centres and putting the concerns of grassroots farmers and growers in the headlines of every newspaper in New Zealand.
21 November 2021
Mother of All Protests
After the Government failed to address the issues raised by Howl of a Protest, Groundswell NZ returned with the Mother of All Protests, drawing attention to unworkable regulations, adding Three Waters to the list.
25 November 2021
Write to Mr. O'Connor
Bryce and Laurie deliver 6,000 letters to Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor on the steps of Parliament, demanding the Government see reason on emissions pricing and the Ute Tax.
Bryce has been a farmer his whole life, working as both a Sheep & Beef farmer and Dairy farmer. He is a founding member of the Pomahaka Water Care Group, a volunteer group to protect and improve the water quality of the Pomahaka River. Happily married with four children, Bryce spends his free time fly fishing. His concern for the younger generation and the pressures they face farming under unworkable regulations led him to establish Groundswell NZ in 2020.
Laurie manages the day-to-day running of Waikaka Station, a multi-generational sheep and beef property in Southland, along with his son Ross and his wife Sharon. He was recognised as an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit in 2017 for his services to the beef industry. Laurie shares Bryce's concern for the next generation of farmers and the challenges they face under unworkable regulations.
Groundswell NZ is a grassroots volunteer-driven advocacy group seeking a halt to, and rewrite of, unworkable regulations which unfairly impact farmers and rural communities.