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Tight fit . . . one of the tractors in a convoy of around 350 farm vehicles which were driven along High Street, in the Rangiora central business district, in July during the nationwide Howl of a Protest. PHOTO: SHELLEY TOPP

By ROBYN BRISTOW

Groundswell Waimak is going to town.

It will roll into Christchurch, in convoy from the north, to join two other convoys coming from the west and the south during Groundswell NZ’s Mother of All Protests on Sunday, November 21.

Meanwhile Amberley will host convoys coming in from the south, west and north, in the Hurunui district, with the aim of filling the main street.

They will park up in the vicinity of council chamber to listen to speakers and Groundswell NZ’s 1.35pm radio broadcast.

Groundswell Waimak says anyone can join the convoy on their tractors, bikes, in their utes, and cars to “vent their frustrations” at unworkable Government regulations, with the Three Water Reforms being at the top of the agenda. “Enough is Enough” they say.

The three convoys will meet at the Archway over State Highway One near the airport and roll on down the west end of Memorial Avenue, between Burnside Park and the motorway overbridge, and park up by 1pm in time to listen to a broadcast at 1.35pm from Groundswell NZ.

An organiser Shelley Drummond says the Waimak convoy will have its origins at Cust starting at 10.30am.

It will travel to Rangiora with other vehicles joining in, before splitting, with some heading to Woodend to pick up part of the convoy there, while others make their way to Tram Road, via Flaxton Road.

It is expected all will converge at the Tram Road lights before travelling to Christchurch either down the motorway to the archway, or going via the Cranford Street section of the motorway and finding their way across town to Memorial Avenue.

Organisers hope to get a map distributed district-wide before Sunday’s event.

Jamie McFadden, chair of the Rural Advocacy Network (RNA), which has aligned with Groundswell NZ, says some traffic disruption can be expected as people roll in to Amberley’s main centre from 12.45pm.

“It is heartening to see mayors and councillors speaking out strongly against state theft of our community assets and the loss of our democracy. But they need our support,” says Mr McFadden.

The three North Canterbury Mayors, Marie Black (Hurunui), Dan Gordon (Waimakariri), and Craig Mackle (Kaikoura), will speak.

There will be live Facebook feeds on the Groundswell page, and everyone will be encouraged to turn on their radios to listen to a Groundswell broadcast on Newstalk ZB at 1.35pm.

Mr McFadden says Groundswell NZ is concerned the loss of democracy and local representation has been unprecedented under this current Government, and now there was the threat of community water schemes being taken over by government.

“These schemes were dreamed up by the community, built by the community and funded by the community.

“Despite the vast majority of councils being opposed to the initial voluntary Three Waters reform proposal, the government has now decided on mandatory takeover of control of our drinking water, wastewater and stormwater assets.

“The initial consultation process by the government has proven to be a sham,” says Mr McFadden.

“Councils and communities are being stripped of their decision making autonomy as one size fits all state control seeks to take over. Freshwater legislation, indigenous biodiversity/Significant Natural Areas (SNAs) and now Three Waters reform are all examples where councils and communities have lost their decision making autonomy.”

Mr McFadden says it is heartening to see mayors and councillors speaking out strongly against the loss of community assets and the loss of democracy.

“But they need our support. This Sunday, November 21, Groundswell is calling for the people of New Zealand to join the Mother of all Protests in supporting our councils against this unprecedented state control.”

Burrows 027 4390633, Mark Ireland 021 2274247 or Jamie McFadden 027 3218747.

Shelley Drummond 027 920 1738, or email smdrum196504@outlook.com, or Mark Ireland 021 2274247.

Facebook page for more information.