Dubbed “We all live off the land,” the October 9 event in Invercargill is not a protest but aims to reinforce the integral urban and rural links.
“One of the reasons Southland’s economy didn’t tank through covid was due to our strong rural economy that cushioned the blow,” Southland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Sheree Carey said.
“We see this event as a great way to thank them – bring all Southlanders together to show support for farmers who are currently having a really tough time.”
Southland Federated Farmers president Geoffrey Young says the event is not a protest, but a show of unity.
It will address issues such as how the new freshwater regulations will affect the whole province, but will also celebrate things that are positive.
“The three key messages we’d like to get out to Southlanders are that the best solutions to Southland challenges will be developed in Southland, that we can balance a healthy economy and healthy freshwater, and that cultivation and planting will happen when conditions are appropriate,” he said.
The family event will run between 12pm-2pm at Gala Street Reserve and will include a panel discussion, including Laura Douglas from The Fairlight Foundation speaking about mental wellbeing and resilience to address the current low morale.