"Farmers are actually really feeling like they're really getting it in the behind, they don't like it," Judith Collins said today as National released a new advertisement depicting arrows going into farmers' backsides.
Collins described the ad as "a lot of fun".
"I know there'll be somebody somewhere who will be offended, you know what, have a laugh," Collins said.
Much of the online commentary about the ad drew sexual innuendos from the video.
"Imagine what farmers are putting up with everyday being told they're doing bad things when they're actually saving the country and saving the economy," Collins said.
"It's a great ad. I love it."
Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor described it as "consistent National Party".
"It’s just inaccurate, as is many things the National Party say."
It comes as protests have been held around the country with farmers saying there had been a lack of consultation around environmental changes and what has been labelled a 'ute tax'.
A high-emitting vehicle imported into New Zealand would have a sliding-scale fee from 2022, payable by the purchaser when the vehicle is registered.
"A discount on electric, hybrid and low emission vehicles funded from a fee on higher emitting ones is the best policy to increase low emissions vehicle uptake in New Zealand," Transport Minister Michael Wood has previously said.
Collins said farmers were "united and the public are saying [that] too, they're with them".
"Townspeople coming out saying they support the farmers and the trades people."
O'Connor said he was not surprised by the scenes today.
"I've been talking with farmers over many, many months and they've been expressing their frustration."
"We've been working through, making changes... there are still a lot of things to work through and we'll leave the door open for that dialogue with farmers and with farming leaders."
"The reality is, offshore in our customer base, they want to know that we're looking after the environment that we're doing our bit for climate change that we have the high standards of animal welfare. We have to be able to prove to ensure we are the best farmers for the world, that we don't just say that."
"We have a open door policy to consultation, where mistakes are made, where things are pointed out we make those changes and all ministers are prepared to listen to the farmers and make sure what we do give effect to the better outcomes we need."