Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Autumn - a time for reflection perhaps?

Yesterday I took a long walk on a new walkway that follows the Hawea River from Albert Town to Lake Hawea, and I marvelled at the far-sightedness and investment of a Trust that created it from go to whoa, inc. a very substantial swing bridge...
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Yesterday was also the day our New Zealand National Govt. unveiled plans to mine in our National Parks. Predetermined plans at that, it seems!

Unlike Lake Wanaka I find Lake Hawea has a real sense of rawness about it. It maybe autumn though, but we're getting a lot of spring [Oct.] like gales at present...
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I note that many local Bed and Breakfast operations promote this long walk/ride overseas. So I truly wonder what is going on if our Govt. thinks it can earn more overseas dollars by destroying our landscape, than we'd get from tourism, which is our biggest earner, and has been for sometime...
hawea-river-walking-1.jpg

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Today on National Radio this whole mining thing got examined again - I recall the last time was in the last century, and it was discarded out-of-hand. Yet this time it's spooky - it's the predetermined approach of our present Govt. that does this to me. The focus on the National Radio, of course is Great Barrier Island, that jewel in the Hauraki Gulf, and the nearby Coramandel Peninsula area, both close to our largest city Auckland.

But down here in the south we have a larger jewel and maybe the Govt. hope it'll be overlooked if the hullabaloo is centred near Auckland!

Since there is a following on my blog here of people who enjoy a virtual journey, lets examine Stewart Island / Rakiura, coastline and landscape of our third-largest island of New Zealand.

From Oban, the only town on Stewart Island, to get to Port Pegasus, the southern most harbour, is several hours at 8 knots - two thirds of the trip being in the true Southern Ocean...
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This is the shoreline on this long and exposed leg...
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There are hazards like Black Rock accentuated by wickedly strong currents, right where the naive would sail, ...
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The entrance to Pegasus - a tricky harbour to enter due to severe currents, but once inside there is enough to keep adventurer sailors like Arthur here, and his mates [myself, son and others] busy for a month...
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But wait... there has been mining here too. The Tin Range, for example, is not called "The Tin Range" for nothing, but back then the technology was quaint, so there is not much left behind...
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And maybe real pirates did use this "Pirates Cove". But today's pirates, if they come, will come in more than rubber boats...
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Port Pegasus is a beguiling place, full of history [like Fiordland it was populated early and then abandoned], and is rather ominously a good harbour too...
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Ashore it is a wild windswept place of great beauty - essentially wilderness that contains low scrub [wind affected/stunted] and low mountains like Gog and Magog...
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On Magog we can see the even wilder west coast - a glimpse to the right...
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My son Dougal on Magog, and over his right shoulder.. that is Gog...
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Dougal surveys northern Port Pegasus from Magog...
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Gog and Magog from Bald Cone which is further south again. Check out the ice sculptured landforms....
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And even further south [sth. west actually], there are even more isolated mountains and valleys evident in this amazing wilderness...
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Bald Cone...
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So this is our jewel of the south - Stewart Island / Rakiura...
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Further north in Paterson Inlet there is Ulva Island. An outstanding success in terms of a bird sanctuary. So much-so that thousands visit it by water taxi every "season" [tourism], and many far-sighted visionaries are mooting the whole of Stewart Island / Rakiura be turned into a predator free zone bird sanctuary. I believe this is a possible and an absolutely stunning goal. Sadly though it could be that those who would desecrate that which is a spiritual landscape, will be the predators!

Ulva Island weka...
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Govt. eyes up estimated 7 billion

So dear local readers and overseas lovers of NZ, what do you think about mining our National Parks?




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2 Comments:

Blogger Marg said...

Personally I think that mining of the parks is outrageous. And as for a 6 week period of consultation? What's that about
There are so many silent agendas that are deeply worrying at the moment. Your photo selection is particularly lovely this week. Inspiring even.

Marg

March 24, 2010 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger Ruahines said...

Kia ora Donald,
Another great journey, thanks! Indeed it is apparent now Key alerted the mining industry to his intentions as far back as 2006, yet somehow neglected bringing it up in an election campaign. I am sure they would have known it would cost them the election, and really all we can do is rally enough like minded people to vote the idiots out in the next election.
As Marg writes above, is 6 weeks enough time to consult the public? Quite a common technique - one used here by the power companies in the wind farm battles. I encourage one and all to put a submission against this travesty in. We have to make our voices heard. Kia kaha.
Cheers,
Robb

March 28, 2010 at 12:34 PM  

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