Some things are just difficult to understand. Politics is one of them.
New Zealand is an astonishing beautiful country. I have never seen so many different shades of green as you can experience them driving through New Zealand. The bush is rich and dense and the air feels fresh (and there are no scary creatures that would cross your path 🙂 ) . If you are lucky you can come across a little kiwi bird; you don’t have to be that lucky to spot a possum or two (not very popular though). One day enjoying a black sand beach on the west coast of the country, the next day dipping in a clear blue water of white sand beaches on the east coast. Leave the cities and you can have the nature all for yourself. Mountains. Lakes. Caves. Trails. Anything you wish for you can get in New Zealand.
Tourists come from all over the world to enjoy the pure nature. Kiwis appreciate their nature, they are proud of it and we are all lucky that they are happy to share it with us. But politicians seem to have their focus on something else… The Government is giving out consents to foreign companies for seabed mining and deep sea oil drilling (and probably for other stuff as well). It used to be something I was reading about in the news. It used to be something that I felt sorry for but wasn’t emotionally involved with. It used to be something that was happening somewhere far away. Now that I consider Raglan my home, it is happening on my doorstep, in my garden actually.
I tried to be open-minded. I know we need oil and iron (and other natural resources). I admit, I am not willing to swap my car and bike for walking. I could compromise to some extent but I enjoy the benefits of natural resource exploration. I also don’t think it would be fair for me to say “please drill the oil somewhere else or get the iron from some other coast and leave my garden alone”. No, that just wouldn’t be fair. But I can say “if you are going to do it off my coast, let’s talk about it first”!
What does your intervention mean for the coastline? How will it affect the sea-life? Fish? I love fish. How about Maui dolphins, there is apparently only 55 left? What will happen to our surfbreaks? I moved to the other side of the world because of them. What will you do with the oil and iron that you take off our coast? What will my neighbours and I get in exchange? What about other Kiwis? How will New Zealand in general benefit? What if something goes wrong, are you ready to prevent a disaster? Do you have a back-up plan?
What benefits does the Government see in these businesses for New Zealand? What is the purpose of EPA (Environmental Protection Authority), if it allows such businesses? What’s the point? I just don’t understand. Or am I just being naive?
I tried to find answers to the above (and similar) questions. But I couldn’t. I just haven’t come across a single paper that would justify the actions of the Government. With such limited information I just cannot agree with seabed mining and deep sea oil drilling off my coast. First give me the answers, and then we’ll see!
That is why I signed a petition against deep sea oil drilling. And that is why I filed a submission against seabed mining (if you would like to join me, anyone, please visit kasm.org.nz/submission, it’s easy). I think it’s worth trying, maybe I will finally find the answers!