Monday, September 29, 2008

Rautupu - Fight Back

Just a note of thanks, kia ora, to all of those who might read this for your support and for your taking the time to consider the Ruahines, and indeed other ranges here and all over the world. This has been an interesting experience, a fairly draining one to be honest as I have many other aspects happening in my life. My new friend Robin warned me privately to beware of taking this on, and at the time I didn't quite grasp what she meant. I do now Robin, and your wise words held me in good stead.

I am not sure what we have accomplished, probably not a whole lot. I can't imagine the Tararua Local District Council quaking in their boots when I present them with a petition signed by 120 people from around the world. And I suspect a few sly grins and eye rolls from suited corporate lawyers all too familiar with the likes of me. I hope the passion and determination I carry in my voice with your spirits behind me make them LISTEN!!

Yet at least the echoes of our voices will carry. This tiny ripple on the Ocean of Life has possibility. I have found a voice through this process and I will carry on the rautupu, fight back, as best I can. I hope most of that simply involves roaming the Ruahines and sharing those experiences with those whom enjoy stopping by my place here. Probably not, yet as my friend from Bloggenplucky, linked at bottom below page, so wisely pointed out from Ed Abbey himself writing of how we need to be radical and fanatic, but only half so. The other half we need to devote ourselves to actually enjoying it, Life, Nature, Music, Poetry, Art, Family, Friends.

"Climb those mountains, run those rivers, explore those forests, investigate those deserts, love the sun and moon and the stars and we will outlive our enemies, we will piss on their graves, and we will love and nurture, and who knows? - even marry their children. Who's in charge here? We're all in charge, every man has his own guru, every woman has her own gurette..... Down with the Empire! Up with Spring! We stand For what we stand On! I thank you, partners."

I have only lived in here in Aotearoa for a short time, 16 plus years now. I am a relative waewae tapu, newcomer, to this beautiful, yet under threat, land. Though when I am in the Ruahines I feel a deep and ancient connection I cannot explain, I can only share. So kia ora for reading, and more so for participating in trying to help them. We will create Awareness, one way or the other.

A special kia ora, and with much aroha to Ophelia Rising and Robin Easton. You two brought so much passion, caring, and inspiration to this, and even more importantly, to me. My voice is tired, yet I carried on thinking of you both. Kia kaha! Also to a few lovely people whom plugged this project on their blogs. Paterika, your beautiful rendition of the poem I still have not figured out how to get on "live", but I will! VJ, aroha and thank you for caring, and for writing one of my favourite blogs. D'Arcy, you rock! You are all amazing. I will never forget. All these lovely people are linked below.

Kia ora my friends! My next offering will be from the Ruahines, and I need to Connect. They are not going anywhere soon! Aroha.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stop the Madness

For those whom have read my prior post there is a link here to a petition to register protest against changing the wording of the Environmental Heritage Policy of the Tararua District Council proposed by the four power companies which would allow unhindered implementation of wind turbines and wind farms as discussed in the prior post. Please follow the link to the petition and register should you agree this wanton abuse of our natural world needs to cease, or at least opened to reasoned debate and not under handed bully boy tactics used by power companies for pure money and tax benefit generation at the expense of our environment. Objections to the submissions need to be registered by 3 October, not much time, so please act now.

I would like to acknowledge and thank from the deepest depths of my heart and soul Robin Easton and Ophelia Rising for their time, effort, patience, and love, in putting this all together and inspiring me to action. What ever happens will happen, but the kindred spirit I have found with these beautiful people has been one the finest experiences of my life. You have helped me find new depths to my Mana heke Iho, and I treasure you both. Kia kaha!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Storm Clouds Gathering

Excerpt from the Manawatu Evening Standard, 5 September, 2008

Article entitled: Push to end protection of ranges.

" Energy companies are pushing the Tararua District Council to loosen the rules on wind farm consents, making it easier to build on the ranges.
Genesis Energy, Trustpower, Meridian Energy, and Might River Power have all made separate submissions to the Tararua council, currently up for review. They are campaigning for new policies to make wind farms a priority in the district, and pushing for a slackening of the present guidelines. In the current policy on environmental heritage, the skyline of the ranges in the district is considered a protected natural feature. Trustpower wants this wording cut, with references to the protection of the "skyline of Tararua Ranges, Ruahine Ranges, Puketoi Ranges, and the Manawatu Gorge", deleted from the plan entirely. Genesis wants the council to recognize the importance of developing the wind resource in the district. It also wants a new policy allowing for coastal wind farms. And the Energy Efficient and Conservation Authority, an independent government advisory body, is lobbying for council to accept the necessity of wind farms in rural areas". "Tararua mayor Maureen Reynolds said wind energy has become a big issue in the Tararua since the last district plan review, 10 years ago. The district plan, a blue print for the district's future, is reviewed only once every 10 years. Summaries of the plan submissions can be viewed online at Objections to any submissions can be made until 3 October".

Imagine the scene behind John in this photo, the steep and high peaks of the Mokai Patea , covered in windmills from end to end. This very well could be the reality of the Ruahine ranges and its future. I never set out or envisioned this blog to addressing issues such as religion or politics, or the environment, but the real truth is when we share ourselves in this format, when we really write from our hearts and souls, we do that anyway. If we are honest we expose who we really are in our beliefs and values.

I have been neither pro or anti wind generation. I have spent more time today reading up on the issue from all points of view and like anything there are pros and cons with issue of wind power in and of itself. What I am against is having big money energy companies ramming policy down the throats of citizens through fairly back door changes to policy regarding their implementation. A district that reviews its policy every 10 years and the citizenry is made aware of potential drastic changes to that policy and given less than 4 weeks to respond? How long ago have these monopolistic companies put forth these proposals and why separately? More chances to succeed I suppose. And just who is the Energy and Efficiency and Conservation Authority funded by? A very heady name for a "lobby" group wanting to deconstruct current policy CONSERVING the ranges.

This is more about money and economics than it is about altruistic reasoning for ad vocation of wind farms. Jobs are created to build the things, roads have to be built and supplied, land has to be leased, and our insatiable need for power grows and grows. This is just progress.

Yet wind power as an answer still falls short of supplying more and more power. The amount of wind mills needed, for instance, to supply power for 600 homes would equate to more than one wind mill per home! And there are issues with wind power as a truly reliable and efficient source of supply. " For starters, wind power is very unreliable. The turbines that produce the electricity work only when the wind is blowing within a specific, narrow range of speed. In its down time the system has to convert to conventional sources, and the switching between wind and conventional power requires an even greater output of energy just to make the conversion". Taken from the Heartland Institute article, Picken's Windy Scheme Will Leave Taxpayers Holding the Bag, written and published August 2008.

In addition are the vast amounts of land required not just for the wind turbine itself, but the grading necessary around each one to prepare for its installation, the roads required, vast power lines, substations, turbines and laydown areas. It simply is not the clean and green solution our friendly power companies would have us believe.

Let me write from my heart. I love the Ruahine ranges. The mere fact they are there makes my soul fill with joy. I wonder how many people actually drive down from Hawkes Bay to Palmerston North, or from Taupo down on the western side, and, on a fine day, really see them. Now as spring only begins to unfold, snow covered majestic and stunning, or more often far off blueish peaks rugged and sharp on and on into the distance. I wonder if the people of the Taraura, the farmers, the citizens of its lovely towns, those who live in back blocks, the truckers who drive the highways and back roads day after day, I wonder how often they might glance at the ranges, even if for a brief second, and appreciate the freedom and wildness and beauty before them. What price do we put on that view? When do we as people stop raping this planet and start actually asking how can we live with less? I know the absurdity of that question even as I write it.

As for me, I perhaps have finally found my cause, my fight, my reason to do what I can to preserve the Mana Heke Iho, Inherent Dignity, of the Ruahine Ranges. They have given me more than I can express in words, they have opened to me a World where my soul found peace, they have restored my own mana heke iho. Now they need me, they need my voice, and yours as well. I can no more turn my back upon them as I could my own child or friend in need.

I apologize in advance for taking this to a place I never intended, and I hope that you lovely people who normally visit here do not roll your eyes and disappear. I will be making an objection to these submissions and would appreciate any feed back or opinions you have in helping me write that objection.

" If wilderness is our true home, and if it is threatened with invasion, pillage, and destruction - as it certainly is - then we have a right to defend that home, as we would our private quarters, by whatever means necessary... Eco-defense means fighting back.....Spread the word". Edward Abbey.