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.


Anonymous said...

Oh dear Rob, I am so so sorry there are not a thousand names on our petition. I check it every day.

I cried reading this post....for so many reasons. I cried because you have such a lovely spirit. You have been and continue to be brave and openhearted. I cry because I fell in love with you and Ophelia and Life all over again when we formed a lifelong bond and friendship in our desire to love, protect and nurture Mother Earth. We all worked like we were one soul. I cry because people are still sleeping and often have no idea what they are doing to their mother while they sleep. I hope they will awaken and find the passion you and Ophelia and I and many others have for planet Earth...if only for their children's sake. I cry because I know how tired you are; I have fought these battles before and know well the physical and emotional fatigue.

I think the hardest part here is that people are still not educated enough on the potentially disasterous affects of wind farming on a large scale.

I want you know that no matter the outcome it has changed my life to stand beside you and Ophelia, link arms and share souls. I also want you to know that I know you gave this your best. It was a lot to ask of one man. I will keep you and the Ruahines in my prayers. The ship is not sunk yet.

I just posted another alert on CARE2 that hopefully went out to a lot of people who might sign the petition. I just hope I put it in the right place as I am not yet familiar with CARE2.

Boy, I can relate in terms of needing to get into nature and be still and rest. You and me both. It's been a rough couple of weeks here as well.

Thank you from my heart Robb for all that you have done and are doing. It really is people like you that make a difference in the world. Doing this with you and Ophelia has completely changed my life and helped me find my voice as well. For that I am eteranlly grateful that we three met.

You and Ophelia can ride the river with me any time.

Take care of yourself my brave hearted friend. I close sending you my absolute highest respect.

Anonymous said...

I, too, am crying here as I read this. I wish that it could be more. I wish that we had far more than 1000 signatures. I wish that we didn't have to fight so hard for these natural places we love. I wish, I wish...

I am thinking of both of you with much love, and hope that brings some sort of comfort. I am so honored to have been able to work at this with you, and even though I know it's been difficult for you, Robb, I think you're an amazing, brave, and beautiful soul. Please don't give up, not yet. Maybe something will turn it around. I know it must feel crazy standing up to all those "suits," but so many in this world have done so, and with profound results.

If it doesn't go the way we hope, you know that your spirit is in those mountains, no matter what.

I am reminded of my father, who fought in this country for so many things. Civil rights, migrant workers rights, prison education and reform, among others. You remind me of him in your strength of character and grassroots efforts. I hold you and Robin in the highest regard possible. You both have such strength and courage, I am in awe of you. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it all.

And, please, please let me know if there is anything else I might do. I know it's down to the wire, now, but perhaps there is something...

Love and much aroha to you both.

Kia kaha

Bob McKerrow - Wayfarer said...

Kia Kaha Robb

You have started a trickle, which will turn into a stream - a stream of reason I hope-and soon it will be a river of signatures. But what is a signature ? Some sign out of intimidation, some sign out of real commitment. And others just do that sign out, over and out. It is the afvocacy which is important. The writing, the badgering, the shaming, the naming, the going to meetings, the chaining of yourself to boardroom doors, the gates of parliaments, and with it comes intensity of passion and committment. Then the tide changes.

Hang in there Robb. What did Martin Luther king say.

If you believe in something you will fight for it, you will even go to jail for it, and even die for it.

Kia Kaha ! You are in my thoughts and prayers.


Ruahines said...

Kia ora Robin,
What can I write my friend? I will take you and Ophelia with me when I next step foot in the Ruahine ranges and I will feel your spirits with me.
You are so right when you write about so many people "sleeping". My own friends and family included. Beautiful people who posted on their blogs only to be met by deafening silence, as if it was unseen, or too much to consider. It is not just about the Ruahines, it is about the world. Too many people do not want to know, or have to consider changing the way we live, best to just leave it until it goes away. Realizing this really gutted me. You and Ophelia always were, are, there to reinvigorate, and I shall always take heart in your presence.
A late flurry and I sit here with 150 names, and have sorted through all 4 submissions and filled out the mumbo jumbo paperwork of exactly what clauses and sections, and sub sections we actually oppose. Pretty much the whole bloody thing! All 396 pages of it! Part of the battle, I now see, is being brave enough to actually read this stuff, how they hire big money lawyers to write these submissions so as to discourage lay folk from even bothering with the tediousness of it all. I have learned a lot this past month. I have only begun to fight, not just for the Ruahines but for Nature every where. Kia kaha Robin!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Ophelia,
Again, what I can I write except how humbled I am by your words, kindness, and aroha. I hope I can live up to such history and meaning.
What we have done may in the end not make much difference in a battle with such a machine, but as I wrote above I have learned much and there are many more battles to be fought. The difference it has made is inside me, thanks to you and your strength, support, and aroha. I will feel your spirit in the Ruahines, a gentle breeze blowing through the beeches on high ridge summer day. Kia kaha Ophelia.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Bob,
Your words ring true. How many of us have signed a petition and just walk on, perhaps patting ourselves on the back for having "done" something. This experience has opened my eyes in so many ways.
I am beginning to think there is so much white privelege in this world that really prevents people from confronting themselves and what we are doing, have done, to the world. It is us whom have the most to lose, so even inadvertently we want to hang on to what is left. "Progress" is the mark of our white culture and it is very difficult to stop the train. Our nomadic roots never allowed us to find connection to the earth as indiginous poeples have done, so our way of viewing the Earth is as a product, the land to be productive, and we cannot let go of that. There will come a time we will have no choice.
Thank you Bob, you too have been an inspiration, and also a support place. Thank you for understanding.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Robb, I pray you can continue to find that spiritual peace while climbing even with this issue going on. You are in need of renewal. It's hard to balance both when you are fighting for something. You have beautiful soul.

Great photos and I posted a nature scene if you want a break from my story writing. LOL I'm interspersing those posts.

We're off to see five waterfalls this weekend in the Western UP and to visit dear daughter. :D

Hugs, JJ

Unknown said...


Personal awakenings happen one soul at a time. Sadly, many give into the loud distractions of life, many are easily led and many, like Robin said, don't understand that we are responsible for the level of vitality that mother earth has.

I will continue to give my love and support and take any active part in your endeavor that you need me to take.

I admire you, my friend, and I honor the rangers. Here's hoping I can see both of you before too long.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora JJ,
Thank you for your kind words. I am longing to get into the Ruahines, but it will be a few more weeks yet. So I am glad to have places like yours to stop by and escape. Sort of like going back home in a way. I shall look forward to seeing your water fall photos. The water falls in the Ruahines always cause me to stop and relish their beauty as they join the magical dance of the river. Have a lovely trip JJ.

Ruahines said...

Kia D'Arcy,
I admire you and your journey as well, and I thank you for what you have already done. I really hope one day I can show you the Ruahines.
Yes, I should perhaps be pleased we got over 150 people to become aware in a few weeks time. For me, the battle is to now use what I have seen and learned to continue to bring awareness, not just about the Ruahines but all of Nature.
I have been making some tapes for you, but got a bit side tracked, I will get back to it soon! I keep playing that song by the Eels, love it.

vegetablej said...


One thing I noticed when I had my 10 minutes of fame as a "Blogger of Note" last November is that for every thousand visitors I would get one or two comments. Think how many fewer people will sign a petition. Even if they agree with you some people are scared to sign their names to things, and I thnk the conservative climate in the world of late, with governments becoming ever more intimidating has something to do with that.

So don't be discouraged with the few number of names. It was a quite short time you had to do it, too. Think instead how proud you can be of yourself, and the wonderul example you are providing for your children, as they see their father standing up for something he loves. I wonder if you could take them along when you go to the meeting? It might be good for those council members to see who you want to save the mountains for... the generations to come.

In any case, I feel proud of you for continuing on. Wish I could be there to join you. I will be there in spirit. Carry your love for the Ruahines with you into the meeting; whether it turns your way or not, it should be a comfort.


Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Dropping by for a wild wave. :D

Robb, have you ever been to Canyon Falls in the UP? Jeff and I had an AWESOME time there last weekend.

Blessings! JJ

Ruahines said...

Tena koe VJ,
You are absolutely right, and I am pleased to see the nubers slowly rising. Hopefully by the time I present the objection we will have a lot more names. I am encouraged by the fact the last 10 or so names are from New Zealand, hope some of that grass roots work is paying off a bit.
I will consider your suggestion, it would be cool to see Taylor, who at 15 has seen more of the Ruahines than most, grasp what is happening outside his teen aged world, as well as Charlie who is forever connected to Top Maropea, stand by there old man. Tara as well, the whole Kiwi family as it were. You might be onto something VJ, tug at the bastards heart strings a bit eh!
VJ, kia ora for your support and aroha, and I do feel your spirit. I am heading into the Ruahines for a much needed interaction in a week or so. I will take you with me.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora JJ,
No I have not been to that particular place, but if I can picture a UP fall in my mind it would be wild and winding through some narrow and steep gorge trying to find the big lake and begin its journey to the sea. I can hear it JJ, I can feel the mist and spray gently falling on me - like the photo of the falls on your post!
Cheers JJ.

Sugar Jones said...


It's amazing to me that you are so new to that land and yet have so much passion for the beauty that surrounds you. I never knew how much there was to see and feel in New Zealand. Now that I've been reading here, I realize it's one of God's glorious treasures on our small earth.

Your voice will carry...

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

I'm heading back to the UP again in a few hours, Robb. :D Will bring some memories back for you. :D

Cheers, JJ

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Sugar,
Yes, New Zealand is a beautiful place, as our the Ruahines . No two trips are ever alike and they always seem to unviel something new to me. Thank you for reading and your voice as well.

Tena koe JJ,
I shall look forward to stopping by your place soon. Have a safe trip.

Anonymous said...


I am embarrassed to admit I did nothing in response to your call to action. I felt torn between your heartfelt and compelling case for not spoiling natural beauty and my [natural?] inclination to support new forms of renewable power generation. I wanted to take time to investigate further before adding my name to the petition, as your note raised new doubts that I'd never before considered about the negative side effects of renewable energy sources. But, alas, I did not take that time (in enough time to effectively respond).

So, I apologize for not rising to the challenge(s). I'm still very much in the question. For what it's worth, though, I was not even in the question prior to your blog posts about the topic, and am now feeling even more confused about energy and environmental policies. You have shed new light - and, in a way, new shadows - on my thinking with respect to these important matters.

I have often struggled with my attachment to the outcomes of worthy causes in which I engage my energies. I've blogged about the tensions I often feel with regard to living without attachments. One of the precepts recommended by an author who writes about the topic - Stephen Shapiro - may be of some interest (and perhaps even of some use, in the current context):

Remain detached: focus on the present, act with a commitment to the future, and avoid worrying about how things will turn out.

I honor you for your commitment and your actions. You have inspired me, and my own lack - or delay - of actions (and commitment) on this topic are entirely a reflection of me, and not on you. Although I was not willing to explicitly support your cause this time, you've set in motion a process [in me] which may tip the balance at some point in the future.

Meanwhile, I want to thank you for modeling the kind of dedication and commitment I want to embrace in my own life (and causes).


Ruahines said...

Kia ora Joe,
Firstly Joe, you owe no apologies here. If anything, I owe you a debt of thanks for finding your place and ispiring me to renew a connection with you, ad ultimately create my own place here which has allowed my own voice to develop.
Secondly, if what I am trying to make people aware of has made you think and reassess then you have accepted the challenge and are participating. I encourage you to follow through and find out. It is much harder to do that, to investigate our convictions, than it is to simply put our nmaes on a petition, as Bob writes above.
I will write again, it is not wind power I am against as part of a solution to a saner relationship with the earth. I am against areas of natural beauty being raped simply to generate share holder profit and gree house carbon tax credit shelters for power companies. I have been talking to many plumbers and electricians who have been thwarted by high costs and regulations when trying to bring more affordable solar heating to the average homes of New Zealand. If every home here were properly insulated and had solar water heating our power use would drop by 20% The power companies simply do not want that massive a drop in profit generation. This would also bring money into local economies and create jobs in local areas, not just make money for already rich farmers and off shore share holders.
Interesting how we can suddenly socialize the banking and monetary system to "save" our way of life. Why can we not do the same for making the way we live interact in more sustainable and healthy ways on a grass roots level. Wind generation certainly has a place in that as well. Huge profit driven power companies bullying local councils and eyeing up any thing that can hold 240 foot high towers. As of yet the existing ones have provided no power bill relief for the people who live in the area, and the proposed farms in these submissions keep getting bigger and bigger and beging to intrude upon pristine natural areas, like the Ruahines. That I will object against to my grave.
Joe, thanks for your honesty and your thoughts. Please do consider this. We need your voice. Kia kaha.

Ruahines said...

Please excuse the wretched spelling and grammar above. Tried to write while multi tasking in the morning with the boys and no Tara - cereal, clothes, books, coffee, ect. With not very good results! My good friend Ophelia, linked below, just wrote an interesting piece on how women multi task. certainly not one of my strengths! Have a great day Joe.

Paterika Hengreaves said...

Kia ora Robb

I'm deeply sadden that the natural beauty of mother earth is being hijacked by money gods in every nook and cranny across the globe. You have done your duty. However, we must continue our advocacy for the protection of mother earth whether in our backyard or elsewhere. We must never give up this passion for loving mother earth in her natural and unspoiled beauty. Look at it this way, by speaking out in this regard helps tremendously to slow down the path to her destruction and Ruahines included. So, enjoy the Ruahines as much as you can and continue to send your enjoyment of those ranges my way. It is springtime and without doubt, the Ruahines spring with awesome beauty this time of the year. Keep sowing those advocacy seeds for Ruahines' protection. I believe that not all the seeds will fall on stony ground. Some seeds will fall on rich soil and bear bountiful harvest and time will tell. We cannot aford to be discouraged when a fork appears on the road; its just a test of our resolve.

Ka kite ano

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Paterika,