Monday, November 10, 2008


Sitting outside Rangiwahia hut in the late afternoon after returning over the windy and clagged in Whanahuia's, I was enjoying a cup of tea and when I looked to the north east saw this cloud formation above me. The lenticular layer is called a hog's back formation, a harbinger of bad weather usually in the form of northwest high winds and a storm to come. Indeed it began to rain and gust heavily later that evening, and as I walked down in the misty grey dawn it was both windy and pouring rain.

It seems as if in a way here in Aotearoa we have our own hogs back cloud hovering over the islands. Our election here outed the Labour government to install a National one, or basically exchanging a left for right on the political spectrum. Made more threatening by the fact that under our MMP system that National in order to form a government has to go into coalition with a party called ACT. So for the next three years we have a conservative right majority being supported by a radically far right minority. This bodes well for the rich white fat cat developers, for the concepts of big business and progress, power companies, and generally the well to do. It does not bode well for the poor, or even middle class, for the Resource Management Act, for any state owned enterprise, and certainly not for any of our wild areas. There is a feeling of people rubbing their hands together in glee. The wrong people.

As a country the mood was to vote for "change". I was somewhat flabbergasted to talk to so many people who believed that Barack Obama was the catalyst for change here, almost a mandate to vote for a different government. Yet the change in the states was a vast swing to the left, to potential equality, possibility, and hope. To change to the right here simply for the sake of change rather astounds me, and people seemed unable to make that connection to what Obama is, and what John Key will never be. There will be little change to the make up of a National led cabinet to what it would have been 3 years, even 6 years ago. The same faces, the same agendas, made worse by the inclusion of ACT, whose simplistic "policies" I consider just left of Fascism.

Yet democracy has spoken, and we deserve the government we ask for. We seem unable to accept that in some ways, many ways, we have to change the way we live, our very systems of progress, to leave a better world for future generations. I suspect the fight for our wild places has only just begun.

On the other hand, to witness, and participate, in the election of Barack Obama was perhaps my proudest moment as an American. I hold no illusions that racism and poverty have ended, and that Obama and America do not face monumental challenges. The issue, for instance, of Indigenous Americans, seems to have greatly been overlooked and there is much healing and acknowledgement to be done there as well before we have real conversations about equality and opportunity for all races. And of course the economic issues facing not only the states but the world. I am inspired by the Possibility that we have a man inside the system who can bring the first steps of real change to that system be a reality. At some stage we have to stop stealing from our children. I can only write that it was a day we will all remember, a day of history and hope, a day America took a step towards being for all what it was supposed to be at it's inception.

I urge all who read at my place here to check out and read a post called The Rewrite, by Teju Cole. Actually all of Beth's writings are of interest, but this one for me really captured this moment of change in America.

Another place I would like to recommend is at and a post named One More American Moment by Tom Russell. Not only is Tom one of America's most talented and under rated song writers, but also someone who is on par with Abbey, Bukowski, and Hunter S. Thompson as an observer of the real under belly of America.

"Man is not built to vegetate or stagnate - we like to progress - zero growth environmental policies fly in the face of human nature".
Gerald Ford, former Republican president, 1974.

Tell that to these guys Gerald.

Charlie holding my new niece, Hazel Rose.



Anonymous said...

Hi Robb,
It seems to me, that in this post you left your optimism somewhere and forgot to get it back :)
But you also gave me some things to think about!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Greg,
Unfortunately when it comes to the environment I am finding it hard to be optomistic when we have a right wing "progress" minded government. Not that things were all rosy with a Labour led government either, but we will see our environmental policies attacked, rest assured. But, rather than simply be skeptical and scathing I will try to be a voice and find a path which makes the world, and in particular the wild natural world, vital and important for our future generations.Cheers Greg.
Ka kite ano,

Anonymous said...

I've just discovered your beautiful blog and I have to say that as a Brit I often share your despair when faced with "progress" driven government policies. You are right to write about this stuff, get the word out, someone might read this and agree and try to figure out what they can do about it, maybe think it through and vote differently next time, maybe get involved in lobbying or even direct action. By writing it down you are not sending a message of despair, you are advocating positive change as opposed to change as novelty or as a way of "getting on" Sorry to rattle on, but you struck a cord. The photos in your blog show what is at stake here. We don't want the next generation loathing us for what we did to their world.

Unknown said...

Hey Robb,
Just spent a night in the new Parks Peak hut (thank you Helen for the investment in DOC), what a great hut. Double glazing and insect screens on the windows- sheer luxury. Then headed down to Upper Makaroro Hut and the plan was to stop a night at Barlows Hut. Unbelievably, I missed the hut completely despite clear conditions. Can't work that one out. Just goes to show how easy it is; or how stupid I am. Anyway, had a long walk out to the carpark and a tramp shortened by a day.
I agree with all your comments in your blog and look forward to meeting you 'in the mountains' one day soon to plan the return of a centre left government.

pohanginapete said...

" growth environmental policies fly in the face of human nature....Tell that to these guys Gerald."
Gerald Ford doesn't need to. John Key's been promoting the same message throughout his election campaign, particularly when it looked as if the Greens might win enough seats to allow Labour to form a coalition Government (sorry, a "multi-headed monster").

They just don't get it. I wonder if any member of the new Government even knows of the concepts of ecosystem services or critical natural capital? It's like thinking you're qualified to carry out maintenance on a 747 because you can drive a car. God help the passengers.

On a more positive note, it's an excellent post, Robb. Well argued, eloquent, and beautifully written.

Marja said...

I have exactly the same concerns about our new government. Let's keep our fingers crossed.. Not the kind of government we need with so many people struggling in this economic downfall. But who knows when he can boost the businesses that will also be good for the jobs.
Yes the election of Obama was magic. And what an absolute gorgeous picture of charlie and your new niece !!!!

Unknown said...

Robb,, that final photo of Hazel and Charley is perfectly breathtaking. They are so fair and lovely and represent so much good.

Today, as I was teaching my tenth grade English class, the kids really amazed me. Most of the kids come to school in Zombie-like trances. Most of them dream in video games, most of them don't know what is what and who is who....but within each class there are about three or four kids who rise to the top in such tremendous ways that I get really excited that these kids will be heading the future of my country. I hope and pray they won't get dashed before they get started. I urge so much for them to think and become aware. Some of them wonder why we are talking about the environment in an English class, some of them wonder why they have to get going on a cause and write a letter to a political leader....but, one thing that Julius Caesar is teaching these kids is the fact that the Fall of Rome didn't just happen...and that it can't happen again. The world is in a crazy place, and it needs as many people as it can to stand up and try to bring some sanity back to it.

Keep working towards this goal my friend. We may never see anything good come of our small deeds, but I have to believe that good will come nevertheless.

ghreeblestaff said...

I loved your comment, d'arcy. I can relate in many ways.
Them are some bright, clear eyes on those children. I wonder at the ablilty of light to convey through electronic capture and long-distance digital transmission. Is there something elase at play when people connect or reach out over long distances? What else are we doing to ourselves or for ourselves when we act on our environment, society or economy? What underlies what we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, and breathe with our lungs?
The struggle ahead is only beginning, and has been for at least ten or eleven thousand years. Consciousness is a burden in that it can be used as a tool for expansion of the soul and species or a crutch for aggandizement or the crippled or needy ego. I can only hope that the earth will support us for as long as we have hope for a triumph of the former, and that's why we share with and learn from kids like those at the bottom of your fine post.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Bird,
Haere mai! (Welcome). Thank you for tuning in, and for your words of support and encouragement. There is so much at stake for the Earth, and we mere temporary inhabitants of it. Yet we treat it so badly. We have to change one person, one small aspect, at a time. It seems so slow, and thus frustrating at times, but time for Nature is beyond us. I can only hope. Cheers.
Rangimarie, (Peace)

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Flint,
Haere Mai to you as well! Always delighted to read from another Ruahine Wanderer. That new hut at Parks Peak is pretty flash indeed compared to the very modest old style one. Hope you had the pleasure of staying there as well. Pretty amazing area, one I love dearly.
I had to laugh at your experience of walking by Barlow hut. Back in 2002, when my oldest son, Taylor, was 9 I took he and his mate, also 9, on a two night tramp going to Parks Peak, Upper Makaroro, and thinking we could walk out via the river being summer. It took us 7 hours to walk from Upper Mak to Barlow, it is a tough river with two 9 year olds, and I just wanted to get to Barlow and assess the situation. It was a very hot day, and at one point I walked up to pool and just dove in to cool off, wondering where in the bloody ##### is this hut! My son was about 400 metres behind me, and had stopped. I was waving him forward and then heard him yelling out, "But dad, there's a hut right here". I thought he was joking but walked back, and sure enough there was Barlow hut. It is elevated a bit above the river, and there was only a very indistinct sign above, which I had walked right by. Also a lot of creeping charlie, a noxious weed which has invaded that river valley, and makes the river very difficult. So I have done the same thing my friend!
It will be a pleasure to share a hut with you. Hope you do not mind a wee dram!
Ka kite ano,

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pete,
Sad to realize how many people here did not vote, it may possibly have tipped the scales, at the very least(most) a few more Green seats. The propoganda machines did the job very well, and so many people pay attention to "polls" which still operate on the FPP mentality. Somewhat flabbergasting.
I fear for our wild places these next three years, but it is what it is. We are needed.
So great to read from you Pete, we need to catch up. Tara and I are planning an old fashioned Thanksgiving dinner, my favourite American holiday, and would love you and Amelie to attend! Will be in touch. Kia ora Pete.

Bob McKerrow - Wayfarer said...

Kia Ora Robb

Now that I am back in Aotearoa the reality of a National Govt has sunk in. You debated and argued your point excellently. There is one saving grace,Phill Goff, leader of the opposition. I kmew him when he was Minister of Sport and Rec many years back and when he was Min of Foreign Affairs he came to India after an earthquakes in 2001. He is a caring man and of the people. Honest, hardworking and tenacious, he won't let National get away with nasty stuff. Goff is made of hard stuff. Maybe he will be our next PM. Goff anf Obama will hit it off. Lets get behind our honest and caring politicians.


Ruahines said...

Kia ora Marja,
We do deserve the government we elect. I fear that so many think potentially having 50 bucks more a week now is more important than our children inherit.
You rock Marja! Thank you so much for keeping me in your world, yours is a place I stop by often and treasure, even if you choose to Be Quiet for a bit, you have a left a treasure trove to trawl through. Your daughter is a True Poet.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora D'Arcy,
You are an Inspiration! I love your place, the tough questions you ask, and the unfailing grace and love in which you accept everything, and all people. That is a Gift. You remind of an excellent friend of mine, and Gustav's, in your welcoming presence and acceptance. You are indeed a Teacher. You are my friend. Kia kaha!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Bob,
Cheers, and welcome back to Aotearoa! May the Mountain Gods Bless you and watch over you.
Let us hope Phil and the Greens, and us, can be voices of reason, in what will surely be trying times for our wilderness.
You are top notch Bob, and soon you will be back amongst your hills boiling up a billy.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Adam,
Sorry to have missed you my friend! It does seem at times that as our new modern Nero's play their fiddles, their "worlds" may already be burning. The Earth herself will survive our follies, and as Ed would say quite happily so.
Tara was just reading to me in bed about Robert McNamara, a strange topic to read in bed with a lovely woman no doubt, but here is a modern Nero, an architect of the arms for sale system, or rampant running savagely through the World Bank and creating Third World debt and discontent and hatred for changing local agraian economies into import export global quagmires. We are paying the price now. And there are many Robert McNamara's, do gooders with some warped sense of American manifest destiny. There is only one world, one Earth.
I hope our places do help, I know yours helps me, and gives me hope to carry on the fight knowing kindred souls such as yourself, and D'Arcy, are indeed out there. Our children deserve at least that.
Kia kaha brother!

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Robb, another excellent post!!! Your photos are FANTASTIC too. Our skies have been similar and I have snapped tons of pics for future use. :D WOOT I can look at them in the gray of winter. I have blue and gray sky constantly competing against one another.

You have a view at the top of the world. :D

The Charlie/niece pic is adorable.

Politics are a mess; the whole world has been rocked.

Blessings! JJ

Unknown said...

Robb--Thank you for your words. It is a great image to see you and Tara reading in bed, thinking, planning, sharing, and teaching your children about life.

Yesterday, for some reason, the idea of just how fleeting life is seemed to creep in and linger all day. It wasn't really sad, though i felt a little sad. It wasn't really lonely, but I felt a little lonely, it was this indescribable feeling of a dash of 1,000 emotions.

I think of it now and then, that this life will come to pass and I'll return to dust...but I don't give it long, drawn out, hours worth of attention like I did yesterday.

Somehow it makes me want to unleash the power within me and pick up again and go to work for the short time that I get to be a part of the world's history.

Anonymous said...

Dear Robb, your writing is so clear and strong here, and always from the heart. I am honestly amazed over and over, every time I come here.

I am very saddened to hear what is happening in NZ Gov. I always saw NZ as a leader in "clean and green", with a somewhat independent nature. I know this must be very distressing news for you and those like you with wild hearts. That's a healthy reaction considering that so many (the collective on the planet) don't feel much at all about caring for the wild. If the collective DID really FEEL it, their would be global weeping, and an almost overnight turn around...all over the world. So I a deeply admire you for your open honest feelings of both love for the wild and despair over what is happening daily to planet Earth. I need that REAL GUT REACTION! I then know that you are AWARE and really FEELING what is happening. That ability of yours to FEEL the pain of it is what motivates you to ACT, even in the face of criticism, even in the possible fear of speaking out in front of a group of people, to act even when you are weary of speaking out...I know what it's like. So I respect and honor EVERY emotion you feel about this; they are ALL real and necessary. Both your passion and profound connection to the wild and your utter dismay or discouragement over the desecration of Earth.

Those of us who have had our noses in the "good fight" know the reality of it and to never experience discouragement would seriously border on ignorance. But it does not mean that we don't keep going doing what we can and still live our joyous passion for the wild.

This is a very informative post. I would not have known all this without your sharing it. So I thank you very very much. I will check out the sites you recommend.

Blessing to you my dear kindhearted friend. And may courage walk with you on your path...always.


Anonymous said...

PS There is book that you would least one chapter in it! It's Jack Turner's - "ABSTRACT WILD". Read the chapter title: "The Abstract Wild: A RANT"

You can get the book used on AMAZON. I am going to post about this topic soon.

Because I would ask people:
Where is your healthy rage?
Where is your sense of indignity?
Where is your voice?
Do you not care?
Are you even alive?

People may think I'm crazed Robb, but I am tired of remaining silent. The wild needs voices that cry out strong and clear. No matter what the wild needs, I am STILL tired of remaining silent.

No one else may even understand me. Few understood Jack Turner or Abbey or others....BUT I know that you understand. I may not reach a LOT of people, but if I only reach a few and send into the world (like a message in a bottle) a clear message for future generations then that is all that matters. There will be those coming who will ask, "Wasn't there anyone who cared what they were doing to the wild?" I want your sons and grandsons to KNOW that I CARED. That I SAW. That I TRIED.

Thank you for confirming so much for me. You've no idea how much it means....yes, you do know. That is why I write this.

I think I will make it a post sometime this week.

All the Aroha in the world.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora D'Arcy,
Tara gets pretty fired up about stuff and if she is reading a book and thinks I should hear something, my saturday morning sleep in ends very quickly.
I know how you felt, that melancholy is something I have had to come to terms with, and I know that when I ride through it I will actually be more invigorated, as you so well allude to in your comment. I honestly believe it is not a bad thing to go through those moments, as long as we can recognize them and take them for they are. If greater appreciation, love, and vigour result we are better for it. Have a lovely day D'Arcy. Kia kaha.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora JJ,
I will be happy to post photos of our summer mountain sky for you to tide you through!
Charlie loves holding his little cousin. She is the first girl in the family here, so gets doted on, but she is a lovely wee thing!
Yes, politics can be a mess, and we are all entitled to our own opinions. As long as we vote and let democracy speak. I just truly feel that we are reaching a tipping point with our relationship to the Earth, and sooner than later politics and policy have to both accept and reflect that reality.
Have a fantastic day JJ!Aroha,

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Robin,
Thank you my amazing friend! Your encouragement, help, and support, has helped to change my life, and the words you honour me with are exactly how I feel about you!
Yes, NZ has done a very good job spinning itself as "clean and green", but the reality is that is far from the truth - as with any place in the world. There are indeed remote and pristine places, mainly as the very remoteness and ruggedness saves them from encroachment, so far! That is my battle. Now with a National right wing government in power, supported by ACT we are in real trouble I fear. Already Key has made it known the RMA will be changed to make it easier to "progress", and he has appointed the leader of the ACT party as Minister of Local Councils - the very body whose job it is to enforce and uphold the RMA. See where this is going?
Our voices and mettle will be sorely tested. But I can no longer just sit back and watch. It is just that simple.
I will get that book Robin, I also want to get your book as well. I will put both on my xmas wish list! I shall look forward to your next post with great anticipation. Keep on rockin people's worlds my dear friend. You certainly rock mine.

Paterika Hengreaves said...

Kia Ora Robb

I like very much the perception you have on the current political revelations in your adopted country as well as in your country of birth.

As a people, we must never forget that politicians in their eager quest to sway voters their way tend to talk much about hot button issues during their silly-season. Once the fires have abated, these seasonal visitors hide in their political towers most of them, to say the least.

As a people it is our inalienable right to make politicians accountable for their actions and to make them people-centric in their dealings with us with respect to issues that impact on our daily lives for the present as well as years down the road. We should never let politicians loose sight of the fact that they have been selected to us (those some of them think it is their bounding duty to forget as edged in the Constitution of the Free World).

The ballot gives us that periodical power but this power is of no avail if we sit idly by and see our rights gradually eroded by self-serving servants of the people. In the interim, we have to keep ever on the front burner those hot-button issues in their and don't give them the time of day to forget their promises to us. If they do forget we have the right to vote them out and try others until our plight is resolved. What good would it do if the party of choice has been ousted. Do we become so lethargic and speechless in our rallying cry that something be done to fix pressing problems when politicians become lackadaisical? No! Absolutely not. We must let our voices be heard in every nook and cranny on matters in dire need of fixing. Peaceful resistance, of course, is our weapon to the status quo and with proven technological tools we have the wherewithal. We have got to let politicians hear us and listen to our collaborative voices and in turn they must do the right things. If those cows don't come home then we have every right to purge them with our next round at the ballot box. What say ye?

Suffice to say, on environmental issues we must never become speechless. Never let this all important issue take root in the doldrums because this is the only legacy we can leave for our millennium kids, a better world where mother earth and her fruits provide the protective shield for all living things, animate and inanimate in the most healthy ways. What a wonderful world this would be as we use our scientific and technological greatness to bring equilibrium in all things. Such craving for a better life in tune with nature is not impossible. Only so when Cooperate greed is at the fore and that's our real problem presently, no respect whatsoever for the very things that sustain the quality of our lives. So being temperate in all things is really the bottom line to successful living. Humankind has created these problems on mother earth and therefore the onus is on us, humans to fix these problems expeditiously; but how can this be if we continue to worship the 'golden calf'. Therefore, any problem fixing under such circumstances can only become traumatic as is the current state of affairs.

It is worthwhile to reiterate that all hands must work the plough in a well coordinated fashion to protect the fragile earth of our own doing. Messing up one planet in the hope of finding another in space to carry our dirty laundry and destructive ways will never be because for what it is worth, we would not have the stamina to invade a new world because of our current lifestyle. Perhaps as robots and is that the type of life we are dreaming of - to be a subhuman.

Now in the present shape of things everybody is talking about the economy. Politicians are saying the economy is broken and that is why we are having these lifestyle problems. They believe that a fixed economy will provide the essential things to satisfy our basic needs and wants. However, I would wish they would see the problem this way. It is indeed, the environmental problems that have placed us in this dilemma and not the economy per se or vice versa. The plain truth on this is that environment and the economy are twins with one heart in the same box and permanently joined at the hip. You cannot take one without the other. The economy rides on the coattails of the environment. The way forward as I see it is to fix the environment with protectionist and environmentally friendly and healthy lifestyles. Such initiatives have the momentum for not only creating jobs for the masses but for the prudent management of all factors of the economy with greatest impact on job creations and sustainability, educational pursuits of the highest order, social and cultural cohesion tempered with mutual respect for the rights of all people.

So sorry I took so long in putting forward my case in response to your well written blog. It is always a pleasure to be environmentally refreshed with you through the Ruahines. Please continue to be that voice for mother earth and for the protection of one of her children, the Ruahines ranges for I am behind you one hundred and more percent.



Anne-Marie said...

Why oh why, when the much of the western world seems to be turning to the left and to the environment, does New Zealand go the opposite way? It's not National so much that scares me but, as you mentioned, ACT. I've been reading up on their policies and they. Are. Scary.

I'm also mightily scared about the Maori Party. If they can give up repealing the Foreshore & Seabed Act [ie, the very reason they formed in the first place!], what else won't they give up for the sake of power? They have no green credentials, and any they might have will go straight out the window now.

My one comfort is that after three years New Zealand will be so sick of this crowd, we'll vote them out. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for this thought-provoking post, Robb. It's encouraging to know there are others who feel the way I do.


Gustav said...


A thoughtful post and one which reflects my sentiments on Obama.

It seems democracies have a tendency to lurch back and forth from right to left and back again.

In the mean time we must carry on with our own compass, our own Way.

And we shall.

Lynda Lehmann said...

Charlie and Hazel Rose are both beautiful children. They and all children, deserve a world with breathable air and drinkable water.

Reading your account of our election really gets me going. After eight years of horror at the tyranny of the Bush-enabled "Corporocracy," I feel that a tremendous weight is lifted. Obama faces heavy challenges, but my perception of him is that he is indeed strong, determined, and authentic, as well as diplomatic, eloquent, rational, and deliberate. I hope and pray that he will be protected as he tries to lead our country to a better place.

Why is it that the most reactive and self-righteous people (i.e. right-wing) often are those who feel little or no connection toward a "whole" beyond themselves? The whole earth, the universe, the teeming and legitimate, god-created diversity of mankind?

Okay, now I have to do a post on Obama....

Anonymous said...

Robb, I am sorry that NZ is going through such a change - sorry for the environment, and for those who are fighting for it. I wish that the change could have been carried out, not for the sake of change itself, but for an eye on progression as I see it: A steady eye on factors affecting the earth, and tangible ways to solve the myriad of problems arising due to the complete neglect of environmental matters - as well as the preservation of the few untouched places left. Hopefully there will be enough in opposition who might sway a political right-wing majority, but as we in America have just been through such a thing, I can tell you it is a tough - albeit good - fight.

I am ecstatic at Obama's appointment, and can only hope that he remains strong in his convictions. I love that he says we all must work together toward our renewal - that he is working for us, but that we must be involved, too. It's such a refreshing way of looking at everything, and I hope that people will take this to heart and realize that sitting around waiting for government to do for us is a rather backwards way of getting something accomplished. I respect and admire institutions such as the Peace Corps, and think of this as an ideal example of what Obama means. He means, get to work. He means, help one another. He means, pay attention. It's a very powerful message, and one that we Americans so desperately need to hear.

I think of you, and send all good wishes. There is a positive thing to come from all of this. I have hope for the world, and for NZ, and for the Ruahines. And also for your darling, sweet Charlie.

Kia kaha, my friend!

Anonymous said...

I meant to also say, congratulations on your new niece! She is just beautiful, and so very wise, I think. :)

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Paterika,
Your well considered and thought provoking response is very much appreciated, as are all your visits here.
You are so correct in writing that election hot buttons are rampant during the silly season, and also that it is our duty to let these politiicans not lose sight of the fact they have been put there as a matter of selection, not an assured mandated right. Yet Right is our problem here in NZ. National won a victory in our MMP election to be sure, but certainly not a mandate, nor did they run on platform of great change from the positives of 9 years of a Labour government. The thorn will be ACT and 3.2% party vote they did receive, and the one seat they actually did win entitle them to 5 seats in the parliament, hardly a crushing victory. Yet on the coat tails of National and an overwhelming mmod for "change" they ARE looking upon the result as some sort of Neo Con Right Wing mandate for Rogernomics to finish what it started back in the 80's. They are who the Greens, and we voices out here, will need to battle. I am disappointed in the Maori party forming an agreement with National and I fear this too will end in tears. Key is nothing if not shrewd, proved by his Smiling Assassin moniker well earned in his banking days. I have to believe he is very comfortable keeping his "friends" close, but his "enemies" closer.
And unfortunately here Paterika, so many did choose to sit idly by and not vote. Why I do not know, I hold the right to my vote as sacred hard won honour bestowed by many who sacrificed all. To not use it seems to be to me a dishonour. So in the end we do deserve the governments we get.
So you are right, our voices will be heard, must be heard, even if by only a few. My older son this morning, in a rather emotional moment, called me an old hippy writing on my blog trying to save the world. I guess at least he recognizes that. Though I felt very unhippy like with balding pate, shirt and tie, about to head off to work! At least he is hearing it from Tara and I. Maybe that will make a difference to him one day. It did make me smile in any case, a very melancholic smile.
Your words on the economy being joined at the hip of the environment are priceless Paterika, beautifully written and shouting the truth. They should be read by all politicians. We cannot sacrifice the Environment, and the Earth for short term economic growth solving problems made by a global economic system which has caused them in the first place.
Paterika, you honour me. I hope to be able to just share my love of the Ruahines here with you and all enjoy my place here, and will. But, as Abbey wrote, half must still be being a voice to save all wild places. Kia kaha Paterika!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Anne-Marie,
Always good to read from you. Yes, it is ACT that greatly troubles me as well. Reading their web site, as unpalatable as it may be, really is an eye opener. These lowest common demoninator policies are not far from the eyes and ears of power. Rodney Hide in charge of Local Coucils! Sort of the cat amongst the pigeons no?
I agree as well the Maori party has quite possibly made a near fatal mistake while playing directly into John Key's hands. They should have stayed far left and not it make appear as if grateful to pick up a few crumbs. A real prudent effort by Labour these next three years might possibly recoup a lot of that traditional Maori support and really damage the Maori party should this coalition end in tears and nastiness. Let us hope Phil Goff proves to be a strong leader.
I think we are going to have to stick our heads above the parapet over these next three years.
Hope all is well Anne-Marie, really would be great to catch up during the upcoming summer season!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Anne-Marie,
I just re read that comment I wrote and have to clarify that I hope Phil Goff proves a strong leader for the sake of an opposition voice, along with the Greens. Not to the detriment of the Maori party.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Gustav,
As ex-pat Americans it was a special day to witness for us, as we talked about. I personally grew disillusioned with a lot of American focus during the Reagan years, and I still feel that period has much to answer for in terms of the current world environmental and economic crisis.
My fear now is that New Zealand will lurch the same way, but I feel better prepared to be a voice for what I believe in. That is where my compass is pointing. Though it still points towards the mountains and calmness as well. The Abbey factor.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Lynda,
Thank you for your kind words. I put Hazel and Charlie there as a representation of all children - but I do accept one and all compliments and I think they are beautiful as well. Obviously Tara's gene pool at work there!
I was heartened to read today that Obama has already addressed the National Governor's Covention and stressed that Global Warming will be acknowledged, the time for action is upon us. Perhaps the first step in dealing with the environment and wild places in a way that can begin to recognize we have to change our ways, acknowledge the interconnectivity between environment and economy - as Paterika writes so well about above.
There are so many people so very disconnected from Nature Lynda. The Golden Calf has led us astray, and from my point of view people whom are rich and successful are so for much different reasons than money.
I will look forward to your post!

Ruahines said...

Kia Ora Ophelia,
Thank you my wonderful friend. While the result of this election here does fill me with dread for our wild places, the thought of the people who will be a voice and support Aotearoa, and already have, fills me with pride, hope, and possibility. We have, are, already fighting one battle, albeit All Quiet on the Western Front, and when it resumes I suspect it will be fast and furious. My point is I am ready to carry the infrastructure onwards.
Obama does represent so much possibility, and encouragement, and grass roots activity will be so important. Another big organization is the Red Cross. My friend Bob, of Bob McKerrow linked below, is Head of the Red Cross in Indonesia, and has done some amazing things from a grass roots level. Tara and I are joining him in the South Island for a few days, and I look forward to getting some excellent ideas, and inspiration from him. We need to work smarter and harder Ophelia, but also have the time to enjoy those wild places! You Rock!

HWHL said...

Hazel Rose looks like a little porcelain doll! She is beautiful! And look at Charlie - the handsome older cousin!

Family is the best! :-)

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