Friday, October 28, 2011

Save the ships

Locals at a remote bay on the East Cape have rallied to save a pod of container ships that have come ashore and flung themselves onto the rocks.

At least seven ships have beached at Brownlee Bay and desperate attempts are being made to get them back out to sea.

The people of Brownlee Bay have formed chains and are pouring buckets of water over the container ships to keep them hydrated.

"We're hoping to refloat them at high tide," says local man Chuck Iti, "but it's touch and go. Some of these fellas have just about had it."

As he spoke, one of the container ships sank even further into the sand and gave a faint toot of its foghorn before falling silent again.

There appears to be no single reason for ship strandings but DoC spokesperson Woody Ballance says it may be a seasonal thing connected with tidal currents and changes in the Earth's magnetic field.

Another theory is that this particular pod has lost its way from its traditional breeding ground in the sheltered waters of Liberia.

Mr Ballance says it's important to save them because one day container ships may be extinct and then we'll all be very, very sorry.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Into their own hands

The 'authorities' tell Bay of Plenty people not to go on the beaches and try to clean up the oil deposited there by the leaking Rena. You won't do it properly, they say; leave it to us, the experts, to do it in our own way in our own time.

Yet dozens of citizens are still going onto the beaches and scooping up blobs and globules of oil themselves. I link this repudiation of authority to Pike River and even to the Christchurch earthquake. Since the mine disaster, especially, the credibility of the 'authorities' has collapsed. They said there that they would do things their own way in their own time, and that they had the expertise and the knowhow. Yeah right. No wonder the people of Tauranga and Papamoa are taking matters into (literally) their own hands.

In a wider context, one might also consider the view taken of authority by the peoples of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Syria—not to mention those currently occupying the streets of New York's financial district.