Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Beneath Te Papa

A busy time at the moment with assignments due left, right and centre - but I am enjoying the deadlines for some reason, even though I am moving house again. Whew - must be time for a poem.

This poem got 2nd place in BayLit which I was really pleased about. I've decided to leave it unchanged with its flaws intact, although in some ways I'd still like to rework it and make it better.

Beneath Te Papa

My knee clicked loudly like an out of time fingersnapper
as I entered Te Papa. A museum, as am I, both hoarding
treasures deep on this day of my birth.

I am 50 today as I descend below Te Papa, the oversized
lift looming around us like an atrium, my socks slip
on the floor. A slow motion ritual fall to our past.

The doors weep quietly aside and I find them along walls.
Taiaha stacked supine, appearing settled yet expectant,
as poised as hungry white herons staring at faint flickers of fish.

They watch as years slide by. Discarded weapons now relics,
longing for a warm hand, the lightest touch of emotion, we were
forged for our time, as useful as a steady pay packet, or an edge.

A weapon-less warrior watching warrior-less weapons.
Te Papa and I are the cave mouth open everyday, and they enter
to see, to touch, to feel - the museum, but not the man.

I also received news that somehow two poems from the blog have been included within  brief magazine issue 44-45. The editor of that issue was Scott Hamilton aka Maps from Reading the Maps so I believe I have Scott to thank for my inclusion - Kia ora Scott. I am not sure which poems were selected and I'm awaiting a copy to check - the anticipation is intense, I'm loving it!

Friday, October 12, 2012

direct and true

Leadership is leading and standing up for what you believe in and that is why I support Hone and his actions, which have resulted in his arrest last night. They do want to get rid of state housing and turn the whole thing into some market, that is obvious. The people thrown out suffer and we already have a massive housing crisis - many people are really suffering. This is exactly the type of attention that the Mana Party should be highlighting and they are doing it. The poor and most affected by disadvantage need support, active support that gets the cameras clicking. It seems that is the only way to cut through the gray-daze of public perception - I don't like it but it is what we have to work with - so I say work with it. It isn't easy to oppose the apparatus of state especially when you are a representative of the system - it takes personal and moral courage and Hone has those qualities in abundance. The people need leaders and leadership, they need hope and a vision for the future and they need support now. 

Hone Harawira displays his mana with this action.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

if we let them

I’m increasingly concerned about the proposed open-cast mine on the Denniston Plateau and also the Crown Minerals (Permitting Crown Land) Bill. That bill has seriously eroded the protection from mining that we give our most protected land. That Bill allows decisions on access to conservation land for mining to be made by the Minister of Conservation, as well as the Minister of Energy and Resources and that a economic benefits test be included in the evaluation. This is important because of the proposed Escarpment Mine Project on the Denniston Plateau. That’s an open-cast mine on a unique, fragile ecosystem with the devastation accepted from both sides of the argument. This ecosystem was assessed recently in a BioBlitz by Forest and Bird, and over a weekend 505 species were catalogued, including a new discovery of a moth and 77 species of insects. We just don’t find this ecosystem intact any where else – it is unique. The mine will dig up 6 million tonnes of high quality coal for export. That’s 12 million tonnes of CO2 spewed into the atmosphere when it’s burnt. The Environment Court and The High Court have both agreed that the effects of coal on climate change cannot be considered under the Resource Management Act and the appeal to the Appeal Court is pivotal to putting the brakes on this insanity of a mine.

We can’t pin any hopes on the courts I suspect – no it is going to be up to people power, it is us that will stop them. What about the Department of Conservation aren’t they working to protect the Plateau? Their submission to the RMA was neutral, neither for nor against. But a Department of Conservation briefing paper to the Minister, released under the Official Information Act, says "The entire Denniston Plateau lies within the "West Coast Kawatiri Place" and is identified as a "Priority Site for Biodiversity Management. It is also described as a nationally outstanding landscape…". This landscape will be permanently altered by the mine and overburden dumps and this has the effect of, “leaving post rehabilitation in the vicinity of 75% of the altered landscape unrevegetated” The briefing paper also describes how the “current ecological integrity” of the Denniston Plateau will experience “profound change” including the increased exposure of acid forming rock which would,” likely create a far more significant acid mine drainage problem”. 

They all know what will happen and they don’t care because of the supposed economic benefits but they are all illusion. They admit that at the moment the market for coal has slumped, they talk about 400 jobs – that’s the same number of workers recently dumped when the Spring Creek mine closed down so there are no new jobs. They base their big payoff on imaginary future scenarios that don’t consider any macro or micro event that could affect the maximum potential money (assuming everything goes exactly right), and their future predictions are junk, fallacy. Funny that the opponents to this mine have facts - abundant facts. Facts like the inevitable damage the mine will cause, the 21 identified inconsistencies between the Resource Management Act and proposed mine showing adverse effects on the environment that are more than minor. Facts like inconsistencies between the stated objectives within local, regional and national planning documents and the activities of this mine. These are FACTS. The opposite of the wishes and hopes of the economic growth fantasists, and they won’t change their minds, no. Their minds are made up. But they need the acquiescence of the people to do it. They can only do it if we let them.

For another brilliant post on this subject matter please read Claire Browning at Pundit - she writes so well and she hits every nail on the head. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

grief creates grieving

The best thing about this “colourblind NZ campaign” launching soon from ansell, is the comedy it will generate. Ansell is a comedic genius and I like this plan of bringing all these 'like-minded people' together so we can know who they are. That is an important part of nation building. Yeah you bastards come-out, come-out whereeveryouare - just joking - ha ha 

Note the new term “Treaty Grievers” – ansell is usually good on these pithy, racially divisive terms, but this one is a fizzer. Getting too close to grief which is accurate and that must be avoided when ‘othering’ groups.

My favourite for comedy in this one is the reference to Martin Luther King by ansell.  They both share the same dream apparently and ansell is convinced that King would approve of his goals. I would like to see them meet to hear what King thinks of that.

Of course the mention of King is a thinly disguised attempt at showing they are okay with people of colour. It’s pretty ham-fisted though, very iwi/kiwi. ansell has run out of ideas and recycling everything multiple times – sad really but sums up well the campaign and its supporters.

Maps did an accurate dissemination of ansell here.

Update. Oh dear - the  Rotary Club of Remuera have said they don't want ansell there anymore - lol.

Maps has more here.