Saying NO to drilling

I watched a video today on Facebook – Te Whānau ā Apanui and others had come to tautoko (support) a flotilla of yachts in Auckland on their way to the East Cape in protest of the Government’s decision to allow oil giant Petrobras to drill for oil offshore. I had goose bumps watching them do their haka, just as I did watching a young Māori woman at parliament do her haka the other day in protest of the Takutai Moana bill. I am constantly in awe at our people’s stamina and courage to stand up for what we believe in and our ability to take action.
koru hand painted rock
On my flight from Auckland to Taranaki last week I sat next to a young Māori falla whose current job is working on oil rigs around the world. He had an answer for every question I asked…and he knew those rigs inside out. He knew many of my whanau who have worked on an oil rig or who are working on the rigs now and when I mention the young man that lost his life on a rig in Taranaki a few years back, he knew all about that too. 28 days on the rig and 28 days off the rig…not ideal, but it is their life…
At the end of last year I interviewed one of our pahake (elder) in Taranaki. He talked about the first oil rig that was established here in Aotearoa. These are his words…

“At the launching of shell Maui out Oaonui; at that time shell was a contract signed between Warren Freer who was minister of energy for labour and shell chairman international…that deal was signed at Oaonui. Robert Muldoon came into power a short time later…and that was the first oil rig ever built in NZ off the shore of Taranaki…
One of the old koroua was Mohi Wharepouri…Tainui, Waikato Maniapoto, Taranaki…I always remember fondly sitting by Mohi when he stood up and he said to Robert Muldoon and the chairman of the board, “Pakeha you bring a taniwha and you put it into Tangaroa. You upset Tangaroa, you upset me. From this day forth, whatever you do, we be watching…”
I believe if we continue to abuse our earth, to deplete our earth’s natural resources, there will be consequences and as we’ve seen recently, mother nature does not forget…I’m saying NO to drilling and I support all those who are making the journey to the East Cape. Kia kaha koutou! Ahakoa kaore au e tae atu a tinana, ka tae atu a wairua!
And finally – I feel like I’ve been going on forever with this post, but rā whānau ki a Māori TV – seven years old today – woohooooo!! You rock Māori TV!! I remembr this day seven years ago, we sat in front of the TV for the whole day, watching this amazing vision finally come to fruition for our people. And seven years on – still going strong!!! Too much MTV!!
Arohanui,
Jo x

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