Weaning off Facebook

Friday 15 March 2019 changed New Zealanders and this old kiwi for good. I spent the day in my Low Carbon Kāpiti teeshirt, supporting school students, in their #SS4C (School Strike for Climate) event, outside the Kāpiti Coast District Council offices. It was a time of passion. It was a time of hope. The mayor was inspired. The kids were inspired and inspiring. We felt for a few minutes that we could change the world to be a better place.

Maha Fier – SEAR (Social, Environmental & Animal Rights)

Mayor GUrunathan talks to the students

Supporting students for Low Carbon Kāpiti


Then, driving home, the horror of the Christchurch mosque killings became centre stage. I knew the positive force for change I had just experienced would be pushed to one side by the unbelievable happenings in “Godzone Country”. I am not going to discuss the killings at the two mosques in Christchurch. Fifty lives taken by an Australian far right extremist. I have been weeping uncontrollably off and on, since then, like many ordinary everyday atheist, Christian, Moslem and Jewish New Zealanders. As-salam alykum. At last the burials are happening. Everyone is weeping. The surgeons, the police, the ambulance officers, the nurses. Nobody can talk straight. Everyone is changed. I have logged out of Facebook and will try this blog as a substitute. It has been a while…

I would love to commemorate these ghastly days by supporting the #SS4C students to plant groves of 50 trees – native icons, fruit orchards or trees from the appropriate countries – all across the country. I know we can provide the funding and find the trees, but the initiative needs to come from the #SS4C group.

Journeys: I recently visited my cousins Stuart and Alison Chambers, at their cottage on the edge of the sheep farm they ran for so many years, at Mangatarata, on the Hauraki Plains. I used to be sent up to the farm as a teenager, to keep me “out of trouble”, so Stu and Al are like second parents. On the farm I learned to muster the sheep, to handle the sheep dogs and to skirt a fleece. I learned about the satisfaction of climbing the peaks in the Coromandel Ranges and learned the difference between a godwit and a knot, at the Miranda Shorebird Centre.

Remembering farming days

Evening light

Dawn over the Hauraki Plains


On Sunday 10 March we all went to Miranda, to farewell the godwits on their long journey to Siberia and to celebrate the Year of the Wrybill. Who knows what the fate of these strong and determined birds will be, with landing and feeding sites in China and Korea becoming more and more limited.

Godwits and knots at Miranda – high tide

All for now. Garden and biodiversity updates will come in the next few days.


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