Saturday, July 4, 2009


James K Baxter in the Jerusalem Daybook translates mahi as "work undertaken for communal love". I'm with him. And there is nothing better than getting out there in your community.

We woke with the grogginess of gin this morning but were quickly out the door to the Island Bay Coast Care planting that we had heard about. This great little group protects and restores a small remnant piece of native duneland looking out over the marine reserve. The last pingao dune "between Karori rock and Eastbourne" according to local sculptor Nick.

Caspar, Penny and I planted Pingao in deteriorating weather, chatting to the locals, before heading to our personal conservation endeavours amongst the rubbish of Evans Bay, where we idled the afternoon away tearing rubbish from amongst the building debris dumped on the foreshore to prevent erosion.

We will never be able to clean this place up or keep it clean without otherwise influencing either the environment, and its ability to capture rubbish, or the rubbish disposal habits of Wellingtonians. So we spent time scheming about both. Straws are a big one, we picked up handfuls upon handfuls of washed up straws, what are the alternatives. And bottle tops. What a disgrace! How many bottle tops now accumulate in our oceans.

We finished the day off by a drive and rubbish pick around the end of Point Jerningham, checking out the potential for revegetation, and the prevalence of rubbish and disfigurement. Plenty of ideas, need to follow a few up!

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