by Russel Norman
Posted below is an letter to the mayor and councillors of Auckland from concerned Aucklander John Shaw. John is a surfer who’s passionate about the stunning beauty of Te Arai beach north of Auckland and doesn’t want to see its natural character destroyed by development like so many of our other pristine beaches.
Dear Mayor and Councillors,
I have to say that I was a little bemused by the Chairperson’s actions with regards to the peaceful presence of the Te Arai crew at the Town hall meeting yesterday. In a democratic society it is appropriate that everyone should be polite and take in to account the democratic right of others. However, that cuts both ways. There are a much more significant number of people who support Te Arai the way it is than those who want sub division The placards were private property and you could have asked the group to move to the back to allow others still seated to be able to see.
The “polite” thing for council to have done was to acknowledge the protest and show respect for the community at large via a “due process” that culminates in what is appropriate for Te Arai. Just to remind you of the beauty of Te Arai I took this photo last Saturday while I was there. A photo taken at Mangawhai or Black Swamp looking south is just as breathtaking. It is as close to paradise as one would find anywhere in the Auckland area. Don’t spoil it. Please read on.
I don’t think any of you would have seen the Te Arai supporters and their families outside the meeting yesterday so here are a couple of pix of them. Many of them travelled from the area to show you their passion for it and all of it’s current inhabitants (rare birds included).
The word ‘development’ is used most widely today (ironically) to describe real estate ventures. The strongest definition for the word is about progress and growth. I don’t believe that we as a society are making progress anymore. All we are doing is killing the earth and making many of it’s inhabitants extinct – what a legacy!
Te Arai could be a natural place where can we can say we have helped to address natural balance. At the moment we are just smothering nature with our capitalist style blitzkriegs. Omaha started as a happy little place with a few baches. Look at it now! it’s just another suburb of Auckland with a black SUV uniform. A small sub division at Te Arai is just the thin end of the wedge. Smart lawyers will argue precedent for future expansion.
Make the decision for nature and the huge public amenity value Te Arai has now, not the profit wants of a few.
Finally, to those of you who support Te Arai as is, thank you for your visionary position.
John Shaw, Aucklander and surfer.
Published in Environment & Resource Management by Russel Norman on Fri, October 21st, 2011