|In Kaikoura there is a small peninsula jutting out to the deep shelf of sea
where the whales feed and on that peninsula is a very old and very large man
In that hole is every discarded car, tractor or truck battery from the town and surrounding farms since the car was invented. Every dumped agricultural chemical from every farm in the area lies there, industrial strength toxic heavy metals, paints, bleach-every waste product since the turn of the century or earlier, its all lying inside the hole. Some say that its leaking into the surrounding sea.
In the mid ninetys the council commissioned a series of environmental impact reports until, at number four, they were told what they wanted to hear. "That there was no problem--keep using the dump."
A very short distance from the dump, downhill, the seabed plummets. The whales used to come here and be slaughtered, now they come to be looked at and admired. Business is booming, Whale watching, Dolphin watching, Seal watching, Kelp watching, swim with the dolphins, swim with the seals (untrained aquatic Dobermans well known locally for taking playful chunks out of underwater tourists)
Personally I'd like to see "Bob with the seagulls" you pay $40, some guy gives you half a loaf of stale bread and you get to feed seagulls....in a carpark. The whole eco-thing is going to look pretty ashen when their dump infects the marine food chain. Scum watching, swim with the algae.
© MARTIN EWEN 1998