Editorial 119

By Dave Moran

Protesting does it bring results?

After spending five months in a Japanese jail, anti-whaling protester, Pete Bethune returned to New Zealand on Saturday 10 July. It just so happened that on the  same day  25 years ago the French Foreign Intelligence service sunk Greenpeace’s flag ship,  Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbour.

The French had had enough of Greenpeace’s protests to their nuclear testing at Mururoa Atoll in French Polynesia. New Zealanders took quite a while to get into their heads that the French had committed such a violent act on New Zealand soil, which also resulted in the death of  one of Greenpeace’s crew.

Japan sank Bethune’s Ady Gil in Antarctica on 6 January 2010 by ramming it. A primitive approach but effective!

After 28 years of testing the French, in 1996, stopped testing in the South Pacific

Japan started commercial whaling in Antarctica (part of which is now internationally recognized as the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary) under the banner of Research in 1988, 22 years ago. The clock is still ticking.

The question people often ponder is: do protests bring results?

It would be a sadder world if people in the free world did not have the freedom to protest without the fear of being locked up.

Many will recall the worldwide protests to end the Vietnam war and New Zealanders will recall when half the population protested about South Africa’s rugby team being selected on race. The war has ended and today black Africans play in South African international teams.

People either love protesters or despise them. Time will reveal as it always does if Pete Bethune’s actions are part of the complex web that will eventually bring an end to whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Navy Divers celebrate memorable reunion

What a privilege it was to be amongst divers who had served their country and experienced the tough life of the commercial diving in the oil fields of the world.

Twenty years had passed since these divers last had a reunion so it was about time for another one! The 25 year anniversary of the sinking of Greenpeace’s flag ship, Rainbow Warrior in Auckland’s harbour 25 years ago (10 July 1985) by the French was the perfect milestone,  as some had worked on refloating her. Next issue we take a trip back in time and dive the Warrior with some of the warriors who helped her reach her final resting place.

Moko gone!

I’m sure many in New Zealand will feel a twinge of sadness with the news that the decomposing body of Moko the friendly dolphin was found on a remote beach on Matakana Island off Mount Maunganui on 8 July.

Moko in his short life of four years had become in some way a national treasure and also an asset for businesses that were in the area where he interacted with the bathing and boating public. I’m sure the people who had the unique pleasure of playing with him will have a beautiful memory for life.

Next issue we pay tribute to Moko with a photo essay by professional photographer Andy Belcher.

Winter diving

What fantastic weather we are having mid July. Stunning blue skies, sun soaked waters with visibility we dream of. Winter diving in New Zealand has many pluses – make sure you grab some of the action.

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