Editorial 122


Nature Flexing Her Muscles


By Dave Moran
Editorial

What a fantastic summer/holiday period we have had in New Zealand. I’m sure it did not rain for over a month which is not the usual weather we experience over the period from late December through to mid January – it was amazing and I’m sure many of you grabbed some time to enjoy the sport we all love – diving.

As we go to press the weather has basically turned to custard and its just peeing down!  My wife says this is just what the garden needs, a good soaking! As we know via our television screens there is a point when a good soaking becomes a nightmare and people’s lives are thrown into absolute chaos and I’m sure for many it must seem like an impossible mountain to climb to restore at least some semblance to the way their life was before nature unleashed her uncontainable energy.

Here in New Zealand we are always very aware of what is happening to our mates across the ‘Ditch’  in Australia. We pass on our best wishes to all of you who find that your way of life has been ripped out from under you. Australians are renowned for their ‘never give up’ spirit and I’m sure this spirit will bring happiness back over the horizon – time is a great healer.

New Zealand, like many countries, has not escaped its share of feeling the forces of nature in recent months; The Christchurch earthquake (and the continuing after shocks) have also seen people dig deep for their inner strength. Some in the dive industry were badly affected such as Dive HQ Christchurch which found, in a virtual blink of an eye, their business smashed and their requirement to establish new business premises. Not what you need during a major worldwide recession!

I was recently reminded that the road to recovery can be a long one especially when your business is based on a tropical island where resources are very limited.

Neil Mitchell who for 26 years has been running Aitutaki Scuba (email;

scuba@aitutaki.net.ck

) based on one of the world’s most stunning tropical islands, Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. On 10 February 2010 Cyclone Pat paid a passing visit and within minutes vaporized Neil’s business and most of his and all other island inhabitants’ possessions!

Twelve months on Neil and his business is again providing visitors, a tropical destination experience that they will treasure for a lifetime. This winter Aitutaki should be a destination for you to consider, you won’t be disappointed and the local people will provide a warm welcome and some lasting memories!

Over the next few years it will be interesting to see if some of the significant global weather shifts we have seen over the last 12 months become more the norm or just a once in a 50/100 year event. The results of global warming? The debate continues.

Chucking rubbish is I’m sure a sport for many. When you’ve finished your big Mac just chuck it out the car window and after finishing your canned drink biff it to – who cares.

Recently New Zealand’s major newspaper the NZ Herald ran a series of articles on the rubbish that is discarded or washed up on our beaches – it is disgusting. PURE New Zealand – yeah right! The ‘must have’ plastic water drinking bottle that you see every man and his dog drinking from, is everywhere. It’s hard to imagine that in the Pacific Ocean there is a huge plastic floating waste dump twice the size of the United States. It is estimated that 10% of the world’s plastic waste finds its way into the sea and slowly but surely, most of it ends up in the Pacific Ocean.

Some businesses and governments are starting to take action by encouraging supermarkets to limit their use of plastic bags and for customers to use reusable carry bags. Recently American Samoa banned the use of the common plastic shopping bags on the island. It’s a start, but we all know we have a very long way to go before we rectify our global habit of plastic consumerism. Change is slowing occurring and we can all contribute to that change in our use and discarding of plastic in our personal and business lives. – You can make a difference.

Summer. Here in the Southern hemisphere we have plenty of sunny days ahead as we enjoy our summer. The water is warm and the visibility is, for the most part, fantastic – enjoy. – Dave Moran, Editor

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