SAVE FIORDLAND!

30 September 2012

 

 

 

“Wilderness Not Wild

Principles not Profit

Need not Want”

The most significant event of this week for me was being asked to address a meeting of the “Save Fiordland” campaign (www.savefiordland.org.nz) and signing some of some of my book “Fiordland Landscape and Life.”

I was touched by the warmth, humbleness, authenticity and determination of the people at the meeting many of whom are heavilly involved in the campaign.

To the outside they may seem an unlikely mix of the quiet and the homespun. Indeed this is a true David and Goliath battle. Small town far- flung rural NZ, limited resources and strapped for cash. But these people love nature, they love wilderness and they love Fiordland. There lives are testament to this. Contrast this with the faceless corporates and politicians who probably have little or no experience of the National Park. Indeed I understand that the Prime Minister has never been to Milford Sound.

There are two proposals one is a tunnel the other a monorail. Both will have an environmental impact. The argument has been framed around whether it is significant or not. To me this is arbitrary goalpost, as what amount of development is significant, is relative to any individual’s expectations. But to me the point is that we already have a road to Milford so why do we NEED another means of access?

The answer is we don’t.

Instead we WANT to make the journey quicker.

And why do we want to do this?

To put more bums on seats.

And why do we want to do this? TO make money!!!

Finally where is the money going to go? To New Zealanders?!!!

Maybe, but for how long before things are onsold to foreigners?? And will the money benefit the  many or the few?
Remember this is pristine landscape (one of only two World Heritage Areas in NZ) which whilst being a place that can exhibit incredible power is also a fragile ecosystem when exposed to the unfettered activity of man.

So in short this is something that risks damaging our most precious resource and gift (our landscape) so that a few individuals can make money.

There is a principle of stewardship. This involves taking care of something and implies leaving it the same or if not better for future generations. Are these issues being considered by those charged with making decisions on this or are they more influenced by short term goals? Will we leave it in a better state for our kids??
In making the book I have been privileged enough to enjoy many memorable experiences in Fiordland. Many simple but all are of nature. Whether they be the power of rivers in flood, sunburst over Dusky Sound, the awakening of the forest during rain, waking up to the sunrise avian cacophony whilst camping rough. More recently I had a different experience. I was photographing at Milford Sound at dusk. I was several hundred metres from the road, but the dominant sound was of music, shouting, laughing and marauding groups of revelers. Good on them they deserve to have fun but this relatively new to Milford and it seems that there is a creep of WILD over WILDERNESS.

The planet has been overwhelmingly dominated by man and by urbanisation. Pictures at night from outer space make this point obvious. Apart from the needs of all the other animals, insects, plants etc that we share the planet with, we need areas where we can experience nature and wilderness, be quiet and adjust to the gentler rhythms of that place.

As a landscape photographer I attempt to convey my love for these places and to share my experiences.

I have therefore, had a serious think as to what I can do to help.

I have offered copies of my book “Fiordland Landscape and Life” for sale through the “Save Fiordland” Campaign. Fifty percent  of the proceeds will go to to the campaign.

If you support these sentiments then please buy a book, encourage your friends to do likewise or pledge some money.

Once again encourage your friends.

New Zealand please wake up and get behind this campaign!

Remember www.savefiordland.org.nz

 

 

 

In making the book I have been privileged enough to enjoy many memorable experiences in Fiordland. Many simple but all are of nature. Whether they be the power of rivers in flood, sunburst over Dusky Sound, the awakening of the forest during rain, waking up to the sunrise avian cacophony whilst camping rough. More recently I had a different experience. I was photographing at Milford Sound at dusk. I was several hundred metres from the road, but the dominant sound was of music, shouting, laughing and marauding groups of revelers. Good on them they deserve to have fun but this relatively new to Milford and it seems that there is a creep of WILD over WILDERNESS.

The planet has been overwhelmingly dominated by man and by urbanisation. Pictures at night from outer space make this point obvious. Apart from the needs of all the other animals, insects, plants etc that we share the planet with, we need areas where we can experience nature and wilderness, be quiet and adjust to the gentler rhythms of that place.

As a landscape photographer I attempt to convey my love for these places and to share my experiences.

I have offered copies of my book “Fiordland Landscape and Life” for sale through the “Save Fiordland” Campaign. Fifty percent  of the proceeds will go to to the campaign.

If you support these sentiments then please buy a book, encourage your friends to do likewise or pledge some money.

New Zealand please wake up and get behind this campaign!

Remember www.savefiordland.org.nz