Ruta Tangiiau Mave: Don’t let Covid distract us from being vigilant of our oceans

Monday April 06, 2020 Published in Editorials
Workers deploy an exploratory deep-sea minierals device in Cook Islands waters. 20020508 Workers deploy an exploratory deep-sea minierals device in Cook Islands waters. 20020508

Someone asked, what made me become an environmentalist?

 

I never became one, it has always been part of my psyche, consciousness, my beliefs. Logically for me, if this is the only planet in our existence, why would we actively destroy our only home?

Our Marae Moana is a marriage of our Ocean and Mother Nature with the people of the Cook Islands, it is a contract in the eyes of God to benefit us all. 

We promise to serve and protect her, and she in turn will nourish, feed and provide for us abundance and harmony.

It is a win-win for us as a family, her children of the deep and majestic, the source and power of all life on earth, from plankton and fish life, to the evaporation of water to create rain and quench the earth’s bountiful plants, all of which feed our children here on earth, in our islands.

So why is our government so focused on destroying our marriage, by cheating on Mother Nature and being dazzled by a young and uncharted lover of money with mineral mining? 

It threatens our very fabric of our relationship; it endangers not only her children of the ocean, but also our own.

We stand two-faced in front of her justifying the rape of her seabed, as good for us as a nation. But is it? 

Or will it benefit a few, while tearing the bonds and livelihood of the family apart?

Cook Islands Party government, don’t you know when the last tree has been cut down, when the last river poisoned, and the last fish caught out of our ocean, only then will you see money cannot be eaten?

MPs, you follow God’s law, don’t you? You wouldn’t cheat on your wife and family, so why would you lead the way to doing the same to our Marae Moana?

The very contract the Prime Minister Henry Puna has travelled on the coat tails of, these past years, boasting about our commitment to the environment, to our ocean, and earth; the promise seven years ago that the Cook Islands would be self-sufficient and 100 per cent sustainable by 2020.

If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that the stopping of man’s destructive polluting nature for even one month can lead to massive healing in air and sea quality. The ocean’s children are returning to many popular beaches and Venice canals where, humans are in lockdown. 

We don’t have to shut ourselves off to witness the beauty and bounty of our own ocean, we witness the sights of whales and turtles easily, but for how much longer? 

Do we want to upset the balance and harmony of our marriage with Mother Nature, our Marae Moana? This earth and all upon it was not inherited from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. 

When you’re in the Land Court fighting to preserve a piece of earth for your grandchildren to build on, after you’re gone, so should you be fighting for their right to a clean and protected ocean they can live from.

It’s time to be vigilant, take your eyes off Covid-19 statistics, and watch what’s happening here – don’t let anything slip through. 

While you’re focused on job and life losses here and overseas, the government could use this distraction to push through their own greedy agendas. 

Puna did it with purse seine fishing; Brown with Te Mato Vai; taking from pensioners’ bank accounts; their wage rise bonus. Now, compulsory helmets, next, recriminalising same sex?

Our Moana marriage is to fulfil our needs, not their greed. Protect our manea moana. Be vigilant, speak up, speak out.

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