To the casual observer such as your average JAFA who visits on a weekend, Raglan might be a quaint, somewhat rustic town with a curious but laid back mixture of locals, both Maori and Pakeha, with overtones of ancient hippiedom mixed with an eclectic assortment of people of all cultures, countries and walks of life who much like the debris on the Blacksand beaches ended up living in Raglan because of the left rolling surf and the boho lifestyle.
Talking politics, especially geopolitics, in such an environment is always fraught with the refusal of locals to take things serious because much of their peace of mind comes from the staunch belief that Raglan and its environs is not likely to be of any interest to the powers that be.
Who would after all want to destroy the fragile ecosystem of such a lovely place and it is to far away from anything to be of use to some big corporation anyway?
So when a corporate giant such as Anadarko gatecrashes the peaceful environs of Raglan or Rags as it’s lovingly called by the locals, it is confusing for the locals to say the least and the reaction to the news is predictable.
Everybody gets angry!
And then the most curious thing happens: Nothing, for a couple of weeks?
Well, maybe the chairman of the local fishing club will threaten a flotilla of fishing boats which in the grander scheme of things means fuck all especially since the powers that be preempted the move already with a law preventing them from doing just that and so it all goes quit again.
And then somebody thinks that it would be a good idea to have an impromptu demo to protest seabed mining as far away as Taranaki. This of course is laudable but since it is organized outside of the official anti seabed mining group (KASM) tempers flare up and the result is a mere 100 people somewhere in Raglan with a couple of placards thankfully also protesting the pending deep sea test drilling and everybody goes home again.
Only to be warned that less than a week later another impromptu town hall meeting will be called to protest the pending test drilling this time called by the local Iwi with no less than Angeline Greensill, daughter of the legendary Wahine Toa Eva Richard, as the spokeswoman for the Iwi.
Angeline states on behalf of her Iwi that they have not been consulted as per required by the treaty and that this is a great injustice. (I agree by the way)
This time 200-250 people show up and the atmosphere is one of defiance and even though both Anadarko and Simon Bridges refuse to attend (which should be something of an hint as to how unimportant they regard the meeting) it is called a great message to the powers that be and wouldn’t you believe the people in attendance in yet another small gesture in the greater scheme of things actually voted against the drilling.
And again everybody goes home and doesn’t seem to understand that only if the fishers, the anti-Blacksand mining people both non KASM and KASM and the local Iwi become part of the greater scheme of things and begins to learn about who their enemy really is, connects up to the greater no-asset sale movement and realizes that, to the powers that be, all of us might as well all be called “the indigenous people” instead of just Maori, we will have a real chance.
A real chance against the powers that be who will have no problem wiping us out at the merest hint of real and powerful opposition as they have done with Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
And maybe we will we have a real chance at fighting what is after all only a group of some 202.000 individuals trying to get their filthy paws on everything leaving nothing for the rest of us.
We can live in hope for that to happen but I won’t hold my breath! Rags is as Rags does and the pattern is set but maybe one day…….