|All photos by Greg Novak|
As the Rena environmental disaster unfolded in the Bay of Plenty toward the end of last week, Black photographer Greg Novak, a keen environmentalist, decided he would take a trip to the sandy foreshore of Tauranga and Mt Maunganui to see if he could help the clean up and take a few pictures of the process while he was there.
We asked Greg for a few words about his soujourn:
"On day four of this disaster Papamoa looked like a war zone. While the media in general focus on who is to blame, and who will foot the bill I was more interested in the human face of this environmental disaster.
Below is a condensed version of a greenpeace blog, but nonetheless, in my opinion, the most important point, as a way of life that has been going on mainly undisrupted for many generations is now potentially at an end."
"On Motiti Island, the area closest to where the Rena grounded, a local community of 30 were perhaps the hardest hit. The livelihoods of those living there has been ripped apart with the toxic contamination of the marine food chain on which they rely. Those living on Motiti are largely self-sufficient, growing food and harvesting from the sea, the sea is their livelihood, they have no supermarket. The seafood has sustained these people and their descendants for up to a thousand years, it really is all they have."
The saga continues with the imminent break-up of the boat looming as a serious threat to the wildlife of the bay - even the Takapu on White Island may be affected - and the lifestyle and livelihood of the region's people. Our thoughts are with all concerned.