Let’s start with the tree…it isn’t 500 years old. Sources inside the Auckland Council tell me that the council’s own arborists reckon it is barely 100 years old.
Then you’d think from the media that there is just one tree that needs saving without telling you that there are multiple Kauri on the site, some even bigger than this one…presumably they must be near a 1000 years old given their size. All bare this one are going to be retained in the development.
Anyone with basic history skills can tell you that Kauri in the Waitakeres were pretty much clear felled for their timber, except for one large pocket…which this tree is nowhere near. This will be a regrowth Kauri and as such is barely 100 hundred years old. There is no way that a 400 year old Kauri that close to the Manukau Harbour would have survived the clear felling of kauri.
Then we have the treehugger protesting a legal property development who has become the media’s hero.
But he is a Green Taliban extremist from Australia who has done similar stunts in Tasmania.
The Hager lover has even written his own Dirty Politics Waiheke. Like most green types he doesn’t believe in freedom of speech.
Yet Waiheke has not been immune to the rise of the attack blog. Ever since being voted out of office in the 2013 local body elections, former Waiheke Local Board deputy chair Jo Holmes and her sidekick Jerry Flay, along with ‘anonymous’ guest bloggers have been publishing daily blogs attacking: The Mayor, the new Waiheke Local Board Members, especially Paul Walden, Denise Roche, Green MP based on Waiheke, her partner and daughter, me, and anyone associated with Green or progressive politics anywhere.
Far from being a discussion of policies and ideas, the daily blog posts have been heavy on the personal attack, making unfounded accusations and relying heavily on superficial comments on people’s appearance. As Martyn Bradbury points out “Politics can be angry, politics can be loud. – but hateful? Hate politics has no place in a modern democracy”
In the Waiheke Whale Oil ‘joholmes.com’, Denise Roche is referred to as ‘an old bag’, Becs Ballard is referred to as ‘Barbie’ I am called ‘a silly little boy’, and implications alluding to physical characteristics of Denise’s 15 year old daughter have been made too.
Whilst for many the blog may be a form of light entertainment, as it is far more entertaining than any satire of the subject material could be, it is scarily serious. Jo has written or hosted pieces in favour of single use disposable plastic bags, blogged against the public fruit tree project in Blackpool, railed against the concept of ‘fairtrade’, and has called Generation Zero (the youth climate change action group) “just like the Hitler youth”! Whilst it would be amusing if read as satire, like The Civilian, or The Onion, there is no reason to believe that the views expressed there are not genuinely held. Jo admires and models herself on Cameron Slater’s Whale Oil blog. I’ll say that again: Jo admires Cameron Slater, and proudly considers her blog the Waiheke equivalent.
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