Friday, 18 May 2018

They paved Paradise

And put up a parking lot - and there is a tree museum which you pay money to go and see the dead trees - the Kauri Museum, up north. I have been...and it's a bit unnerving to see a huge Kauri tree sawed in half and all it's guts displayed and turned into furniture polish.

The kauri trees are dying - and it's all our fault.

Of course, the official line is that a water borne fungus is killing them, but the fungus is only a symptom of the damage WE humans have been doing to these mighty trees over the decades. What is happening is the kauri trees are stressed because we have been stealing their water. Go up to the Waitakere Ranges, and you will see the evidence (except you can't go into the forest because of the rahui - the ban) by simply observing the dams. Those dams supposedly supply the whole of Auckland with fresh water. But they do not. Rainwater is collected in a huge reservoir, dammed, and filtered - treated with chemicals, and diverted into plastic pipelines which we pay Watercare for.

Our streams have been drying up and polluted because not enough rainwater is flushing them. Instead greywater, wastewater is polluting them. Runoff from roads is polluting the drainage systems - all piped and underground, instead of feeding the riparian waterways that used to be there. Queen Street was a former watercourse. It is now an oil slick for cars that pollutes the Auckland Harbour with it's runoff. When Kauri, who's roots are deep and wide, are not getting fresh water that is flowing around them, and are sitting in stagnant water, moulds develop at their roots thus killing them slowly and they are dying back. Our Kauri do not need injections to develop immunity for this 'disease'. They need fresh water!

I am very much indebted to permaculturalist Sepp Holzer for helping me to see what's happening. His solution would be, release the dams and restore the streams of Auckland. Yes collect and store water but in the wetland low lying areas are natural habitat for wildlife. Swamp and wetlands should never be drained, they are the filters of our water, and they keep it flowing and fresh with the tides.

Queen Street ought never to have been paved over. We should restream it and divert the cars and buildings somewhere else, to higher ground perhaps have our main street on K Road and Great North Roads, and leave the gully to be a stream/watercourse again. Plant it with ferns. Our former water supply, Western Springs, used to pump fresh water to the whole of Auckland back in the day. Because it was a spring. Every home ought to have a well, there is water underground that has stayed fresh because it's constantly moving.

Yes we have a problem with Auckland traffic, but people don't see it as a circulation problem, underground. Auckland is one day going to have a massive heart attack ie. volcano eruption because of what we are doing to the land. Our soil is becoming hard and compacted - the heartbreak clay it becomes when all humus and forest litter is removed. If left in a natural state, properly stewarded and not overgrazed by lawnmowers, the soil becomes like a sponge, absorbing water and feeding tree roots that can go on for miles. At current our soil is showing signs of toxicity and the symptoms are our mightiest trees that anchored the isthmus and flanked our forests are sick and dying.

I think it's criminal that people are paying to drink bottled water when we could have fresh water from a stream or well for free if it was not polluted. Plus I don't know what people do with all those plastic bottles, send them to China to make more?

There is a way to live in harmony with the land. If people would stop raping and consuming and exploiting it and let it rest - nature wants to reclaim it and restore it to it's proper hydrological balance. I can't probe the water table to tell you exactly what's wrong as I'm not a land surveyer - just a practicing permaculturalist - but imagine a vision of a future where instead of a ten lane motorway fettucine junction we had living streams flowing all over Auckland and we could all ride to work and school on a kayak.