Fatal blaze tragic for island community
The cause of Monday’s fatal fire aboard a nine-metre boat on Ostend’s causeway has yet to be determined.
The blaze claimed the life of one person and seriously injured the boat’s owner, Ostend resident John Walker, also known as Cracker.
Sitting on the mudflats near the Waiheke Boat Club, the classic wooden boat Countess was well ablaze by the time emergency services arrived.
Officers were unable to save the other person on board, who has still to be officially identified.
Two dead seals wash ashore in a week
A dead fur seal found on Onetangi Beach earlier this week was the second one to wash ashore after another was discovered on Surfdale Beach last Friday.
The Department of Conservation advised that no further action was required and the seals were removed so their decomposing carcasses didn’t become a health hazard.
It confirmed it had received a number of ‘concerned calls’ about the seals, whose numbers are generally high at the moment.
Our Big Blue Backyard – ‘jewel or desert’?
Marine reserves are the “finest measure we have of how things were and how they could be again – the bright spots in an otherwise gloomy picture”.
So writes former Waiheke resident and award-winning author Janet Hunt in the introductory chapter to her soon-to-be-released new book, Our Big Blue Backyard: New Zealand’s Oceans and Marine Reserves. Based around a TV series made by Natural History New Zealand and screening later this year, the book dives deeper into the often mysterious and little observed variety of life found in New Zealand’s 34 marine reserves – and highlights the role of such reserves in rebuilding ocean habitat.
In light of the recent deteriorating health report for the Hauraki Gulf, Ms Hunt is clear about the role reserves can and should play in Waiheke’s own backyard.
“They show you how it is supposed to be – clear water, lots of colour and life. It’s so beautiful.”
And lots more fish.
A story of humanity
Colin Beardon attended the Waiheke premiere of Hip Hop-eration, the film about the island’s very own senior hip hop troupe at the Waiheke Cinema last week.
The Waiheke Cinema rolled out a new red carpet last Thursday for the island premiere of Inkubator Films’ Hip Hop-eration, and it was a fitting tribute to the many islanders who featured on our own big screen.
You know the story: An energetic young person arrives from Christchurch and gets some of our more senior citizens out of their knitted cardies and into some cool black hoodies.