EarthWindMap

The EarthWindmap is cool, a real time depiction of  surface winds on the Earth.

This current WindMap snapshot shows Cyclone now just to the west of Fiji.

EarthWindMap20160221

It also shows interesting westerly wind patterns as they hit New Zealand, splitting around the South Island.

A bit windy

Going by reports it was very windy around the South Island yesterday, but somehow Dunedin missed it – until late in the afternoon when a sudden storm hit. I was working outside at the time and it caught me by surprise.

A balmy day with temperatures in the twenties transformed instantly. Wind, rain, lightning and thunder suddenly hit. It was one of the most dramatic storms I’ve seen. Soon I didn’t know if there was still thunder, the wind itself was so noisy.

The temperature halved within a few minutes to about 10 degrees.

The Taiaroa Head (Otago Peninsula) weather station has the most dramatic wind record. There was strong winds there through the afternoon but the storm hit just before six with wind going off the chart – 70 knots is about 130 km per hour.

The wind kept coming in bursts through the night, waking me several times. At times it rocked the house.

It’s just getting light so I’ll be able to see soon if there is any damage out there.

Dunne on Māori, water, wind and race relations

Peter Dunne in a recent address to Petone Rotary:

Māori, water and the wind

Another issue that has been exercising our minds recently and that may well be before the courts soon is that of the Māori claims on water.

While Māori do have rights with respect to water interests, they are not and never can ever be exclusive rights.

Were they to be so, the logical conclusion must be that all New Zealand’s natural resources are owned by Māori – a claim long since rejected.

As with the foreshore and seabed, natural resources like air and water belong to all New Zealanders, and it is the Crown’s responsibility to exercise that ownership equally and fairly on behalf of us all.

Where customary usage can be established we should negotiate particular settlements in each specific instance, again in a manner similar to the provisions of the foreshore and seabed legislation.

UnitedFuture long promoted the public domain solution for the foreshore and seabed, which was finally enshrined in the 2010 legislation.

The same principle ought to be followed in respect of the current water rights debate.

Threat to Race Relations

I think at this point we also need to step back a little because there is something going on here that needs to be challenged.

Since its signing in 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi, our nation’s founding document, has been both honoured and dishonoured in various ways at various times.

But I would like to think we have got a little better – perhaps a lot better – in recent times at facing up to these issues.

On the occasions that the Treaty has been breached in word, deed or spirit, it has often been the Pākehā at fault, as evidenced by the much needed and very important Treaty settlements process of recent years.

In recent months, however, I believe we are seeing greed and opportunism and an attempt to cash-in, coming from some sections of Māori leadership, and none of it does credit to them.

In an age when we are righting wrongs of the past; in an age where Pākehā New Zealanders, I think, generally acknowledge the transgressions of their predecessors and with goodwill, want to see them put right, aspects of recent developments are very concerning.

Greed, it would seem, is not just a white man’s sin.

Māori leadership would do well to consider the implications of some of their particularly unreasonable demands around water – and now it would appear, coming further in from the fringes, the wind.

There is a well of goodwill in New Zealand among non-Māori and Māori alike.

Most New Zealanders genuinely want to understand, and then engage in and resolve issues around the Treaty of Waitangi.

But it is not a bottomless well of goodwill on either side.

Greed and opportunistic resource grabs are neither ethical nor smart, and will come at considerable cost to social harmony in this country that we all have to share today.

Sadly, it is once more a case of the extremists at either end of the argument who risk destroying the capacity of the rest of us to reach balanced, fair and enduring solutions, that the vast majority of us can live with.