“I wanted to restore something old. I mean, I know that place is not the ritz, but it’s such a cute wee character house. And you know, such a wee tank.I was in it when the earthquakes happened – there was like nothing wrong with it. Plus, I just don’t like brand new stuff or consumerism, like I hate the throwaway aspect of new house builds, there’s so much wastage. But I love this wee whare, it’s all I need.
I think when you’re out in the environment, and you’re picking up shit tons of rubbish, and you’re seeing, like, disgusting waste in the rivers you do have a better grasp on that whole wastage thing. I don’t want to buy anything. Because there’s so much junk out there man!
I feel like it’s a disconnect between them and the earth. Like, they’re not connected enough to know that it’s hurting themselves because the Earth is you. So it’s hurting yourself if you’re doing that. A lot of people just empty out their cars of all the rubbish. And it’s like, now you’ve got a clean car, because you’ve just dumped everything out your windows, but you just don’t do it on the environment. Like where do you think your food comes from?
The Rakahuri Ashley River actually, that’s my awa. And Maungatere is our mountain. It was our fishing river for our whanau. The lyrics say, ‘a love for the land and what it provides, is what I’ve been shown and what must survive’. And, yes, because it’s kind of just like built in to me that you look after the land because it gives back to you. It just goes with the whole, only taking what you need, ethos.
Getting into conservation work, it’s almost like my ancestors called me to do it. It makes a lot of sense to me now. When I first got into it, I was just like, had this real euphoric feeling. And I didn’t know why. And then, now I’m just like, Oh, my goodness, because I’m in exactly the right place. It’s just the right way to be, because it feels really good.”