KASM

The world’s smallest known species of dolphin, the Maui’s (or “Popoto”) dolphin is critically endangered and faces the threat of total extinction if moves to mine the seabed along the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island go ahead, according to surfers and environmental campaigners who have banned together to fight the proposals.

On Friday, 16th November, pro surfer and activist, Dave Rastovich (32, Byron Bay, NSW AUS), will begin a daunting 350km sea-paddle from Cape Taranaki to Piha to draw awareness to the threatened stretch of coast. Rastovich says like-minded surfers and activists will join him on his journey, but if they don’t follow him the whole way, he intends to complete the two-week journey solo.

“People the world over come to experience the raw, untouched waters of New Zealand and celebrate a space not yet disturbed by industrial humanity. Yet, if widespread seabed mining reaches the coastal waters of this country, the allure of visiting a once pristine place will disappear,” said Rastovich.

"The Logbook"

Days 11 & 12: A Maui’s Escort

What a day! Dave Rastovich is escorted by the very animal he is trying to save – the Maui’s Dolphin -as he negotiated radical currents and 8ft + waves to reach Whatipu, near Auckland. He later described the day as one of the best of his life.

“I had big top-to-bottom waves exploding around me, but somehow managed to avoid being taken out,” Rasta said . “The dolphins were swimming with me the whole way, then when I got close to the harbour entrance, they just disappeared. It was as if they were guiding me through.”
“I had big top-to-bottom waves exploding around me, but somehow managed to avoid being taken out,” Rasta said . “The dolphins were swimming with me the whole way, then when I got close to the harbour entrance, they just disappeared. It was as if they were guiding me through.”
A sketchy part of the journey was always going to include the leg from Waikato towards Auckland and Manukau Harbour. It is the second largest natural harbour in New Zealand by area, and carries a lot of water in and out with the tide.
A sketchy part of the journey was always going to include the leg from Waikato towards Auckland and Manukau Harbour. It is the second largest natural harbour in New Zealand by area, and carries a lot of water in and out with the tide.
On his knees, going over a huge set. Rasta, moments after leaving the beach at Port Waikato. The waves had picked up pretty solid overnight.
On his knees, going over a huge set. Rasta, moments after leaving the beach at Port Waikato. The waves had picked up pretty solid overnight.
The team at Whatipu – JJ, Rasta, Howie Cooke, Hilton, Phil (from KASM), Chris Kirkham, Matt, Bernadette and daughter Sequoia.
The team at Whatipu – JJ, Rasta, Howie Cooke, Hilton, Phil (from KASM), Chris Kirkham, Matt, Bernadette and daughter Sequoia.
Rasta, exhausted after another huge day. The pic says it all …
Rasta, exhausted after another huge day. The pic says it all …

Day 10: Mega Paddle to Port Waikato

Joined by KASM representative and dolphin lover Bernadette Gavin (Raglan) on her sea kayak, Dave left Manu Bay, Raglan yesterday morning on his 17 foot paddle and made it safely to Port Waikato after a 7 hour mega paddle. This Distance completed (46 km) was only about 1 mile less than the Molokai to Oahu paddle in Hawaii!

Well done you two! Thank you for your commitment.

An hour out of Raglan Bernadette and Dave with big smiles on their faces!
An hour out of Raglan Bernadette and Dave with big smiles on their faces!

Days 6-9: Into the Raglan Harbour

With stopovers in Kawhia, Ruapuke, and Manu Bay, Dave entered the Raglan Harbour on Saturday, where he was welcomed by more than 100 concerned local surfers, residents and international visitors, who jumped on different types of boards to join the paddle up the harbour into town with hundreds more families and kids waiting on shore to greet them.

The issues are extremely serious – the most important thing to do is register your name and email for a submission reminder and tell your friends (on the right)

 

Episode 3 of Coastal Journey with Rasta. Thanks Chris Kirham of nzgreen.tv

We met with the school kids at Kawhia (pron. Car-fee-ah). The kids swim and play in the sea most days and their families rely on fish and fishing as part of their livelihood. They had drawn pictures of the critically endangered Maui's dolphin before we arrived and gathered together to show off their handy work.
School Kids in Kawhia show off drawn pictures of the critically endangered Maui’s dolphin. They swim and play in the sea most days and their families rely on fish and fishing as part of their livelihood.
An awesome turn out by concerned local surfers, residents and international visitors at Raglan. More than 100 people jumped on different types of boards to join the paddle up the river into town. And hundreds more families and kids waiting on shore to greet them. The issues are extremely serious - the most important thing to do is register your name and email for a submission reminder (on the right)
More than 100 concerned local surfers, residents and international visitors jumped on different types of boards to join the paddle up the river into town.
Fitzroy Sunset: The team spent a couple nights near Fitzroy. Such a beautiful landscape, tarnished by industrial development. We were surprised to uncover disturbing stories from locals and surfers who have suffered serious health problems. They attribute these massive ongoing health issues to the Dow factory that was producing 245T/dioxin herbicide from the 1960s through to the mid 80s. Watch the incredible NZ TV documentary
The beautiful Fitzroy landscape, tarnished by industrial development. Ongoing health problems are attributed to the Dow herbicide factory. Learn more and watch NZ TV’s “Let us Spray” on youtube.
Five to 10 tonnes of the
Five to 10 tonnes of the “precious” black sand are required to achieve a single tonne of ore that is then sold for only $100 to overseas markets.
Rasta makes his way down past the world famous Raglan points.
Rasta makes his way down past the world famous Raglan points.
More than 100 people jumped on different types of boards to join the paddle up the Whaingaroa harbour into Raglan.
More than 100 people jumped on different types of boards to join the paddle up the Whaingaroa harbour into Raglan.

Voices & Faces

Part 2 of the KASM & S4C COASTAL JOURNEY. Thanks Chris Kirham of nzgreen.tv

http://vimeo.com/53989893

Days 4 & 5: A collective effort to Mokau

While Dave, Phil and Howie went back to New Plymouth in the morning to talk with Access Radio and Radio NZ, Pip Ngaia of Waitara picked up the batten and paddled from Waitara Bar to Urenui.

In Urenui the Crew caught up with Pip where he handed the batten onto Phil to paddle to White Cliffs.

We made Mokau just on sunset and are in a crazy little bach just a metre from the cliff, opened up to us by yet another KASM supporter wanting to help.

Hilton Dawe, of Surfers4Cetaceans, is about to jump in the water to paddle north from Mokau.

Anatonio Te Maioha and his kids Amua and Ahina have joined the crew for the next couple days to Kawhia.

All of us are really looking forward to Saturday arriving into Raglan!! Woohoo! Bring it Raglan!

On Tuesday, Michale “Pip” Ngaia paddled the leg from Waitara to Urenui. Pip is a longtime Waitara local and got his name as a grommet – he used to collect pippies along the shoreline. These days shellfish bans due to excess pollutants are not uncommon, a sign of the times – sadly.
Pip makes his way out to sea past the Waitara Bar. Seabed mining could ruin any number of New Zealand's world class surf spots.
Pip makes his way out to sea past the Waitara Bar. Seabed mining could ruin any number of New Zealand’s world class surf spots.
Out at sea, rounding yet another headland. The entire west coast of New Zealand is under prospecting or exploration permits for seabed mining, running from Whanganui in the south to Cape Reinga at the tip of the north island.
Out at sea, rounding yet another headland. The entire west coast of New Zealand is under prospecting or exploration permits for seabed mining, running from Whanganui in the south to Cape Reinga at the tip of the north island.
The team welcome Pip ashore on the deserted beach of Urenui. The archway in the background is a natural formation created by land-slip and erosion. The black sand is sought by mining companies, it contains iron ore.
The team welcome Pip ashore on the deserted beach of Urenui. The archway in the background is a natural formation created by land-slip and erosion. The black sand is sought by mining companies, it contains iron ore.
Phil McCabe, spokesperson for
Phil McCabe, spokesperson for “Kiwis Against Seabed Mining”, is welcome ashore by Rasta and Howie after his two-and-a-half hour paddle to Whitecliffs.

Dave and KASM on the radio

Radio New Zealand Morning Report, Wednesday 21th November


Rasta with Radio NZ
Rasta with Radio NZ

Access Radio Taranaki, Tuesday 20th November

Listen to Dave, Howie and Phil covering a lot of the issues

Days 2 & 3: Weather opens opportunity to discuss Seabed Mining

While the weekend of bad weather and rough seas did not allow for any paddling, the crew was given opportunity to discuss the possible impacts of seabed mining with the local community and enjoy a big pot of pumpkin soup while holed up in a classic Taranaki farmhouse.

Waitara Beach
“You will not take our sand”
You will not take our sand
Dave with Waitara Local
JM, Waitara Board Riders Kaumatua
JM, Waitara Board Riders Kaumatua
Waitara Beach Rock Carving
Waitara Beach Rock Carving

Day 1: The Launch [updated]

Dave has successfully completed the first leg of the 350km paddle.

He launched his paddle from “Te Mapua”, a waka channel between the rocks that has been used as a departure and arrival point for generations of Maori accessing the sea. Local land custodian, Tihi Kura Hohaia, blessed the journey via traditional Maori prayer.

The launch location bares huge significance. “Parihaka Pa” is an area steeped in history. The events that took place in and around Parihaka, particularly from about 1860 to 1900, have affected the political, cultural and spiritual dynamics of the entire country. Of particular note are the actions of two figures, Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi who led the Parihaka movement via their commitment to non-violent action to resist displacement from their land by government invasion.

More information about Parihaka can be found here.

 

Episode 1 of Coastal Journey with Rasta. Thanks Chris Kirham of nzgreen.tv

Gallery Day 1

Everything about the Coastal Paddle

The world’s smallest known species of dolphin, the Maui’s (or “Popoto”) dolphin is critically endangered and faces the threat of total extinction if moves to mine the seabed along the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island go ahead, according to surfers and environmental campaigners who have banned together to fight the proposals.

On Friday, 16th November, pro surfer and activist, Dave Rastovich (32, Byron Bay, NSW AUS), will begin a daunting 350km sea-paddle from Cape Taranaki to Piha to draw awareness to the threatened stretch of coast. Rastovich says like-minded surfers and activists will join him on his journey, but if they don’t follow him the whole way, he intends to complete the two-week journey solo.

“People the world over come to experience the raw, untouched waters of New Zealand and celebrate a space not yet disturbed by industrial humanity. Yet, if widespread seabed mining reaches the coastal waters of this country, the allure of visiting a once pristine place will disappear,” said Rastovich.

“This coast, including Taranaki’s jewels, Raglan’s points, and Auckland’s beaches, are Aotearoa’s spiritual centre for surfers. All would be threatened if the sand flow is interrupted and a coastline littered with flawless waves could be irretrievably altered. As well, seabed mining will undoubtedly threaten the future of the critically endangered Popoto/Maui’s Dolphin. On those grounds alone it should be prohibited,” he adds.

Rastovich is no stranger to long hours in the ocean. He is a globally renowned surfer, has participated in similar awareness campaigns in Australia and California, and completed the gruelling Molokai to Oahu inter-island Hawaiian paddle race (considered the world championship of long distance ocean paddling). Rastovich will now attempt to complete the equivalent of seven Molokai paddles in two weeks.

Does it make good financial sense for NZ? NO! A measly 1 to 5% of the value of the resource 'may' see its way to NZ coffers. The rest goes overseas. Marine species will likely become extinct, the fisheries industry risks collapse and surf breaks will likely be altered forever.
Does it make good financial sense for NZ? NO! A measly 1 to 5% of the value of the resource ‘may’ see its way to NZ coffers. The rest goes overseas. Marine species will likely become extinct, the fisheries industry risks collapse and surf breaks will likely be altered forever.

A coalition has formed between the local group, “Kiwis Against Seabed Mining” (KASM) and the global organisation “Surfers for Cetaceans” (S4C) of which Rastovich is a founder.

The activists will be paying homage to the Maui’s Dolphin as they glide through the territory of the endangered mammal.

In addition to various regional community discussions, three major events will be held, marking key milestones of the journey.

All local community members and media are encouraged to participate.

The campaign will see Howie Cooke (co-founder of S4C and artist) and the KASM team creating art and information events that provide information about sea bed mining and also the dangers of gill and set net fishing to the dolphins, and agricultural/industrial and domestic runoff that contaminates New Zealand’s water ways.

Event schedule:

Fri, 16th Nov: Oakura Beach (paddle begins)

Fri, 16th Nov: Fitzroy Beach New Plymouth Surf Club (music, food & info) from 6pm (details)

Sat, 17th Nov: Fitzroy Beach (Micro Groms surf event) morning, on the beach

Sat, 17th – Fri, 23rd Nov: paddle, paddle, paddle (meetings and engaging with local communities)

Sat, 24th, 1pm – 3pm: Raglan Family Picnic Event & Live Music (details)

Sat, 24th, 7pm: “Save our Sands” Fundraiser at the Raglan Wharf with Live Music (details)

Sun 25th – Fri, 30th Nov: paddle, paddle, paddle to South of Piha meetings and engaging with local communities)

Sat, 1st Dec: Piha Conclusion “Love Your Ocean Day!” Major day time event. Evening finale event at the Piha Bowls Club (details)

Proposals to mine the West Coast seabed are firmly opposed by a range of business groups and environmental organisations, including SEAFIC (The Seafood Industry Council), Sea Shepherd NZ, Project Jonah, Sustainable Coastlines, Mauis SOS, Greenpeace, WWF, Forest and Bird, and Surfbreak Protection Society.

Leading kiwi individuals including All Blacks star Josh Kronfeld, and ex-Waitakare Mayor Bob Harvey, have also criticised the plans in public, with Kronfeld describing them recently as “a blindside hit”.

Surfers for Cetaceans co-founder, Howie Cooke says of the proposed ore mining: “Sucking up seems an appropriate term here, considering that this kind of operation would be significantly offshore owned, with a small financial benefit to New Zealand that in no way could compensate for the massive and extensive damage that would befall fisheries, fish and families.

“The tearing up of the seafloor, the discharge of toxins and the blanketing destruction caused by the tailings would ensure a multitude of major problems being inflicted on both marine diversity and coastal communities for generations to come.

“There are clearly enough fishery, entanglement, oil drilling and pollution issues already; the desperate situation of the Maui’s dolphin makes that clear,” says Cooke.

Rasta and his paddle board at Solscape, Raglan, prior to commencing his journey