Sunday, 21 August 2005

Speaking The Truth In Love (I Hope)

Today we walked up Mount Eden, one of Auckland's volcanic cones, close to our house. The crater forms a steep grassy bowl and is quite picturesque, and the view of Auckland from the rim is superb. It's a lovely spot for a walk.

Mount Eden crater

Unfortunately the terrain is fragile, being largely loose scoria and dirt, and is being eroded by the passage of large numbers of visitors --- both locals and busloads of foreign tourists. To protect the crater, the authorities prohibit people from descending into it. But despite many strongly worded signs, lots of people insist on going anyway, and that always makes me furious.

Perhaps today I was feeling particularly irascible; I actually went up to a few of these people and pointed out that they weren't supposed to have been down there. Some just looked sheepish and wandered off. Others responded that lots of other people had been doing it; that response really irks me but I think I managed to be quite calm while pointing out that the fact that other people do it doesn't make it right. One man replied that if the authorities wanted to protect the crater they should put a fence around the whole thing, and again I hope I was calm while suggesting that making it ugly for everyone probably wasn't a good solution.

As usual, afterwards I figured out more compelling ways to say everything. If I'm there again and someone tells me "everybody else does it", if they have children with them (most do) I'll ask them if they teach their children that seeing others doing something forbidden makes it OK.

It's all rather disturbing, because I'm rather shy at root and I'd ordinarily never dream of breaching the wall of silence strangers carry in the city. Perhaps I'm turning into an crusty curmudgeon as I age --- or just a crank!


  1. I think you've done the right thing!
    "others do it aswell" is a very lame response and it just shows that the person is a total douche.a

  2. A crank, because you want to save the beautiful places on Earth for your children to see? Then this world needs more cranks.

  3. I think some people just get a kick of out breaking rules. They say, "Oh, come on, it's just one person, it's not going to make a difference." What if everyone thought that way?

  4. Might the authorities consider obliging the wish of the people they serve, and provide a set of stairs to descend and a platform to stand on / view, which would also protect the fauna.

  5. Hi Rob!
    Beautiful view, worth protecting.
    You did the right thing.
    Hope all is good!

  6. Well you're right in your quest. I wish you renewed strength and perseverence.
    But I'd like to ask all of you to exercise the same diligence when visiting sites foreign to you [meaning housed outside your country].
    There are several hundreds of sites that belong to humanity, according to UNESCO, but they are abused by many millions of visitors per year forcing local authorities to put fences, nets, etc.
    The 5 of you could also help evangelize on this matter since you seem all very well oriented towards preservation.
    Continue doing it everywhere.
    It seems that many people change behavior when they visit foreign places....that's really sad.

  7. and what did you reach? nothing.
    another peoples will come and destroy this lovely place.

  8. Real love is truth. Truth emanates from the heart.