Richard Boock has a wonderful ability to make us think and laugh at the same time. His latest piece is a classic
Disaster Tourism? I know, fair enough; it does sound quite bad. But we’ve got to look at the positives. John Key reckons the maritime emergency off Tauranga would be much worse if Labour were in power. He’d had that on good authority, apparently. Someone told him that, if there were to be a change of government, the next oil slick would be far more widespread, the crude more toxic and the weather more extreme. Kiwis would probably die.
Even so, Tourism NZ’s “100% Pure” campaign is in tatters. A Twitter pal was suggesting some new slogans the other day. “Come to New Zealand – Wash a Penguin”, was a favourite. “New Zealand – Where Endangered Species Become Extinct”, also polled well. I could see her point, too. It worked in Chernobyl, after all. Tourism there is (almost) bringing the place back to life. What genius; being able to rape the countryside and profit from it as well. Talk about a win-win.
Say what you like about Key’s National-led government but its ability to see the cost of everything and the value of nothing remains undiminished. “There’s Always A Silver Lining” should be on its coat of arms. Four days of inaction while the Rena’s oil was salvageable. Declining offers of expert assistance. Using dodgy and possibly more toxic chemicals than the crude oil as a dispersant. Treating the locals like idiots. Haven’t we heard all this before?
Ah well, we can’t say they haven’t been consistent. When it comes to the importance of the environment, the Nats have always placed it well down their list of priorities. Unless it can be flogged off, that is. Hence the Prime Minister on breakfast TV yesterday desperately claiming that the Rena disaster wouldn’t highlight concerns over his government’s deep sea oil exploration programme. Don’t know about you, but I think he may have jumped the gun there a bit.