I usually steer clear of contentious issues here but The Rena disaster is far too close to home for me.
This is our beach, right at our back door...a place that holds so many of my dearest memories.
My family have spent so many happy hours on the wide sandy beaches of the Bay Of Plenty. In summer after milking we'd go off to the beach for a barbecue and picnic and when the dark came roast marshmallows over the charcoals before packing up five sandy tired kids and heading home.
They were happy carefree days. Even now my husband and I go out to Waihi Beach at least twice most weeks summer and winter and walk on the beach....it's wonderful release from everyday tensions.
To see it now littered with containers of cargo, oil and debris and police cordons keeping everyone off the beach breaks my heart. And leaves me and everyone else with one question.....How could such a disaster happen in this day and age.
And a one word summary......
SHAME. SHAME on the captain and crew.....SHAME on the shipping line and their paltry apology....SHAME of the company who chartered the vessel and the way they absolve themselves of all and any responsibility.
We will recover....Kiwis love and own their beaches...and there's not one among us who won't do their bit to clean up this God-Awful mess.