The new Rainbow Warrior sails into Matauri Bay, New Zealand, the final resting place of the original Rainbow Warrior
Early this morning, as the sun burst over the horizon on this glorious summer’s day, the new Rainbow Warrior sailed into Matauri Bay in full sail.
It is only fitting that we have come here to pay our respects to the memory of the original Rainbow Warrior and crew that were attacked in Auckland Harbour in 1985 by the French Secret Service and then scuttled here at Matauri Bay 25 years ago.
As I looked out to sea, from all around, in every direction, every point of the compass and in all manner of vessels, people were coming here to pay their respects and to celebrate. People of all denominations, all nationalities, all races and all cultures gathered today at this sacred place in Matauri Bay. The elders of Ngati Kura; the guardians of this beautiful part of New Zealand, joined us on board to perform a blessing and to formally welcome the new Rainbow Warrior and crew to New Zealand.
Ngati Kura kaumatua Nau Epiha (L) blesses the new Rainbow Warrior, on her first visit to New Zealand
“…We give blessing to this vessel so that wherever it goes you just need to remember Ngati Kura, you just need to remember Matauri bay and the parental gods will come and be part of your journey into safe keeping.” – Hohepa Epiha: Elder from Ngati Kura
Joel Stewart, the captain of the Rainbow Warrior answered: “Matauri Bay is a very important place for us to come back to and connect with our roots. We can learn from you, the Ngati Kura and all the indigenous people from around the world as we build a movement of the Warriors of the Rainbow. Rise up all cultures, all races, all societies, together we can change the way we live on this planet, write a new history and leave the planet in a better state for generations to come. This great ship belongs to the whole World, It was paid for by donations from people all over the Earth…now it is all our responsibility to go into the future and carry the tradition of the first Rainbow Warrior and the second rainbow Warrior and make sure that we protect our mother earth which is the source and creation of all life.”
Today is a new dawn for Greenpeace and for the Rainbow Warrior. We connected to an ancient people and built a cultural affinity with one another, sharing stories, songs and food.
At this sacred place we came together from every point of the compass, from so many different nationalities, to bear witness to this new dawn.
Rainbow Warrior captain Joel Stewart hongi's Ngati Kura elder Hohepa Epiha
When we had shared our stories, our breath, our songs and our hearts we bid farewell to our guests, our friends new and old, declaring that from this day at this place we will move forward together and create a new paradise.
“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up.” Anne Lamott.
Yesterday I wondered where all the hippies were. Today I think I found one, lurking deep inside me.
Photos (C) GREENPEACE / MARPLE