Today there was a protest right out front of my place. A 40,000-person protest! The NZ Government announced plans to open 7058 hectares of protected conservation land and marine reserves for mining. They say the value of resources underground could be $140 billion. The protest blocked Queen St for almost 2 hours and I really couldn’t believe the turn out. The last time I was at an event like this was when I bussed from Ontario to Quebec back in the 90’s for the Canada rally when Quebec wanted to separate. There was such a range of people at this event. From the dread-locked hippies, parents with their kids, couples, old folks – pretty much anyone and everyone. Everyone marched from the base of Queen St to Mayers Park where there was speeches and music. I read that over 50% of the countries population opposes the mining, so hopefully the message will get through to the government to not mine conservation land. It was quite an amazing event and I am glad that I got to take part in it. New Zealand has a really green image and hopefully they will keep it.
After the protest Michelle and I hit up the Auckland War Memorial Museum. It was huge and had lots to see. There was heaps of info on the south pacific culture, there musical past, artwork, native wildlife, New Zealand’s history so much more. It’s free to visit, though they ask for a donation – only $10 and it’s well worth it.
We got lucky as well since it was New Zealand Music month and there was a free performance inside the museum from local artist Iva Lankum. She and her band were great. Definitely worth checking out and Im hoping to see more local music through the month. Though it will be tough since Im on the road until the end of the last week of May.
Tomorrow Im off to ride again. If I get time before I head off on my road trip Ill post some pics of the protest and hopefully riding.