On our recent road trip we made pilgrimage to Matauri Bay. Maturi Bay, for those who don’t know, is an almost impossible beautiful bay on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand and is also the last resting site of the Rainbow Warrior, the Greenpeace protest vessel suck by French spies in retaliation for it’s mission attempting to stop Nuclear testing on Muraroa Atoll.
Atop the hill overlooking Matauri Bay lies a sculpture that we all understand memorializes the vessel itself and the lone Greenpeace worker, Fernando Pereira, who died because of the French act of sabotage. Head to the sculpture however and you get a different story, a plaque stating that the sculpture remembers the efforts of Greenpeace and the Rainbow Warrior crew in furthering world peace.
The sculpture is a reminder of the risks of neo-imperialism and a warning for those who would seek to commit acts of terror on our shores in the mistaken belief that as a small nation we’d just “let it slide”.
Only it seems that this is actually what we’ve done, in an effort to sell another few tonnes of cheese or a couple of container loads of frozen sheep carcasses, we’ve rolled over to our French cousins and avoided saying anything that might possibly cause offence. Sacre Bleu I say!
Let’s not forget – Dominique Prieur and Alain Marfart where spies for the French secret service the DGSE. They were on a state sanctioned mission to cause damage and potential loss of life in a sovereign nation. That deserves no diplomatic tact whatsoever.
Vive la France?