Wednesday, January 21, 2009
It was a holiday that Nick had been looking forward to for ages. He had been counting down the last days at school as he crouched over his desk scribbling words and numbers into his (“Could do better”) work books. He could not stop day dreaming of beaches and surf, as he watched the chalk dust drifting lazily to the floor.
When the holidays finally began, there were the usual family arguments at home over what to take or leave behind. Nick’s parents wanted “quality time away from it all”; whatever that meant. To Nick, it had sounded like being sentenced to a week of boredom away from Sky TV.
His mood lifted tho’, when they agreed to take along with them his best mate Tama and Rufus, his floppy eared Labrador. They were all soon travelling north and Nick began to catch tantalising glimpses of the deep blue sea between the passing hills of green farmland.
When at last the car wheels came to rest on the sandy car park Rufus bounced out first, followed by Nick and Tama. They raced up the nearest sand dune and were disappointed to see that the ocean was still some distance away. Nick felt the unpacking and raising the tent took far too long, but eventually they were on their way to the water.
The boys had not gone far down he track however, when they came across an old corrugated iron shack, with “The Foreshore and Seabed Act Sux” painted on the side. While they were having a nosey inside Nick’s Dad caught up with them. “Hey guys, get out of there, that’s private!” He said, calling them over.
“What does that mean Dad?” Asked Nick pointing at the writing. ”Not sure Nick, but I suspect the locals think they got a raw deal from our Government and they want more control over what goes on around the beaches and in the sea.” “Well I hope we can keep coming here if they win that court case they’re after.” Said Nick’s mum.
His dad chuckled the way he did when he was half serious, “Yeah well, maybe we will all have to get ID chips put in like old Rufus here to sort out who has more rights than others.”
The tide was out and the boys ran across the beach to test out their new boogie boards. They later got the call to come in for lunch and on their way back Nick saw a man, in some sort of uniform, talking to people digging up shellfish. Tama seemed to think he was a beach warden of some sort.
After a long and tiring day Nick and Tama were glad to get into their tent and they let Rufus curl up by the entrance. They talked a bit about who got the best wave and then both fell asleep. A couple of hours later tho’ Tama woke up when he heard Nick yelling. Tama gave Nick a poke with his torch to wake him.
“What’s up Bro? You having a nightmare or something?” Nick rubbed his eyes, “Yeah, I was being chased off the beach by a Maori guy like that Beach warden. He was waving a stick and trying to check if I had the right ID chip with some sort of scanning thing in his hand – scary eh!”
“Yeah, but that’s never goin’ to happen I reckon.” Said Tama. “You must have been worrying about what your dad said. My mum’s a pakeha and you know my Dad’s a Maori eh. Well, he said he couldn’t figure out why some people were blowing a fuse.”
Nick seemed more awake and slowly, some colour returned to his face, “You know what!” continued Tama, “Dad said, why worry about changing things – anyway, before long most of us will all be Iwi and paddling the same waka .”