Avocados and Kiwifruit

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Returned yesterday from a few days away in Katikati in the beautiful Bay of Plenty.  It is just a few kilometres from Tauranga, which just happens to be the site of the oil spill on the Astrolabe Reef. The Rena foundered there just over a week ago and although some of the affected beaches have been cleared of oil residue, tonight’s news is bleak again, with the stormy weather forecast likely to cause the final break-up of the vessel. And this before all the oil, which has the consistency of marmite, has been removed.  Over a thousand animals have already been found dead and it is likely that if events continue to unfold as expected, there will be many more.

We stayed with friends on their small-holding, where they grow kiwi-fruit and avocados.  The news is grim here, too, with the advent of a bacterial infection known as PSA.  This week its presence was reported for the first time in this area and there is little doubt it will mean financial disaster for the local growers.  Our friends are hoping that they will be able to crop at least once more, before having to destroy their vines.

The Bay has always been a blessed place, as its name implies and it is hard to see the people who live and work there under-going such bad times now.


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