5. Opposing Views

In 1987, together with the other founders of Hinewai, Hugh wrote an article in the local paper to let the community know what they were planning to do with the reserve. Hugh said:

[My] secret dream is that one day a whole catchment, from summit crest to sea, from snow tussock to nikau palm, from Celmisia to mamaku tree fern and yellow-eyed penguins, could be set aside for Nature to reassert her original covering.

– catchment = a drainage basin, an area where all the water ends up in a particular river
– summit crest = a ridge, a mountaintop which is not just one peak but a series of linked peaks in a line (like a row of teeth)
tussock = a small hump in a landscape
nikau palm / Celmisia / mamaku tree fern = types of native New Zealand plant species

Think, then discuss:
a. How do you feel about Hugh’s secret dream?
b. How do you think the local community responded?
c. A few weeks later, a farmer from the next valley wrote a letter in response, criticising Hugh’s plans for Hinewai. Why might a farmer oppose a regeneration scheme such as this?

d. Now listen and compare your answer with what Hugh describes here:

e. For further exercises based on the farmer’s reply, click here.

f. (Optional): do the two writing tasks below, or skip through to the discussion at the bottom of the page.

Writing Task 1:
Imagine that a botanist in your area is planning to set up a nature reserve. What would their secret dream be?

Write one or two sentences describing this dream.

Writing Task 2:
Swap your answer to task 1 with a classmate.

Now imagine you’re a local person who opposes the nature reserve – you could be a farmer, fisher(wo)man, hotel developer, mining engineer or another role, as appropriate.

Write one or two sentences setting out your point of view.

Discuss: “We need a few more fools and dreamers in the world, I think”. Do you agree?

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