Waiheke Island, New Zealand. Over the past month we´ve been trying to figure out why New Zealanders are so concerned about bush. Some Kiwis are urban types, others tend farmland, and lots of them gravitate to beaches. But no one ignores bush.
The Powers That Be, we hear, have stated that bush can no longer be removed; it´s to be a permanent part of the landscape. Even respectable property owners with big ideas can´t touch it. If you do—or it catches fire or dries up—they´ll make you replant it at your own cost! Naturally, this infuriates some folks. Does not my vote count, they ask, or at least my intent? No, say those with Absolute Power. Bush rules rule. Thus bush lovers are most pleased. They put on their best puppy-dog faces and point out that, if conditions are right, bush thrives and matures quickly. That in as little as four years, it will appear nearly natural. Those who disagree resist briefly, mutter under their breath, perhaps even pound the table in the pub. And then they go back to their farms and beaches, quickly and quietly, like good little citizens.
We warned him about its dangers, but this young boy was determined to investigate the bush.