Thank You Jacinda

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Landscapes / New Zealand / Photography / Seascapes / Sunrise


I had been saving this image — taken from the end of the pier in Akaroa, New Zealand just after sunrise on an unbelievable July morning — to mark the anniversary of the trip to NZ that my wife and I took last year. I moved it up a few weeks because it is a fitting complement to a short message of thanks to New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern.

Lots of people talk about “doing the right thing.” I have no idea how much talk preceded it, but in my view, Ms. Ardern has done the right thing. She has initiated the Christchurch Call to Action, which presents a voluntary non-binding agreement among national governments and tech companies to work toward curbing the use of the Internet to broadcast hate speech, acts of violence, and the incitation of violence. The Call is co-sponsored by French President Emmanuel Marcon.

At this writing it has been signed by eighteen countries and eight online service providers.

It will be (and has been) criticized by some as an affront to free speech — and ensuring that it won’t block free expression will be an extremely challenging job. Others will probably say it doesn’t go far enough. Still others will (and do) say that it’s impractical — and it might be.

But it’s a start. And nothing happens without a start.

So, thank you, Prime Minister.

(Nikon D850, Tamron SP 24–70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 2.2; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

For people who are new to my blog, please take a look at my March 15 and March 17 posts:

The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


  1. Our PM’s amazing! Thank you and I hope you don’t mind I shared via Twitter using the WP button. I’ve only just joined Twitter so it won’t go far but I still wanted to share anyway 🙂


    • Yes, Liz. She certainly is amazing. Thank you for sending this out on Twitter. I hope this goes far and wide. I would be very happy if it got to your PM herself. Also, the March 15 and 17 posts need to go as far as possible. This world needs to chill out, and it needs healing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellently expressed and a lovely image to accompany your thoughts, Michael. The world needs more Jacindas. It is difficult to understand our politicians basically doing nothing about the carnage happening to perfectly innocent people, especially children, in this country. Morals and ethics have taken a back seat to greed and fear.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very fine rainbows indeed. New Zealand is, by statistic, one of the most peaceful countries in the entire world. See my March 15 and March 17 posts. So, yes, let’s make rainbows in New Zealand. And let’s have them spread far and wide. New Zealand’s prime minister is, in my view, a very courageous and very practical woman. She is a human being first. And a politician second. We need more like her.


  3. melissabluefineart says

    This is gorgeous, Michael! I love how the clouds seem to be tumbling down, and the way the rainbow is reflected in the water.
    I totally agree with you. It is a start, made by a woman who lives her values. Good for her. It is a sorry state of affairs that those who scream about freedom of speech are the very ones who refuse to control their own words, forcing the rest of us to do it for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Michael, I once heard that a judge noted to a defendant that free speech allowed him the right to say “fire” within a theatre. It did not, on the other hand, free him from the consequences that occurred. Also, I heard that a judge informed a defendant that the rights of free speech was granted by the same country that he was speaking against. All in all…I am so confused as to why free speech that is colored by hate and inciting to violence is given more credence than respect, compassion, etc. I am so puzzled…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We are very impressed of your Jacinda too, Michael. A remarkable woman. A treasure for NZ and the world.
    A beautiful shot.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you very much, Ann-Christine. Jacinda very much belongs to the world. Where I live — in the United States — we have someone else, who is very definitely not Jacinda. Thank you very much for the compliment on the photograph. It was a very remarkable winter morning.


    • Thank you very much. My wife and I were standing on opposite sides of the end of the pier and anyone watching from a few feet away would’ve here would have heard something like, “wow” click, “oh my God” click “I can’t believe it” click for long minutes on end as the sky developed. As I have said before, your country is the most consistently beautiful place I have ever seen. It beats California. It beats Switzerland. It beats Hawaii. It beats Alaska. It beats southern France. And the reason for that is that it has all the best aspects of all of these places and more in one rather concentrated group of islands. You are so lucky to live there. And here’s the thing about your prime minister: she’s a human being first, and a politician second.


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