1. Puna accused of election bribery
Prime Minister Henry Puna was accused of bribing Manihiki voters, in one of nine petitions to the court. Some members of the public expressed doubts about the allegations, with Joe Greig commenting on the CINews website: “Very hard to believe anyone would be so stupid. More mudslinging, back-biting and hot air. It seems round one is over and let’s see what round two has to offer. My bet is nothing but time wasting.”
2. Cooks reaches sevens bowl final
The Commonwealth Games dominated Twitter this week, with a report of the Cook Islands Sevens team reaching the bowl final proving most popular with online readers of CINews.
3. $38,000 on post-election flights
Reports of how much Parliament paid for political candidates to return to Rarotonga from the northern group prompted comments of protest of Facebook. Some thought it was a waste of money, and suggested the funds could have been directed into health or education instead. Others pointed out that the high cost of post-election flights highlights the difficulties of travelling to and from the northern group. Mahu Maireriki had some practical money-saving suggestions: “Next time catch a boat, and leave the partner at home – it’s supposed to be business.”
4. Coldest temp in 40 years
Rarotonga hit its lowest temperature since 1975 this week, confirming what locals had suspected when they pulled their warmer clothes out of storage. One Raro resident commented: “I know Raro is tropical but honestly, it felt more like Vancouver in the winter here the other day! And everyone thought I was crazy when I bought a heater! Ha! Who’s laughing now?!” Another member of the public said, “Only yesterday I told someone it’s not a bad time to visit Raro … said it won’t be too hot – well at least that part was right”.
5. Petitions put pressure on court
With nine election petitions to wade through, Chief Justice Thomas Weston was quoted in CINews saying some of the petitions are “just rubbish” and “there are silly things that have been raised”. On Facebook, some members of the public sympathised with Weston, with one likening the politicians involved to “a bunch of pre-schoolers fighting in the playground”.