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Smoke Signals


Heard a funny real-life story or something out of the ordinary? Lighthearted Smoke Signals will be accepted for our opinion pages by e-mail ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ), text to 188 or a phone call to the newsroom on 22999. Please note, material that goes beyond the bounds of decent taste or is defamatory is not likely to be used. Don’t forget to give us your name and contact number in case we need to check details and verify facts. All correspondence is confidential.


Go on, smoke it!

Can the government please explain why Minister Rose Brown and Toka Hagai both have government houses on Rarotonga. What’s the justification here when Minister Brown owns her own homes in Rarotonga and it’s well known that this is her permanent island of residence? Hagai is not an MP, does not have a government role on Rarotonga (or has he secretly been given a job?). So how does he qualify for a government house?

Smoke Signals

Wednesday January 30, 2019


When is public consultation not a public consultation? When it’s held in Mitiaro and run by Cook Islands Party stalwarts in the Island Council.

Smoke Signals

Friday January 04, 2019


Just a friendly heads-up to the Rarotonga resorts that employ foreign chefs. Ika mata is a staple dish in the Cook Islands. It is not served warm with pineapple added. If you can’t get it right, employ local chefs to prepare our delicacies please!

Smoke Signals

Friday December 28, 2018


Court house - CCECC – 2004, police station – CCECC, sports stadium – CCECC, Avatea School – CCECC, Ring main TMV – CCECC. A trend, perhaps? Why is everyone surprised about the pipes when all the other projects have significant issues!

Smoke Signals

Friday December 21, 2018

I was appalled when switching on the TV early last evening around 5-5.30pm before the TVNZ Midday News. Mrs Brown's Boys, a BBC British comedy was screening on VAKA TV. I love this series – it’s very funny, but with regular four letter swear words being used and sexual innendo, it is not suitable for children.

Smoke Signals

Wednesday December 19, 2018

TMV debacle shows govt won’t listen to expert advice

Thanks to this government not listening to expert advice, and building Te Mato Vai water intakes first and ring mains last, I believe our new ring main pipe is now contaminated with mud, silt and stones from recent rain. So much for providing the island with clean potable water. Politicians should stay away from construction projects and leave it to the people who know what they are doing.

Smoke Signals

Monday December 17, 2018

Bad news from the Tokyo Olympics site

The secretary general of CISNOC said recently that the Olympic facilities in Tokyo are up to Cook Islands standards. Let’s hope not, since our sports arena is falling apart!

Smoke Signals

Wednesday December 12, 2018

Expensive Atiu roads a slippery path for taxpayers

It seems PM Henry Puna will go to extreme lengths to stay in power and give in to whatever Maggie, Rob and Rose want. Rumours are that the road works on Atiu cost $1.5 million and the fancy streetlights on the island cost taxpayers over $200,000. And yet the CIP government can’t even put medical doctors on each of the outer islands. There are now more pigs  than humans on Atiu and guess they will get to enjoy the disco street lights. The appointment of CIP supporters to  HoM and chief executive positions is pathetic and a complete joke – not to mention an apparent abuse of power.

Smoke Signals

Saturday December 08, 2018

No constricting belts or one-way roads, says Pence

“We don’t drown our partners in a sea of debt, we don’t coerce, or compromise your independence … we don’t offer a constricting belt or a one-way road.” US president Mike Pence takes aim at another world superpower bent on world domination, at the recent APEC meeting in Papua New Guinea.

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