Sunday April 02, 2017 Published in Smoke Signals

Rowdy party buses and traffic taking away our peace

I admire the New Zealand government for not allowing electric bikes to spoil the beauty and serenity of the peaceful Tongariro National Park, a smoke signaller says.

“On Rarotonga, vehicles are a way of life. Why are we allowing our peaceful island to be taken over by rowdy party buses and noisy vehicles? Would you go through Auckland or any town overseas screaming and yelling oft in a drunken state. You would be put in the police cells overnight till you sobered up and you’d be given a stern warning. This is not our Cook Island culture and I believe it shows a lack of respect for the Cook Islands people. Do we want Rarotonga to become known as a party island of the Pacific? Let’s lift the people of the Cook Islands onto a higher level. Why is government not doing something about it. If you genuinely care about what people, act. Our MPs need to get out of their cosy little dream and act!”


A smoke signaller who regularly takes his family down to Avatiu wharf on weekend afternoons says there’s been a noticeable increase in the number of people drinking there. In fact, it has got to the point where the entrance to the western side of the wharf is being blocked off by cars. “This happened to me twice during the weekend – we tried to drive down from the western side but the road was completely blocked off while people who had presumably been out fishing all day were having a drink. It meant we had to back out and go down the other road.  The amount of drinking there at the weekend is escalating to a level where these people think they own the place. Now it seems to be happening every day.”


If it’s illegal for motorcyclist to ride alongside each other in pairs, effectively blocking off anyone from passing them, why aren’t the people hiring bikes, telling tourists this, a smoke signaller wants to know. “The tourist season hasn’t even got under way and already we have visitors on bikes riding around with no helmets, breaking the speed limits, driving dangerously – and riding in pairs, or even three side by side. Obviously they think they’ve come to some hard case tin pot place where they can do whatever they want.


News that Muri lagoon is mysteriously freer of weed than it was just recently might not be such good news, a smoke signaller says. “We have to watch out that the government doesn’t cancel their sanitation project because they believe the lagoon fixing itself!

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