Wednesday April 05, 2017 Published in Smoke Signals

PM on the bandwagon, but action speaks louder than words

“It’s good to see PM jump on the bandwagon on Muri lagoon issue, but we all understand it’s actions that speak louder than voices,” a smoke signaller says.

“We want to see more job creation activities and more people to pay their taxes so Henry Puna will have more money to travel around the world. Then maybe, as someone has suggested, Muri can become the financial centre of the Cook Islands, like Honolulu in Hawaii.”


“Where are the anti-corruption cops, Mark Brown and Nandi Glassie?” asks a smoke signaller. “This Aitutaki power station case is sounding more and more fish fishy. Isn’t someone on the board of CIIC also part owner of the rust bucket ship still sitting at the wharf? Why are we letting good people go from the board? In my opinion, the CIP government is ruining the beautiful island of Aitutaki. They are not listening to the people and now they are stealing their money and successful workers. Shame on CIP for letting this corruption happen. As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Give the board back their jobs and leave them alone. Better still, give the board members jobs in government. They seem to know more about what they are doing more than the people who are in there now.”


On the subject of Aitutaki, what’s happening regarding the referendum vote to ban Sunday flights? Why bother holding a referendum and wasting all that money when you have no intention of stopping Sunday flights. As a vote-catcher, it was a big fail.


PM Henry Puna going on about Cook Islands Marine Reserve and talking about protecting our lagoon at Muri is about as convincing as USA President Trump announcing the opening of Prevention of Sexual Harassment Month, a smoke signaller says. “I, for one, would be prepared to buy our PM a one-way ticket to Washington DC where he could teach Trump how to travel 90 per cent of the time instead of 60 per cent of the time.”


A smoke signaller is getting tired of “World-This-Day or World-That-Day” that we seem to be bombarded with so much of the time. “A quick look at the United Nations website indicates they support over 125 ‘world’ days. Such important celebrations include World Tuna Day on May 2, and let’s not forget to flush on World Toilet Day, November 19. “With all these efforts marking such important events, no wonder they have so little time and dismal record preventing war. After all, this was the main reason for their creation post-World War Two.”


Why are the police staying so silent on the non-enforcement of our motorcycle helmet law among locals, a smoke signaller has asked. “Yesterday, while I was waiting outside a rental outlet for a visitor to rent a scooter. I saw about 40 motorbikes and scooters go past. Most of the tourists were wearing helmets, though a few braved an instant $100 fine and went without. But most of the locals who seemed to be of helmet-wearing age, didn’t have them. And some of them were driving at speeds well above 50kmh. It seems to me the safety messages aren’t making any impact on local motorbike riders – and the police aren’t taking any notice.”


Smoke signaller says dealing with bike rental businesses proved an interesting exercise. “First we called at a rental place associated with a prominent resort. We walked into the office and the staff, who were dealing with another client, didn’t even acknowledge our presence, say hello, smile – or anything. After waiting a while, we decided to go on to another outlet in Arorangi, where the staff were also serving others, but greeted us immediately and sorted the bike hire out smartly.” A smile costs nothing and would have gained the first outlet a customer.”


The same smoke signaller followed a large tip truck into town yesterday morning and was astonished at the speed it was going. The signaller risked being pulled up by the cops himself and caught up with the truck, just to see how fast it was going. When it got to 65kmh the smoke signaller pulled back to 50kmh and the truck disappeared into the distance. Where are the cops and where are their speed guns?

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