Now’s the time for another road check

Wednesday April 18, 2018 Published in Smoke Signals

After all the rain and flooding, now’s the time for PM Puna to do an inspection of the roads on Rarotonga, a smoke signaller says. “But try a motorbike this time and my advice wear a helmet: it’s a pothole minefield!”


You can tell it’s election year when the coconut wireless starts spreading false rumours about politicians and the three political parties (or rather “movements” in the case of One Cook Islands). One story has it that there have been heavy-duty stoushes in the Cabinet room between deputy prime minister Teariki Heather, prime minister Henry Puna and finance minister Mark Brown. Another story has it that no such arguments have taken place. The truth probably lies somewhere in between.


It was good to see the police out getting training in controlling traffic on Wednesday morning. Just as well the learners weren’t let loose with actual traffic in downtown Avarua though. The way things are, with the chronic lack of parking in the “capital” and motorcyclists ignoring the 30kph speed limit, there could have been mayhem.


It’s great to see plenty of tourists arriving and contributing to our fragile national economy, but it would be even better to see something being done about the island’s roads so they can cope with this increase in traffic.


The increase in tourists isn’t pleasing all locals it seems. A recent copy of New Zealand’s North & South magazine featured a glowing story about the merits of holidaying on Niue. The writer spoke to a pair of tourists who said that previously they had been regular visitors to Rarotonga. However, they said they’d opted for Niue instead this year, because on a previous visit they’d noticed that the Rarotonga locals were no longer as friendly to visitors as they had been. An indication that tourism is putting too much pressure on our social system and traditional way of life, perhaps?

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