Smoke Signals

Saturday June 09, 2018 Published in Smoke Signals

Information scarce on minister’s condition

What is this “serious medical condition...ongoing illness”, that has kept Minister Albert from his own campaign rallies during election time? If he is so sick why doesn’t he withdraw? There is a perfectly healthy candidate running in this election for RAPPA. Maybe next time when he is better.

SS: CINews has found no-one willing to comment publicly on the minister’s medical condition, but we understand he is suffering from a serious illness caused by blood poisoning – so serious that on doctor’s orders he was unable to return to Rarotonga for a planned rally recently. Information about his absence was withheld from the public for at least three weeks until CINews broke the story. Our weekly Cabinet Diary was also provided with misleading information claiming Nicholas was on Rarotonga, when he was in fact more than 3200kms away in a hospital bed in Auckland, New Zealand. We will continue to ask questions regarding his fitness to stand in the election.


Only the Democratic Party and OCI have documented manifestos, while the CIP which currently governs the country, appears to have nothing. How can the CIP make it happen with no policies ,just broken promises.


So finance minister Mark Browne is only going to charge for excess water usage. The logic of the whole Te Mato Vai project is back to front. The justification of the project was based on 70 per cent of the water collected is leaking through old pipes. When it was dry there was no water and no charges. Now after spending $100 million (rounded up), to save the supposed 70 per cent losses you want to charge for “excess usage”. Hang on, if it doesn’t rain there still will be no water. Around 3000 households each with 20,000 litre water tanks would ensure 60 million litres of storage at a cost of $15m. The downside though, is no jobs for the boys, no water meters and no charges to siphon off.


Can finance minister Mark Brown explain to the taxpayers of this country three simple things from his recent PEFU report. One: Why has the public service payroll increased by $6.9 million dollars or 12% from the previous year? Two: Capital was $24.7 million in the 16/17 budget, now in the 17/18 budget it is $44.9 million - a 55 per cent increase. All this deferred capital smacks of broken promises from projects that were boasted about but not delivered. Lastly, can you explain the $54,000 credit card payments for unidentified MPs in your report? What were these payments for and which MPs do they relate to? Brown is the master of boasting about our standards in the Cook Islands compared to other Pacific Island countries. Now he needs to come clean to reveal the details hidden in his report!


Driver of the week for last week – the young guy on a motorbike with no helmet heading towards the seawall, who sped past a car opposite Vaiana’s while bar patrons were in process of crossing the road. Not content with that piece of dangerous driving, he then sped up and passed four cars in a row, crossing a double yellow line before managing to pull back over into his lane to avoid a head-on accident with a car coming towards him. This is how people die on the road.


The “Duck Crossing” sign put up by the water lads is cute as is the story of they being so mindful of the environment. Perhaps they should have a look at the creek adjacent their compound behind the old Kia Orana factory. Maybe clean up at home before doing good public relations deeds elsewhere.

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