Smoke Signals

Friday October 19, 2018 Published in Smoke Signals
The Cook Islands Police Service patrol boat Te Kukupa’s recent “mystery mission’ remains unexplained. 18101833 The Cook Islands Police Service patrol boat Te Kukupa’s recent “mystery mission’ remains unexplained. 18101833

Patrol boat’s mystery mission destined to stay that way

The “mission” the Cook Islands police patrol boat Te Kukupa returned from on Friday last week seems destined to remain a mystery forever. In spite of a police spokesman explaining that the story would be revealed within a day or two, there has still been no explanation – and the only thing we know is that it involved something on a regional level.



Ever seen a vehicle actually stop at the jet blast warning sign at the seawall which tells motorists to stop when a jet is taking off? No, neither have we. For one thing, when you’re driving on the seawall road it is impossible to see whether a jet is taking off, and for another, if you did suddenly stop your vehicle, there’s a very high chance it would cause a serious accident. Not to mention that there are no road markings indicating anywhere you can stop.


The rapidly mounting costs involved in the long-running Te Mato Vai project have become ridiculous, a local person involved in the construction industry says. “The extra $30 million above the original ‘fifth-order’ cost estimate of $60 million announced by Mark Brown recently, blew me away. Three countries are involved in this project and it seems none of them can get the water mains project right. No private enterprise company would accept this sort of cost blowout. Te Mato Vai has already suffered the effects of some well-documented dodgy workmanship and now there are rumours that some of the components more recently supplied by foreign companies aren’t up to the job. “Shouldn’t all of this stuff have been thoroughly checked before it went into the ground?” 


A local person reckons Tim Tepaki has got it all wrong with his big and very expensive plans for developing the outer islands. He says it would be much, much cheaper to just legalise cannabis on some of the northern islands, and there would be an immediate flood of visitors. “Tim could maybe build a few resorts and hotels where these people could stay, but he wouldn’t need to do much else. He could leave the air transport to Air Rarotonga or start a new service called “Flying High.” And he could still develop fishing and agriculture on these islands, because these visitors would eat like there’s no tomorrow. And there would be plenty of scope for setting up a chocolate factory for sweet-toothed smokers. Promotional slogans would be no problem because “Kia Orana” rhymes pretty well with ‘marijuana’.”


The people of former Internal Affairs minister Albert Nicholas’ far-flung electorate must surely be sorely disappointed with the total lack of representation they now appear to have. There’s been no sign of the RAPPA MP for a very long time, and word on the coconut wireless is that his communication with government is practically non-existent. He was a no-show for the recent (and rare) session of parliament. It’s time for the government to tell people what is happening, and time also, perhaps for a by-election. MPs are supposed to represent the people who elected them. Perhaps the government could explain how Nicholas is doing this from New Zealand.


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