Smoke Signals

Friday November 30, 2018 Published in Smoke Signals
Smoke Signals

Smoke signal hits a nerve with Culture minister

Ahh...the smoke signal must have hit a nerve with minister Maggie as he responded through a letter to the editor, which was probably written by someone else. Maggie must have a short memory, because only four weeks ago he said something else on television. Now it looks like his memory is fading away and he is saying something different. Minister don't duck for cover when it suits you. Now it’s too much talk and no action.

SS: The smoke signal was clearly written by someone other than the minister, who now appears to have a staff member described as his “translator”.


The Demos, who appear to be sleepily coming out of hibernation, shouldn’t rely too much on winning a by-election on Mangaia. Word has it that there is some sly goings on in the background and all will become clear in the not-too-distant future.


It’s a shame this country no longer has an effective Opposition. Demo leader Tina Browne hasn’t said anything about any of the serious topics that have arisen over the last few months, being way too busy with her legal practice to even think about politics. The reticent parliamentary leader, Junior Maoate, hasn’t made any pronouncements of note either. However now that Maoate appears to have a PR representative, expect the Demos to play catch-up – if they can agree among themselves about anything, that is.


Look at the number of issues the “Opposition” have failed to even comment on: sea bed mining, the complete disaster that is Te Mato Vai, the incredible amount of travel being done by cabinet ministers for no discernible purpose and the increasing pressure on the island’s infrastructure as a result of the relentless promotion of tourism. They could also have had a field day with the public posturing of the embarrassing minister of Love, Peace and Corrections and his assistant clown, who seem bent on accumulating as many baubles from China as they can.


What does the future hold for Police Commissioner Maara Tetava? Police minister Mac Makoroa seemed bent on getting rid of him pronto and replacing him with his own man. However the new minister messed up badly with his incorrect calculation as to when Tetava’s contract was due to end. Meanwhile, sources at the police station say it’s business as usual and that Tetava has no intention of going anywhere. Things will get interesting when the Minister of Suspensions’ secretary attempts to sneak into Tetava’s chair. There isn’t room for both of them.


What’s with the cops just giving a warning to a tourist who drank and drove his motorbike and filmed himself doing all sorts of idiotic stunts, then posted a video on Facebook. This sends exactly the wrong message to other people and makes no sense when the police are continually warning against drink driving and other motoring misdemeanours.


One of the most interesting jobs on the island at present must be in government IT. Word is that these technicians are tracking visits by certain public servants to some very interesting websites that have nothing to do with their jobs. People further up the chain aren’t blameless either.


The toughening up on warrants of fitness has worked really well…not. There are still cars out on the roads that are falling to bits and are clearly unsafe. And what are the police doing about it? Absolutely nothing at all.


At least it’s just a return to how things have always been and not nearly as mystifying as the helmet laws, which are policed in very mysterious ways. Travel up any back road at random times and you’ll see under-aged youngsters driving bikes with no helmets. Out on the open road you’ll see bikes carrying two people – one with a helmet, one not bothering. You’ll see mothers over the age of 25 riding their bikes with no helmet (which is apparently legal), while the child on the pillion seat has no head protection at all.

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