Smoke Signals

Saturday December 08, 2018 Published in Smoke Signals

No constricting belts or one-way roads, says Pence

“We don’t drown our partners in a sea of debt, we don’t coerce, or compromise your independence … we don’t offer a constricting belt or a one-way road.” US president Mike Pence takes aim at another world superpower bent on world domination, at the recent APEC meeting in Papua New Guinea.



Someone has been very slow off the mark to update government contact details on the internet. The page “Cook Islands Government Structure still lists the missing Albert Nicholas as Minister of Internal Affairs and several other things including the Office of the Ombudsman (the latter is about as efficient, organised and helpful as the missing MP. In fact, Nicholas is still missing, presumably in darkest Auckland. Everyone knows the reason for his absence, but no-one, including the government is game to say anything. Nandi Glassie, now a bastion of the United Party is also still listed as Health minister, while Kiriau Turepu, who was minister of Agriculture but did next to nothing to improve the state of agriculture in this country, is also still on the list. Perhaps someone in government has consulted their crystal ball and thinks the list isn’t worth changing, as their future is looking a bit dodgy.


One thing particularly bothers us about all these stories on the dreaded Te Mato Vai project. If things were as bad as they seemed to have been and if problems with the workmanship and materials were clearly evident during stage one, why was DPM Mark Brown still telling the media in October that any problems with the project were minor and that everything was fine? It would be nice if he would explain to all the nice voters and taxpayers out there.


It would be nice also if Garth Henderson, who is busy dodging bullets over TMV, could tell us exactly who “they” were. We mean the people who were responsible for telling everyone it was a $60 million project when the true cost was 50 per cent (and probably a lot more), higher than that. It’s no good blaming the communications consultants as they had to have been given their information by someone. So who was it. “They” isn’t good enough, Garth.

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