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Smoke Signals


Heard a funny real-life story or something out of the ordinary? Lighthearted Smoke Signals will be accepted for our opinion pages by e-mail ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ), text to 188 or a phone call to the newsroom on 22999. Please note, material that goes beyond the bounds of decent taste or is defamatory is not likely to be used. Don’t forget to give us your name and contact number in case we need to check details and verify facts. All correspondence is confidential.


Go on, smoke it!

“Since when did we turn into Samoa...charging people five dollars to go to the waterfall is disgraceful,” a smoke signaller says.

Man on mission – for himself

Monday February 13, 2017

The Prime Minister promised political reform after getting into power. Now after more than five years there’s absolutely nothing to show for it, except broken promises.

Bank fees take hour’s wage

Friday February 17, 2017

“After withdrawing money from the BSP ATM with my ANZ ATM card because the ANZ machine in Muri doesn’t work,

REGARDING the option Immigration has given Mark Franklin to leave the country voluntarily, wasn’t there a recent case of the footballer from another Pacific country who was also given the option to ‘voluntarily’ leave the country after claims he allegedly acted in an overly hostile way to a young man?

Thanks to the person who put a smoke signal in CI News last week highlighting the need for more tellers in our local banks.

Good pressure? Or luck with rains

Thursday February 23, 2017

Well … just how transparent could the promoters of the $30 million dollar phase one of Te Mato Vai be, but to turn on the new pipes after heavy rain to show us how much pressure we now have?

Get on to worker compensation!

Wednesday June 07, 2017

“Ok let’s decode the letter to CI News by Heinz Matysik about worker compensation law,” a smoke signaller says.

The year was just eight days old when our PM announced he was off overseas yet again, this time to Abu Dhabi for a renewable energy meeting. “Maybe he’s trying to break last year’s record for the amount of time spent out of the country,” a smoke signaller says.


The amount of bad and dangerous driving that’s going on around the island at present points to the fact that we need the increased police alertness to continue. What’s going to happen when the checkpoints fade back to their normal level? 


The police statement about the very uncertain rules regarding riding on the back of trucks was all well and good, but in the meantime, people are still riding around perched on the side of truck trays, or standing up and leaning on the back of the cab, without holding on to anything. It’s an accident waiting to happen – and if it is against the law, no-one’s doing anything about it.


Unfortunately, it seems the police don’t follow their own rules when it comes to dangerous riding on the back of trucks. Seen yesterday at Panama, a truck driving along the main road with a police bike on the back – and a policeman sitting astride it!  If the truck had come to a sudden stop, things could have got pretty tricky.


The remarkable story about whale researcher Nan Hauser diving with a humpback whale off Rarotonga last year has gained a whole new life on the internet. Months after the story first appeared in CI News, overseas media have put a whole new spin on the episode.  The New Boston Post, which bills itself as “the hub of conservative thought,” ran a story saying: “A Maine woman diving near the Cook Islands in the South Pacific cavorted with a humpback whale that kept trying to shield her with a giant pectoral fin; it took her a while to figure out the whale appeared to be shielding her from a lurking tiger shark. A video associated with the story in the link below shows the woman interacting with the whale, but doesn’t show the shark.”


The whale tale has also been aired on CBS news, together of video footage of the whale researcher and the humpback whale said to have protected her from a tiger shark. Thankfully, however, CBS took a more objective approach. “While Hauser credits the whale for protecting her, she acknowledges she can’t know what the whale was thinking,” the CBS story said. “James Sulikowski, a marine biologist and professor at the University of New England who has studied tiger sharks, said he’s not convinced that the whale saved her life. “The shark could have just been hanging around,” he said. “There’s really no way of knowing the whale’s motivation.”


The prize for the most over-the-top version of the story predictably goes to a British tabloid, the Mirror, whose website ran a story and video headlined: “Amazing moment hero whale saves snorkeler from shark by hiding her under giant fin while pushing her to safety.”  

Stealth traffic stops do the job

Thursday February 15, 2018

Good on our police women and men for recent ‘stealth’ traffic stops.

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