Smoke Signals

Smoke Signals are remarks and observations that range from the serious to the sarcastic. Typically anonymous, these quips capture the community's notes on life and events in the Cooks, or what's echoing over the Coconut Wireless. Smoke Signals and interesting island photos can be sent by email ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or text to 188, or call the newsroom on 22999.

Smoke Signals

Monday June 11, 2018

On again, off again!

We were so happy that BlueSky turned our phone back on come Saturday afternoon after being without it over Thursday, Friday and Saturday due to technicians working in Matavera during this time.

Smoke Signals

Saturday June 09, 2018

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.

Smoke Signals

Wednesday June 06, 2018


Listening to Kaka Ama on television criticising government for the poor roads, waste management and the state of the Muri lagoon makes you wonder if he is a member of the Democratic Party. Hello – wake up Kaka, the CIP government is in power and it’s their fault the road in Muri is poor and not repaired, that waste management is forgotten, the waste site in Arorangi is overflowing, and that the Muri lagoon is deteriorating.

Smoke Signals

Tuesday May 29, 2018

Wage increase no more than a slap in the face for workers

This 25 cent increase to our minimum wage is a colossal slap in every Cook Islands’ citizens’ face. For a person on minimum wage who works a 40-hour week, that is a total of $10 extra a week, or $2 extra a day. And don’t forget the tax! If I tried hard enough, I could probably find that much money lying around on the side of the road every week.

Smoke Signals

Monday May 28, 2018

No more politics in outer islands

Great article in the paper about how MP representation is costly. I would like to use Mangaia as an example, as it has three MPs to represent less than 300 voters at a cost to the country of about $200,000 a year. Now the question for taxpayers. What do you get for your $200,000? Is it worth it or would it be better to abolish these three MPs and give the Mangaia Island Council this money to develop various community projects? I know which option I would take. Also does away with politics on the island. In fact, as reform I would get rid of all party politics in the outer islands and give the savings to each island council to use. Central government will be in Raro and politics stays in Raro. Island councils request funds from central government to develop their various islands. No more politics in the outer islands – something to think about.

Smoke Signals

Wednesday May 23, 2018

Still more questions than answers on writeoff

John Scott’s excellent review of the huge tax writeoff in the millions by the CIP gives us more questions than answers. The main burning question is whether or not caretaker and soon to go finance minister Mark Brown may have allegedly designed and timed the tax writeoff for certain political friends and business colleagues (including themselves) on purpose with intent and not by economic demand.

Smoke Signals

Friday May 18, 2018

Cops need to get serious about domestic violence

Perhaps there is a need for a story in the newspaper about the lack of police enforcement regarding court orders designed to prevent domestic violence. Lack of competence, power and control often leaves the police blaming victims. and that might be part of the reason why three out of five women in the Cook Islands experience domestic violence.

Smoke Signals

Thursday May 17, 2018

Free ride on radio could come back to bite Demos

My advice to the Democratic Party is not to enjoy the free ride provided by George Pitt on his national radio station during this campaign period, as everything he says is anti-government.

Smoke Signals

Thursday May 10, 2018

Litterers deserve fine

The amount of rubbish on our beaches is getting more and more noticeable and the problem isn’t just confined to the Nikao Social Centre. I agree with the smoke signaller who suggested the Environment Service should appoint someone to police the beach at Nikao and slap an instant and very large fine on anyone who leaves rubbish there. How anyone could get away with dumping a TV set or a vacuum cleaner, as they did recently, is beyond me. If you did that in Singapore, it would probably be jail for life.

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