High hopes for Dave Rennie

Thursday April 19, 2012 Published in Smoke Signals

A sports writer is betting that Cook Islander Dave Rennie might one day coach the All Blacks. Rennie is the head coach for Super Rugby New Zealand team the Waikato Chiefs. Mark Reason, a sports journalist for over 25 years, wrote an opinion piece yesterday for Fairfax NZ news titled ‘Chiefs proving the Blues race theory wrong’ following controversy in New Zealand over the performance of the Auckland Blues, with some blaming a lack of Pakeha in the setup and putting the boot in to coach Pat Lam, a Pacific islander. Reason writes: “LOOK around you. The two leading teams in the Super Rugby New Zealand conference are currently the Chiefs and the [Otago] Highlanders. The Highlanders are coached by Jamie Joseph, a disciplinarian Maori, and the Chiefs head coach is Dave Rennie, a deep-thinking man who one day may go ‘home’ to the people of Rarotonga, the land of his mother I wouldn’t mind betting that one day Rennie or Joseph will coach the All Blacks. I hope they both do. I am not an expert on New Zealand’s rugby history but, looking down the roll of All Blacks coaches, it does look fairly exclusively Pakeha. People need role models. Rennie and Joseph could be the men to lead the way.” In an earlier Fairfax interview Rennie was asked what job he would have if he wasn’t an athlete. “I owned a pub for quite a few years and I was a school teacher for quite a few years. To be honest, if I wasn’t coaching rugby I’d go back to Rarotonga and work for my brother; he owns a construction company.” Asked about his favourite food, Rennie replied: “Cook Islands food, raw fish.” SS: Go local – good luck Dave!

Cook Islanders have hit the headlines (see yesterday’s CI News) over in the United Kingdom with the Privy Council set to hear a 109 year old land dispute over 53 acres of land at Titikaveka that The Independent newspaper headlined, ‘Century-old battle over tiny plot of land in the Cook Islands comes to Britain’. The newspaper has a photo of Ellena Tavioni, Alistair Macquarie and Tere Carr all suited up and looking very smart. As for the headline, it’s all relative: to them 53 acres is tiny, but to those taking part in the proceedings it’s a very large tract of valuable Rarotonga land.

Many were excited about the regatta cruise ship special market day at Punanga Nui on Wednesday and planned to attend as a vendor or buyerNek minnit, the captain must have spotted a rain cloud on the radar that morning and the cruise ship doesn’t call in at Raro and the market gets cancelled. Many locals and tourists were anticipating the market so next time why not advertise that if a ship doesn’t stop by, the market should still go ahead – many tourists on the island were looking forward to attending on Wednesday and the weather turned out perfect.

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