Ugly Avarua ‘looks in the midst of war’

Wednesday October 04, 2017 Published in Letters to the Editor
Parts of Avarua now resemble a dump, a letter-writer says. 17100322 Parts of Avarua now resemble a dump, a letter-writer says. 17100322

Ever thought that our town of Avarua is getting uglier by the day?


Too many big signboards polluting the visual landscape (with a new one going up almost every month) and more 'temporary' refrigeration-type buildings being brought in, as more of our old, magnificent trees are removed to make way for these man-made monstrosities.

The capital of this country is starting to look like a town in the midst of a war. The only thing missing are the bomb craters. Avarua is now a dirty, hot (hot as is heat and not in a good way either), dustbowl of a town. No more shady trees to keep sun from beating down on us as we walk from clapped-out buildings to boring boxes in what passes as our main shopping centre. Avarua is no longer the picture postcard town it used to be.

Is there such a thing as town planning in this country? Really, we promote ourselves as a tourist destination but our capital looks like a dump.

Too much tar-seal, too many new buildings without any architectural merit going up and the once beautiful, tall trees that made Avarua a picture perfect waterfront town, are now gone.

Surely it's not difficult to have rules to protect old trees, to control how many signs a business can have and to limit the size of the signs. This is how it's done in Europe which explains why Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world; buildings must retain their heritage charm, no oversized signs are permitted outside businesses; no sandwich boards blocking the streets and there are trees in the city which are a thousand years old.

Many Cook Islanders have been to Singapore, which has the same climate as ours: recall the beautiful lush avenue of trees on the way to the city from the airport? How hard would it be for us to retain some of our natural beauty in the race towards development?

It is a pity that the one building in our capital, with any architectural merit, even with its pseudo- Polynesian appearance, is a toilet block at the western end of Avatiu wharf. Maybe it says something about us.

            Welcome to Toilet Town

            (Name and address supplied)

Editor’s note: So what do you think, readers? Do we have a town to be proud of, or is Avarua becoming, as this letter writer says, “a toilet town”.


1 comment

  • Comment Link Tangi Tuara Wednesday, 04 October 2017 12:55 posted by Tangi Tuara

    So true, I visited Rarotonga last month and so many changes on the island that makes Rarotonga look different from d past. Diffinately Avarua is an eye sore that really need attention......this is the main place where tourist go for their shoppings etc, we spent millions of dollars promoting our nation n we forgot to do our home work.....tourism is the main income of the Cooks, plse look after it or loose it.

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