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”.