Nothing to complain about

Monday November 27, 2017 Published in Letters to the Editor

Back in the late 1970s I was working for Union CITCO Travel with Tekeu Framhein, Mahana Teotahi, Mere Taruia, Joy Cowan and sometimes with Sonya Kamana in accommodating tourists.


I drove a bus while Joy did all the talking to explain to visitors about our way of life. I learned from Joy and Sonya how to conduct tours, which in those days cost $5 per visitor on a round island or circle islands tour.

I also escorted cross-island walks to Wigmores Waterfall from Avatiu and helped out on the reef walk and glass bottomed boat at Muri which was run by Tom Wichman. Most tourists who I got involved with enjoyed their time on our island, with no complaints at all – well, not that I know of.  They only told me that they hoped that we don’t have too many tourists and they did admit in those days that it was possible that too many tourists would spoil our beautiful island.

I didn’t really take any notice in those days as long as I got my $60 a fortnight. But years afterwards, the number of tourists has increased dramatically and the complaints we get from some of these visitors brought to my mind those visitors who shared with me in the past.

I must say I’m not against the increased number of tourists, but don’t come here and complain about our way of life. Roosters crow for a reason, Dogs bark for a reason, Parties are OK because we all have our turn at hosting parties. Please do not try and bring your laws to Rarotonga, we used to be happy and friendly people with limited laws. Now with your complaints, you are trying to control us. Why? Is it that you are the ones who have all the money?

            Joe Ngatae 

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