Outer islands not forgotten

Thursday August 23, 2018 Published in Letters to the Editor
Outer islanders crowded onto Avatiu Wharf on Monday, waiting for the Nivaga III to ferry them home. 18082228 Outer islanders crowded onto Avatiu Wharf on Monday, waiting for the Nivaga III to ferry them home. 18082228

Dear Editor,

A reply to Utu Panu from Nooroa Daniel Kavakura Tuoro.

I am proud of my heritage and te akaroa tikai iakoe. I would like to respond to statements from your August 21 letter on a point-by-point basis.

Utu Panu: “Is he also going to comment on the ‘Think Before Opening Mouth Blowhard’ at the bottom of the same page who is telling the outer islands to suck it up and put up with their miserable lot in life? The two of you should live together awhile on an outer island and see how long you last.”

-You are sad matey, go get a life.

UP: “Let me explain what I meant by my statement that there was more activity taking place in the outer islands when the country was run by colonials – yes that’s right. They didn’t have individual MPs for each island, nor regular shipping or communications, but they still managed within their limited resources to create a stable nation.”

-Were you around in the colonial days? I am certain your people worked hard to get what they had.

Yes, I grew up working hard on the land I live on now, pushing ploughs to plant for a living, working in the taro patches and fishing for a living. What did you do? I bet you didn’t do anything, that is why you are complaining about what other people have. So what is the purpose of having a member of parliament?

UP: “Unfortunately, all of that seems to have gone by the wayside since the advent of self-governance. Tuoro should ask himself why. It’s obvious to a blind man the reason why – it’s because of unfair distribution of resources, taxes or money since we, as a people, took control of our own purse strings.”

-If you are that concerned, why not go into politics then, so you can control all the things you mentioned?

UP: “The point of my original letter is this: outer islands people and people of outer island descent are fed up with their islands getting blamed for budget blowouts by successive governments of this country. Tuoro should be looking closer to home at the many failed or incomplete and mismanaged projects, which, over the years, have drained this country’s coffers. You only have to visit an outer island to know the difference between Rarotonga’s development and development (lack) in the outer islands.”

-Again I repeat, why don’t you go into parliament so you can make a difference? I bet no one would vote for the likes of you.

UP: “But now and then government might throw us utu panu a bone, like the $3 million dollars used to bring our pa enua people to the Big Smoke. Thank you for the crumbs from Rarotonga’s table.”

-You are lucky to get a bone. Sad tikai koe.

UP: “Tuoro puts the blame for the underdevelopment and depopulation of the outer islands at the feet of the outer islands MPs. Has he considered why they are so shy and reserved in parliament; why it is they don’t speak up enough (quite apart from the fact parliament does not sit enough to afford them the opportunity to speak even if they could)? It’s because the better-educated, more street savvy MPs who were brought up on Rarotonga can push their cases better. Outer islands MPs cannot compete because of the reasons outlined in my first letter. So it stands to reason the buck will always stop on Rarotonga.

It might actually be too late to save the outer islands.”

-You contradict yourself e koe. If I were you I would shut my mouth regarding this matter.

UP: “Remember the words to the song many of us learned at school? ‘Rarotonga te enua tei tauria ia e te au manu o te reva e, kua riro Rarotonga ei metua no te au pa enua I tai mai e.’ Is Rarotonga acting like the ‘parent’ (metua) of the outer islands like the song says? I don’t think so. Like any neglected child what should we do? Leave home of course!”

-Tangi tikai iakoe. E ere oki, you are not worth the bother. By the way, that is a beautiful song and I am proud of it.

UP: “It must be great living on Rarotonga; even greater if you have your own land. There are no expensive freight and airfare costs to consider; no dust and mud flying or blowing in your face when you drive your motorbike.

 There’s a range of shops, restaurants, and doctors and nurses at the hospital 24 hours a day. Even something as basic as a pharmacy is absent in the outer islands.

No furniture, hardware or clothing stores either, which means all of these things have to be imported at a cost. Little things, but they make a huge difference to life on an island anywhere in the world. We are fed up with living life like our ancestors did 150 years ago. We want what you have.”

-Our ancestors have nothing to do with what you say. Let them rest in peace. You go and get a life and stop moaning like a sad child.

UP: “People of the outer islands are part of this so-called nation and deserve to be treated with fairness and consideration. Instead they have become the forgotten people.”

-If the outer islands were forgotten, where did the $3 million go? You forget our prime minister is a lawyer, well-educated and stands for Manihiki Island and for our country.

UP: “If giving you my name will: Solve all the issues of the outer islands.”

-Not interested in knowing your name and you are not worth knowing.

UP: “Make parliament sit more days.”

-So you agree with me?

UP: “Fast track outer islands MPs to become better educated and street smart.”

-Why did you vote for them? This is not an era for teaching your member.

UP: “Here it is: I am one of the downtrodden, therefore, I remain yours, Utu Panu.”

-You are not my Utu Panu and I say to you, jump off the face of this earth, you are not worth the bother.

            Nooroa Daniel Kavakura Tuoro

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