You prefaced that announcement by stating your intention not to make rash, hasty or ill-informed changes then launch into doing exactly that meanwhile, and in contradiction, re-invite anonymous smoke signals which had disappeared from your pages in recent times.
You make the point that you are the new boy on the block and need to discover what makes this community tick but this decision will do nothing to engender the espoused aim of transparency in Government.
Not only will Government love you for this policy change, that lofty transparency objective you hope to achieve will not happen, this administration being so steeped in its own brand of sophistry and dissembling that it will take a great deal more than banning anonymous letters to change it.
Please listen to someone who has 57 years experience here and does not write anonymously.
Your letters to the editor will dry up. Either that or people will seek out a surrogate. You have to understand that unlike in bigger countries where your policy is extant the politicians do not know the letter writers so the message is the prominent feature. Here the reverse is true. Politicians look straight to the name at the end. The message is then categorised into ‘friend’ or ‘foe’ and interpreted accordingly. If ‘foe’ and there is some way of exacting retribution that becomes the focus.
If you want any examples take my egg farming pursuits. 35 years and once supplying all Rarotonga's needs as well as some of the outer islands and now a shadow of its former self. Driven into extinction by a government sponsoring and supporting a flooding of the market with older, smaller and more expensive imported product by removing the protection which Government promised would do otherwise.
I stress it was the Cabinet through Executive Council that took this decision unilaterally. Parliament had earlier reaffirmed the protection and even changed the law to provide for a mechanism to protect threatened local industry, eggs and pork being the logical candidates, but this administration wanted no part of that.
And when I write something that annoys the heir apparent, Mark Brown, what does he do? Attacks me and my farm. The nature of many of our politicians unfortunately is that they cannot rise above these base instincts and regrettably it is this realisation that will greet your new policy.
John M Scott