Smoke Signals

Smoke Signals are remarks and observations that range from the serious to the sarcastic. Typically anonymous, these quips capture the community's notes on life and events in the Cooks, or what's echoing over the Coconut Wireless. Smoke Signals and interesting island photos can be sent by email ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or text to 188, or call the newsroom on 22999.

Driver of the week

Thursday March 23, 2017

There are so many contenders for Driver of the Week, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the smoke-signalling judge of the contest to make a decision. However, the winner – or winners, this time are the local pair on a motorbike who rode around the seawall on Sunday evening as it was getting dark, way, way over the speed limit – and with the headlight turned off. Oh, and there were no safety helmets in sight.

News that the Justice ministry is planning to pay new prison warden recruits even less than previously doesn’t bode well for any positive changes within the prison system, another smoke signaller says. “People who are underpaid, are far less likely to do a good job than those who are paid well and fairly. Commissioner of Police please take note.”

Legwork needed

Wednesday March 15, 2017

“Regarding the article in CI News about an abandoned car on the main road at Tupapa, police said they failed to reach the relatives of the car owner on number provided,” a smoke signaller says. “This is a small island, so why didn’t they just go and look for that person. Problem solved. I just hate all the silly comments they make in the newspaper.”

McCully’s on the move

Tuesday March 14, 2017

Outgoing New Zealand Foreign minister Murray McCully is cramming plenty of travel into his final few months in his long-held position.

Road widening provisions?

Monday March 13, 2017

The seemingly well-laid plans to mount Mike Tavioni’s sculpture at the RSA cemetery may not have considered that, sooner or later, our main road legal width of 10.06 metres must be increased.

“This week the newspapers and radio announced a mock government for the purpose of women getting a look at how to sit in parliament and as practice to encourage more women to go for careers in politics,” a smoke signaller says.

Mangaia’s medical storm

Wednesday March 08, 2017

A “perfect storm” refers to a rare combination of events leading to a tragedy.

“I was at the airport last Friday night to see a relative off and noted the Financial Secretary and Cultural Development secretary checking in at the Virgin Australia counter,” a smoke signaller says.

The women’s conference to be held at Parliament later this week, ought to consider extending an invitation to PM Henry Puna, a smoke signaler says.

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