“One of the biggest environmental impacts from mass tourism is staring him and us all in the face. That’s the Muri lagoon pollution from the build-up of toxic waste and run-offs from hotels, businesses and homes along that area. Puna completely ignores this very serious issue and up to this day, nothing is done about it. This is the same Henry Puna who travels extensively and speaks at international forums about the effects of climate change and the need for world leaders to work together to stop this disaster. There's a disaster called Muri lagoon right in our own back yard.”
“I DON’T KNOW how effective the Cook Islands Police Service’s efforts to crack down on motoring offences went during the first few days of the school term this week,” a smoke signaller says. ‘On my way into work on Tuesday I spotted 11 motorcyclists with no helmets (four of them tourists), one local riding his bike on the wrong side of the road (again with no helmet) and two young women on a bike, also riding on the wrong side of the road. They nearly fell of their bike when they tried to cut into traffic without looking where they were going. Oh, and they weren’t wearing helmets either. Then there was the car which speed past another on yellow no-passing lines at Nikao, right on a blind corner. Obviously there aren’t enough police officers to go round, because they’re missing a whole lot of what’s going on out there.”
RACISM IN PARADISE
“THOMAS WYNNE’S column in Saturday’s CI News touched on the topic of racism. I wonder if he has considered that racism cuts two ways,” a smoke signaller says. “I’m opposed to racism in any shape or form, but I can tell Mr Wynne that as a papa’a, I’m regularly a victim of it – even in ‘paradise.’ I’ve noticed that visitors and workers from other countries around the Pacific cop it quite badly, too. I feel ashamed at how some people treat Filipino workers, for instance.”
DEALING WITH TROUBLE
GOOD ON THE Cook Islands Police Service for re-forming their Tactical Response Unit. The quicker weapons-carrying troublemakers can be dealt with, the better,” a smoke signaller says. “I just hope that the Police Commissioner is as good as his word and that they get on top of the problem.
SNIPING FROM THE SIDELINES
WHO DOES PAPA Williams think he is whacking the government for appointing an Australian policeman to the commission of inquiry on last year’s shootings, another smoke signaller asks. “He’s just another rocket scientist who is happy to dump on people from the sidelines, but does little or nothing himself to change the situations he is unhappy about. If he doesn’t like the way this country is run, maybe he should move somewhere else – or get into politics and see how easy it is to change anything.”