Voluntary departure rule used previously

Monday February 20, 2017 Published in Smoke Signals

REGARDING the option Immigration has given Mark Franklin to leave the country voluntarily, wasn’t there a recent case of the footballer from another Pacific country who was also given the option to ‘voluntarily’ leave the country after claims he allegedly acted in an overly hostile way to a young man?

By the way, perhaps a factor in offering the voluntary option is so that the authorities are spared the cost of the cost of the airfare.


Isn’t it nice that the Ministry of Marine, ‘appreciates the support of the European Community and its commission…’ (CI News February 16),” a smoke signaller says. “What about appreciating the more than 4000 signatures of Cook Islanders who petitioned against this agreement, and Puna, Brown, et al just went against their wishes. What sort of democracy is this anyway? When Cook Islanders end up buying their own tuna back in punu ika, where will Puna and Brown and others be then? They won’t care, as at least one is aspiring to occupy some sinecure position at the UN, or in a climate change group, far, far away. Shame!


Vehicle # 8046 been parked at the Tupapa main road. Seems to be there for a long time. Has it been abandoned?


“In May last year Albert Nicholas reported 80 per cent of his constituency was against the signing of the purse seining agreement,” a smoke signaller says. It is now Feb 2017, so may I please  ask Nicholas what he has done to represent his people?  Did you stand against CIP and Puna on the purse seining issue? Did you get up and argue or complain or try and do something to stop them?  You have let us down and I believe you have sold us out. First you jump ship, and now, even after we tell you we don’t want this purse seining agreement, you do nothing to stop it happening.  How can we ever trust you to truly represent us?”


Call me what you will but even though the photo that won the CI News contest recently had good composition and colour and the way the light played on the water droplets was wonderful, nothing about it said Cook Islands. If a picture is worth a thousand words, not one of those words was “islands”. It looked like it could be any back yard in the far north of NZ.  The woman throwing the net said millions of words about island life and culture the boy into the lagoon said islands, the kid siting on the dog said Rarotonga dogs, sand, sun. Next year can we have a winner that looks like it is taken in the islands please.


“Puna and Ponia, what have you done?” a smoke signaller asks. “If it was not bad enough you signed the agreement with the purse seiners knowing no one wanted it, you also sold us out for peanuts. Is it not bad enough we will have no fish left that you give them these fish for less than a smaller island Kiribati gets in one year?  You sold our moana to be raped and pillaged by the EU for a mere $2 million a year for four years. Kiribati got $13 million for one year and they didn’t have to sell their lovely Moana to get it. This is a sad day for us all in the Cook Islands and no matter how MMR wants to spin it, the facts are clear we have been ripped off and our heart is about to be ripped out.” 


Thanks to the smoke signaller in CI News last week for highlighting the need for more tellers in our local banks. On Friday I could see the tellers putting on those brave and welcoming ‘Kia Orana’ smiles. Thank you for making our banking quicker and easier today.


Take a chill pill for your power trip, Part 1: “One night last week, my partner and I were heading home after a movie,” a smoke signaller says.” Driving behind a very slow line of cars and bikes, we were trying to assess how many cars were ahead of us. Then a scooter driven by a minor with no helmet, but with an adult passenger, tried to overtake us, almost causing an accident with oncoming traffic. He was screaming, ‘pull over I’m a cop’. We did not see any police uniform, but heard him yell so we duly pulled over. The adrenaline-pumped ‘officer of the law’ who had almost caused an smash, jumped off his scooter and came up to me as to physically confront me, assuming the driver was drunk. All we had been trying to do was get into a safe position to see ahead of us whether we could overtake or not. Too bad for him – our vehicle was occupied by an 18-year-old sober driver and partner.  I had to school this policeman on traffic laws to get him off our horse. If you are a cop, you shouldn’t be riding without a helmet while playing Robocop.


Take a chill pill trip Part 2: Robocop, who was wearing an island shirt, threatened to impound our car. For all we know it could have been anybody claiming, ‘I’m a cop with no ID and an unde-age non-wearing scooter driver. It felt like the 70s TV cop series ‘Chips’, without the popcorn.  


I see CI News has reported Alistair Macquarie is a fire chief once again! This is totally wrong. My understanding is he is not even a qualified fire fighter, so how can he be a fire chief? Totally confusing I say.

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