PM not the only frequent flyer

Tuesday May 09, 2017 Published in Smoke Signals

PM Puna opts to be seen at an Auckland Anzac parade, rather than stay an extra day here in Rarotonga and attend our own fantastic parade, a smoke signaller says.

“How sad, and how degrading for him! The tired old arguments about diplomacy and leadership just wilt under any scrutiny. The truth is that he has a travel bug, which he can’t get rid of, and will make the most of under any pretext while he is in government. The air points must be up in the millions by now. And not having to make any decisions from 40,000ft in the comfort of a taxpayer-funded business class seat -what a deal. But he is not alone. There is an ad on TV for flu vaccinations for this coming winter at a cost of $35. Why is Nandi Glassie so frequently winging off to WHO in Geneva when he never comes back with any sort of freebie vaccination subsidy for the iti tangata he is supposedly representing as Health minister? I believe the Cook Islands is becoming the patipati capital of the Pacific, so why not patipati for free flu vaccines? It makes you wonder what these guys really are up to. Certainly not looking out for our best interests, it seems.”


“The headline on page one of CI News on May 4 reads, “Travel part of the job, says PM”, a smoke signaller says. “Yeah right. This reader thinks Puna has got it round the wrong way…in his case the job is part of the travel: Travel where and when you want, organise a bit of “official” justification around that schedule, and then try and fool the voting public. Yeah, we’re all stupid!”


For an exercise in pure frustration, try phoning the Ministry of Justice first thing in the morning. After listening to all the options for various contacts, you press a number, and hello, you get a message saying, “Your call cannot go through.” And Justice isn’t the only ministry with communication problems, a smoke signaller says. “Try phoning the Ministry of Cultural Development on a Friday, and sometimes no-one answers the phone at all.


Confusion around whether or not Dr Rongo applied for a particular job at the Ministry of Marine Resources aside, the fact remains that if as stated in the MMR release, MMR “…continues to develop strategies to encourage Cook Islanders to join its team” is accurate, surely one of those strategies would be approaching Cook Islanders and encouraging them to apply for positions. Did they not do that this time?


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