Problems with overseas visit should be warning to others

Tuesday June 06, 2017 Published in Smoke Signals

“When reading the story about the tere party that went to London and France and their complaints as to the indignities that occurred to them, I felt great sympathy for them, especially being left without transport by their tour leader,” a smoke signaller says.

“However, on re-reading the story, it struck me how gullible the group must have been. The first red flag should have been the cost of only $2,500 to cover all expenses. A quick online search shows that return fares anything from $1800 to $3000 for the cheap seats, not including fares to France. A more realistic figure probably would have been closer to $5000 each. After all, London is a very expensive city. My point is that future tere parties really must take care to check that they have paid for really does cover all expenses including accommodation, food and transport before venturing out to the other side of the world. If not, their trip of a lifetime could instead end in tears of frustration.”


“Interesting the story on the mama’s travelling to London and running into problems,” a smoke signaller says. “I see Pa Ariki was involved with the group and I have to wonder whether, with all her resources, she could perhaps have helped the mamas, especially after all the support she was given back in New Zealand on her road trip, before this incident took place.”


“With the pittance the police earn per year - around $14,000, I am all for them making revenue off the traffic offence fines they hand out,” a smoke signaller says. “However, I would prefer them to target drink drivers leaving all those places that sell cheap drinks at $3.50 all day, rather than the harmless helmetless school students. I get they have to cut the teeth of the new recruits with WOF and registration checks, but once they’ve got the right idea, give them a taste of the real police work of handling drunk locals and tourists and do everyone a favour and save many lives that are still under threat from the consumption of alcohol and driving. All the fines for drink/driving and for compounding cars and bikes should go to the police coffers and be used for equipment or maintenance of their cars. The gold and blue truck was crawling along almost sideways last week. It looked like a chassis problem. I hope they have their own warrants up to date.”


Children are going to end up with neck and spinal Injuries if parents keep insisting on them wearing adult helmets while on the back of a scooter, another smoke signaller says. “You see young necks bent backwards or listing to the side as their under-developed neck muscles struggle to hold up the weight of the full size helmets. Even locals have bought into the ridiculous practice. Of course everyone will say it is for their safety but before the new law was introduced there were no deaths or injuries to toddlers and no young people dying as a result of motorcycle accidents on their way to school.

A smoke signaller says it’s not often he listens to Finance minister Mark Brown but he had to agree with him on the issue of arming Cook Islands police officers with guns etc. “He was right. A once in 50 years incident does not require a kneejerk over-reaction but he could put some pressure on the gun amnesty that is dragging on, because that is a continuous threat. Why do we allow these people to keep guns when they have no license? This is the lack of reaction from government that needs attention. We don’t need to arm our police for an inevitable event if we don’t have any guns on the island in the hands of people who have no import license, no gun handling course license, no respect for the law. Start cleaning up the mess of illegal guns on the island then we will all be safe – and so will the pet dogs.”


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