Road marking action sure sign an NZ PM is here

Wednesday June 14, 2017 Published in Smoke Signals

Usually when a New Zealand prime minister visits, ICI gets busy and paints new road markings on parts of the road that the VIPs will be using, a smoke signaller says.

“One year, before Helen Clark visited, we even got shiny “cats eyes” installed on the main road. This year, strangely, there didn’t seem to be any of that sort of activity. Then yesterday, while English and his band of toadies were here (having arrived by Air Force jet, courtesy of New Zealand taxpayers), the road marking people were out there busy painting a new dotted line on the road near town. If ICI has the money to impress a VIP guest with the wonderful state of our main road (I’m being ironic here), how come they haven’t got the money to fix some of the dreadful potholes on the back road? And why were new markings only painted on such a small section of the road through Arorangi?”


“Whoa Papa Dan. Great to see you were an MP for Tupapa from 1968 to 1993,” a smoke signaller says. “So can you tell us what you did for Tupapa during that time? My mate George Maggie, aka “Action Man”, has been an MP only since 2010 and guess what: he has built houses, upgraded community buildings and cleaned the village and has helped so many people both young and old. He too played sports, helped the community, the church and is now a seasoned politician destined to do much more. I reckon credit should go where its deserved today, not to past accomplishments. Papa Dan was rewarded by the CIP with a Queen’s Award.  On the other hand, Maggie graduated from the school of hard knocks - the “University of Arorangi” and was rewarded by being sacked.


“Memo to Tingika,” a smoke signaller says. “We all appreciate that your ministry is grossly underfunded and that you were not implying that if only you didn’t need to pay for judges and Justices of the Peace, your ministry could operate within your budget. After all, there is no such thing as a court system without someone to adjudicate the cases. Not in a civilised country anyway. The truth is that government needs to provide a much larger budget to the Justice ministry, perhaps even on a similar scale as for Health or Education. Perhaps a raid on the Civil List would be in order? After all, it appears to be the only public fund that is like the magic pudding:  the fairy tale where no matter how much you eat the pudding, it replenishes itself to be eaten over and over again. The keepers of the pudding must defend it from being taken by others. Hey, that sounds just like our politicians.”


Why is the rustbucket boat Tiare Taporo still taking up prime room on our wharf, while the hard-working Lady Moana takes a beating from floating barges?” a smoke signaller wants to know. “We had the New Zealand prime minister here and we couldn’t hide the disgrace of this vessel, whose owners still appear not to have paid their debts, from the visiting delegation’s eyes. Are they going to plead poverty for our shipping fleet in the outer islands so we get more funding? 

SS: We have made repeated enquiries to one of the directors of Pacific Schooners Ltd. Once, he replied saying that there were plans in place for the company’s debts to be paid and that the ship would resume service this month. Since then, nothing appears to have happened and the director seems to have reverted to his usual tactic of ignoring emails on the subject.


A certain bank must be doing well out of their bank fees, an envious smoke signaller reckons. “Today I saw a brand new pickup truck with the licence plate BSP 4. I believe there are also three other trucks or cars, presumably used to visit local businesses and clients. That’s not bad at all for a small island bank. Looks like banks in suburban Auckland with many more clients have around the same cash flow.”   



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