Health ministers’ meeting a non-stop food fest

Monday September 04, 2017 Published in Smoke Signals

We are the most obese nation in the world and one in three of our people have diabetes or heart problems.

And so we invite Pacific nations to come and meet with us and what do we do?  We prove to them just how we got to be so unhealthy and obese.  The three-day health minister’s conference went from one kaikai to another. Large plates of unhealthy food were piled up on plates at the Edgewater Hotel, large amounts of alcohol consumed at other places. Even our own Health minister Nandi Glassie as pictured in CINews has his stomach hanging over his trousers under his large-sized shirt.  Even the Samoan Health minister looked fitter and healthier than ours and in the past Samoa and Tongan people have always been thought to be bigger than us in the Cook Islands. When it comes to teaching others what to do, especially when it comes to eating and exercising, it’s time our Health minister got his act together and set a better example. Elizabeth Iro looked like a better role model for what a healthy person should look like.  Nandi is very good at saying “Do as I say - not as I do!!”


Will the new Crimes Bill wake us up to reality in the case of “the weed” that presently can put one in jail for 20 years while in countries all over the world, one can now go into a corner shop and stock up over the counter?


Another smoke signaller says it’s criminal that people in the Cook Islands are still locked up for possessing small amounts of marijuana, while in the rest of the civilised world, more enlightened nations have realised that cannabis has very real medicinal benefits and are making it easily available to those suffering from various illnesses. Some have come to the conclusion that there’s no point in locking people up for smoking it and have made marijuana legal within certain parameters. Those states in the US that have legalised it have since reported reduced crime rates, while their governments are enjoying the windfall from the inevitable tax on the product, which is sold at well organised and well monitored retail stores. They’re also saving on the enormous cost of keeping prisoners locked up. New Zealand now allows doctors to prescribe cannabis medical treatment cannabidiol (CBD) which has the psychoactive ingredient removed. And surveys have shown that around 60 per cent of the Kiwi population is in favour of relaxing drug laws as they apply to marijuana. “It will be interesting to see what happens to visitors to the Cook Islands from New Zealand who attempt to bring these treatments into the country,” the smoke signaller says. “Will the police lock them all up? If that’s the case, the Justice ministry will need a lot more prison officers than the four they’re advertising for now – and the prison will have to be hugely extended.”


Welcome back Tim Tepaki. Read again the warning is in the unlimited open visa which I believe is given to all Chinese businessmen to come and go into the Cook Islands with no visa requirements whatsoever until eternity. No-one else gets this free open door policy. No-one else gets PMs Puna’s attention for construction contracts and giving this country “a helping hand”.  There is something fishy going on Tim, and it involves the Chinese every time.


Back to the subject of cannabis, and a person commenting on Facebook about the story in last week’s CINews about the police drug operation at Arorangi, says the drug should be made legal here. He says Rarotonga could become the Amsterdam of the South Pacific, and tourists would flock to the Cook Islands. Marijuana-smoking tourists would also eat a lot more, thus benefitting the island’s food outlets, the commentator points out.


In Saturday’s Cook Islands News (‘Digital tools give language a boost’) the prime minister is quoted as saying that the Online Dictionary of Cook Islands Languages project was “led by AUT Professor …Tania Ka’ai and our own George Paniani, chair of the Cook Islands Language Commission…” In fact, the project was led by USP Cooks Islands and AUT University. The Cook Islands Language Commission was not involved in the project.

SS: The error was contained in information supplied by the PM’s office. The story was not written by a CINews staff member as indicated in the byline, but was a government press release.


So the Tepaki/China juggernaut is all go from November this year? Funny, this smoke signaller is not aware of a single lease to the juggernaut on Ngaputoru. There are going to be some surprised landowners when the bulldozers and the $20 an hour jobs start up in two months.

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