Shipping subsidy to fund free shopping trip

Monday February 12, 2018 Published in Smoke Signals

The government has figured out a new way to waste our money.

The northern shipping subsidy – $500,000 unspent over three years, or $1.5 million – will go to chartering ships to bring northerners here for the Te Maeva Nui event later this year. An all-expenses paid shopping trip sounds better for northern voters than subsidising fuel costs for regular commercial shipping.


Air NZ business class to LA was full on Friday – another shipment of freeloaders off to Las Vegas to meet the group already there, courtesy of the always benevolent CI Tourism Corporation. At last count Tourism had paid for over 30 people to go on this trip, including friends, family, and assorted hangers-on. Private businesses are well represented. What Tourism thinks it’s doing paying for private business owners to travel at taxpayer’s expense, who knows. Does anyone at all have control over what they spend?


The shipping schedule in the Cook Islands seems like something of a basket case, says one signaller. There are people lining up for a boat to Penrhyn, but nothing is scheduled. In the meantime, the Lady Moana sails blithely into huge swells north of Rarotonga, laughs off the possibility of an encounter with Cyclone Gita lurking around Samoa, and heads northwest towards Nassau – where the harbour is blocked by a stranded cargo vessel – and Pukapuka, where there are reports of flooding.


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