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Smoke Signals

Thursday August 09, 2018 Published in Smoke Signals

Some interesting facts about our winter weather

Deputy prime minister Mark Brown must have still been at high school when the annual Constitution celebration performances shifted from the leaking, corrugated iron-roofed old Constitution Park building to the French government-funded Are Karioi Nui. Wet weather was the cause.

This was around 1992 during the first South Pacific Arts Festival. He must have been raised also as a clean bloke and didn’t get his hands sufficiently dirty in the taro patch or piggery to be able to understand the weather patterns all these years. I am referring to his television news interview with him the other evening with regards to the heavy downpour of rain, which Brown put down to climate change. He also said we are supposed to be in the dry season. Mr DPM, may I reiterate that our Constitution week of celebration has always been held during the wet season and in fact, our winter period is normally our wet season.

WHAT ARE THEY DOING?

The spokesperson from Infrastructure Cook Islands puts it quite well on local television news that during times of a natural disaster it is not their role to perform the clean-up. However, what is the so called Emergency Management Cook Islands doing? This is what they are supposed to be doing - getting up at four am and cleaning debris from around river banks and not sitting on their behinds and waiting for the next cyclone or another airline ticket for international travel.

BUGGIES UNSAFE

How long till someone gets seriously hurt while on the island buggy tour? Twice now I’ve witnessed a buggy driven by tourists veer off rapidly into the opposite lane due to the front wheel suddenly jamming and locking. Imagine if there had been oncoming traffic. Even the mechanics in tow couldn’t possibly consider this vehicle worthy of a warrant of fitness. Banish them I say, and let’s all get some peace!

FOODLAND FAÇADE FABULOUS

Thank you Mr Clarke for taking feedback about Foodland’s appearance on board and not interpreting it as criticism.

CHECKPOINTS CHECK OUT?

With all the scary and dangerous driving on our roads over the busy Te Maeva Nui period, where were all the police checkpoints? I saw one or two, but there was no evidence of the full-on approach the police service took at Christmas, when there were checkpoints galore.

CHALLENGES FOR TOURISM

It seems tourism has two challenges to face now – the weather at this time of the year, which they can’t do anything about, and the number of burglaries on the island targeting tourists, which appear to be increasing in spite of the best efforts from the police. Pretty soon the word will spread that Rarotonga is often wet and gloomy for long periods at this time of the year, and that if you holiday here, you’re likely to end up having your valuable possessions stolen.

RAINED OUT…

Spare a thought for two tourists who spent up large on upmarket accommodation and spent five days here from last Thursday. Rain, rain and more rain left them wishing they’d gone elsewhere. Mind you, exactly the same could have happened, no matter what country they went to.

TRAVEL SEASON RETURNS

It’s not quite two months since the CIP government trumped the Demos by making three independent MPs Cabinet ministers – and already the travel is getting back in full swing. This week the PM is away again, this time for a Forum meeting in Apia, Samoa.