Smoke Signals

Smoke Signals are remarks and observations that range from the serious to the sarcastic. Typically anonymous, these quips capture the community's notes on life and events in the Cooks, or what's echoing over the Coconut Wireless. Smoke Signals and interesting island photos can be sent by email ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or text to 188, or call the newsroom on 22999.

Get on to worker compensation!

Wednesday June 07, 2017

“Ok let’s decode the letter to CI News by Heinz Matysik about worker compensation law,” a smoke signaller says.

The year was just eight days old when our PM announced he was off overseas yet again, this time to Abu Dhabi for a renewable energy meeting. “Maybe he’s trying to break last year’s record for the amount of time spent out of the country,” a smoke signaller says.


The amount of bad and dangerous driving that’s going on around the island at present points to the fact that we need the increased police alertness to continue. What’s going to happen when the checkpoints fade back to their normal level? 


The police statement about the very uncertain rules regarding riding on the back of trucks was all well and good, but in the meantime, people are still riding around perched on the side of truck trays, or standing up and leaning on the back of the cab, without holding on to anything. It’s an accident waiting to happen – and if it is against the law, no-one’s doing anything about it.


Unfortunately, it seems the police don’t follow their own rules when it comes to dangerous riding on the back of trucks. Seen yesterday at Panama, a truck driving along the main road with a police bike on the back – and a policeman sitting astride it!  If the truck had come to a sudden stop, things could have got pretty tricky.


The remarkable story about whale researcher Nan Hauser diving with a humpback whale off Rarotonga last year has gained a whole new life on the internet. Months after the story first appeared in CI News, overseas media have put a whole new spin on the episode.  The New Boston Post, which bills itself as “the hub of conservative thought,” ran a story saying: “A Maine woman diving near the Cook Islands in the South Pacific cavorted with a humpback whale that kept trying to shield her with a giant pectoral fin; it took her a while to figure out the whale appeared to be shielding her from a lurking tiger shark. A video associated with the story in the link below shows the woman interacting with the whale, but doesn’t show the shark.”


The whale tale has also been aired on CBS news, together of video footage of the whale researcher and the humpback whale said to have protected her from a tiger shark. Thankfully, however, CBS took a more objective approach. “While Hauser credits the whale for protecting her, she acknowledges she can’t know what the whale was thinking,” the CBS story said. “James Sulikowski, a marine biologist and professor at the University of New England who has studied tiger sharks, said he’s not convinced that the whale saved her life. “The shark could have just been hanging around,” he said. “There’s really no way of knowing the whale’s motivation.”


The prize for the most over-the-top version of the story predictably goes to a British tabloid, the Mirror, whose website ran a story and video headlined: “Amazing moment hero whale saves snorkeler from shark by hiding her under giant fin while pushing her to safety.”  

Chicken photo appeals

Thursday July 28, 2016

“WHAT A SWEET photo caption story that was in CI News last week, about the mother hen and chick crossing the road at a Give Way sign,” a smoke signaller says.

I recently read some criticism of George Maggie in CINews. I don’t agree with everything this person was saying about George Maggie because I think Maggie is a great example for the people’s representative and the people in parliament.

This signaller is wondering where or how the tax department gets their information on past tax that is outstanding.

Smoke signaller who was in the departure lounge at Rarotonga International Airport recently says the lounge facilities need to be much more closely monitored.

“It’s good to see the police out conducting random checkpoints all over the island, a smoke signaller says.

Sober choice? Maybe not

Wednesday February 08, 2017

A drunken man, barely able to stand, was swaying around Raro Fried Chicken mid-afternoon on Sunday.

No handouts for shipping service

Tuesday February 07, 2017

“IT WAS SAD to see the one professional and dedicated server of shipping to the Pa Enua had their brand new boat stranded on the reef, by accident,

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