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Smoke Signals


Heard a funny real-life story or something out of the ordinary? Lighthearted Smoke Signals will be accepted for our opinion pages by e-mail ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ), text to 188 or a phone call to the newsroom on 22999. Please note, material that goes beyond the bounds of decent taste or is defamatory is not likely to be used. Don’t forget to give us your name and contact number in case we need to check details and verify facts. All correspondence is confidential.


Go on, smoke it!

Smoke Signals

Wednesday October 10, 2018


It seems beyond unbelievable that a civil servant who has been suspended twice from his position as secretary of Marine Resources, should now be appointed to run the Office of the Prime Minister.

Smoke Signals

Friday September 28, 2018


A staff member of the Cook Islands News tried to contact a senior public servant over two days recently. On the first call she was told he was in a meeting. On the second call she was told he was out in the field. He was away for the day on the third call and the fourth was that he was sick. By the fifth call he was on annual leave but, by the sixth call, he was just simply out of the office and contactable on his mobile. He was not answering his mobile however.

Smoke Signals

Thursday September 20, 2018

Time to front up on pension

In 2016 Members of Parliament (Rose Brown and George Maggie) attended a meeting of Grey Power at Sinai Hall. At that meeting the MPs pledged to support the abolition of taxation on pensioner benefits.

Smoke Signals

Saturday September 01, 2018

An unhealthy situation

The newspaper says there is lots of flu going around, and at Dr Uka's surgery, it has been standing room only, with people queuing up to see him.

Smoke Signals

Wednesday August 29, 2018

History rewritten…

Local TV ad tells us that ANZ bank has been banking in the Pacific for 135 years. However, a quick look at Mr Google will tell you that ANZ was formed in 1951 from two other banks. Even if ANZ has purchased one or more banks which have indeed been operating in the Pacific since 1883, it certainly was not under the ANZ name. Management may wish to set the record straight.

Smoke Signals

Wednesday August 15, 2018


Whoever runs the National Auditorium has about five months before UB40 plays to hire a sound technician that isn’t the one that made this year’s Te Maeva Nui (like last year’s) a sound disaster by adjusting the bass so high that the walls shook and the voices were drowned out. And while management is at it, perhaps the exit signs, none of which have lights working, can be fixed before there is a disaster in the event of fire.

Smoke Signals

Monday August 13, 2018

Buggies in the same basket as dodgy scooter drivers

A smoke signaller says he can’t understand recurring anonymous criticism of the island’s buggy tours “When I have been, I have enjoyed my time on them. Some people don’t know how to drive them, and it is the same situation with visitors who hire scooters. But do we put down the scooter hire companies? I commend the buggy tour owners for trying something different on the island to give the tourists a tour that is enjoyable.

Smoke Signals

Thursday August 09, 2018

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.

Smoke Signals

Friday August 03, 2018

No surprises that this year's Te Maeva Nui festival continues to spark conversation from the community.

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