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.

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,

Cruel people turn blind eye to dogs

Monday February 06, 2017

“How many starving thin skin and bone pictures of animals do we have to report and see before anything gets done about it?” a smoke signaller asks. “The land the animals that featured in CI News recently were found on belongs to someone, so report them. Charge them, put their names in the paper and shame them. A woman found the dogs because they were barking. Didn’t the neighbours hear the dogs? Someone must have known they were there, so why didn’t they help or report?  It is pathetic how these people can get away with such cruelty on such a small island and no one sees or knows anything. It is time to give police the power to arrest for cruelty to animals. and as harsh as it sounds, culling may be kinder in the long run. The poor bitch dogs left to have puppies constantly should be removed from the owners and desexed immediately. And for repeat animal cruelty human owners should be offered castration or imprisonment.”


“Just to help Jaewynn McKay out in her letter on the Chamber of Commerce, the word we use in the Cook Islands is “papaanga”, not “whakapapa,” a smoke signaller says. “That would make the letter more, ahhh, “local.”


Can the CIRU lovers and haters please keep it down, the leagues on.


“In the March 2000 Economic Gazette, under the heading ‘Current Court Actions’, it is recorded that MFEM was taking action against a certain retailer for the sum of $103,784.64,” a smoke signaller says.  Eleven years later, on June 9, 2011, a CI News article recorded that the amount owed to MFEM from that same company was now $237,216.05. You can only wonder what the amount is today. And now the government wants to write off the penalty tax. So effectively the company will receive an interest free loan for over 17 years from the taxpayers. Is that what the Minister of Finance means by saying ‘all Cook Islanders will benefit from this’?”


What reds under the bed are scaring Papa Williams, a smoke signaller ponders? His attack on an Australian heading the inquiry into the multiple shootings near Titikaveka in October is bewildering, a smoke signaller says. “Williams whinges that it should have been a New Zealander heading the inquiry and that by not picking one it is a slap in the face for the Cook Islands relationship with the former colonial ruler. What is he on? Australian police have had a long relationship with Cook Islands Police and Australia’s Federal Police fund many training programmes here and through the Pacific. And his thought that the government’s choice is done purely to cover up issues is an outrageous slur upon the integrity of Dennis McDermott, a man who is a former AFP Assistant Commissioner. If Williams wants to slam the government he should make sure it is the politicians he targets, not experts who come here to help Cook Islanders.”

Charges versus those wages...

Saturday February 04, 2017

STANDING IN THE long queue at one of the banks this morning I was pondering over the bank charges for their various services and wondering...

THE PM’S COLUMN on the growth and development of tourism may be rosy and all good for his government’s revenue, but he avoids the negative impacts of tourism, a smoke signaller says.

THE FACT THAT the lagoon is deteriorating rapidly has been brought home to an Arorangi resident who says when he went for a swim at high tide last week, he was disgusted at the amount of green weed floating around on the surface.

De-sex and care for your dogs

Monday January 30, 2017

THE CRUELTY SHOWN to those poor dogs featured in CI News this week was appalling,” a smoke signaller says.

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