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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

Tuesday May 29, 2018

Wage increase no more than a slap in the face for workers

This 25 cent increase to our minimum wage is a colossal slap in every Cook Islands’ citizens’ face. For a person on minimum wage who works a 40-hour week, that is a total of $10 extra a week, or $2 extra a day. And don’t forget the tax! If I tried hard enough, I could probably find that much money lying around on the side of the road every week.

Smoke Signals

Monday May 28, 2018

No more politics in outer islands

Great article in the paper about how MP representation is costly. I would like to use Mangaia as an example, as it has three MPs to represent less than 300 voters at a cost to the country of about $200,000 a year. Now the question for taxpayers. What do you get for your $200,000? Is it worth it or would it be better to abolish these three MPs and give the Mangaia Island Council this money to develop various community projects? I know which option I would take. Also does away with politics on the island. In fact, as reform I would get rid of all party politics in the outer islands and give the savings to each island council to use. Central government will be in Raro and politics stays in Raro. Island councils request funds from central government to develop their various islands. No more politics in the outer islands – something to think about.

Smoke Signals

Wednesday May 23, 2018

Still more questions than answers on writeoff

John Scott’s excellent review of the huge tax writeoff in the millions by the CIP gives us more questions than answers. The main burning question is whether or not caretaker and soon to go finance minister Mark Brown may have allegedly designed and timed the tax writeoff for certain political friends and business colleagues (including themselves) on purpose with intent and not by economic demand.

Smoke Signals

Friday May 18, 2018

Cops need to get serious about domestic violence

Perhaps there is a need for a story in the newspaper about the lack of police enforcement regarding court orders designed to prevent domestic violence. Lack of competence, power and control often leaves the police blaming victims. and that might be part of the reason why three out of five women in the Cook Islands experience domestic violence.

Smoke Signals

Thursday May 17, 2018

Free ride on radio could come back to bite Demos

My advice to the Democratic Party is not to enjoy the free ride provided by George Pitt on his national radio station during this campaign period, as everything he says is anti-government.

Smoke Signals

Thursday May 10, 2018

Litterers deserve fine

The amount of rubbish on our beaches is getting more and more noticeable and the problem isn’t just confined to the Nikao Social Centre. I agree with the smoke signaller who suggested the Environment Service should appoint someone to police the beach at Nikao and slap an instant and very large fine on anyone who leaves rubbish there. How anyone could get away with dumping a TV set or a vacuum cleaner, as they did recently, is beyond me. If you did that in Singapore, it would probably be jail for life.


Wednesday May 09, 2018


So there were no League Association officials at the Titikaveka versus Takuvaine game the weekend before last, because they had apparently all gone to watch what was supposedly the main game instead. And you wonder why the level competition is a joke – because those in charge are hopeless. It’s probably the same in all sports except bowling and soccer. Luckily for the management of these codes, the election is a huge distraction at present.

Smoke Signals

Tuesday May 08, 2018

Here’s how government could use those spare millions

Smoke Signals - 03/05/2018

Thursday May 03, 2018


Tepaki’s the man to make our future really great...

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