The renovation work at Minister Rose Brown’s office in Avarua is expected to be completed within two weeks. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU/23081811
They can debate climate change and how everyone else in the world needs to tighten their carbon emission belts while sitting smugly in new electric cars, that ticks some sustainability box.
four years ago I was given the opportunity to write a weekly opinion column for
our daily paper.
it being ‘my opinion’ piece, the editor at the time Jonathan Milne, recognized that
I also represented the feelings and opinions of many within the community at
am reminded to represent those who cannot speak for themselves when I am
greeted in the supermarket, bakery or at a random gathering with elation from professed
fans who are generous in their expression of how they love to read my column.
often they say they like what I wrote, totally agreed with me, and it was about
time someone said those things out loud… and thank you.
am always surprised and humbled by the silent audience who share my same dismay
disappointments and delight of what our small nation delivers at times.
all this in mind, I found it difficult to write today’s column because on
behalf of the nation I am at a loss for words.
a mind blank or writer’s block, but one of those mouth open, gaping, stunned
mullet attractive looks as I digest the latest frontpage headings of our paper.
$75k of renovations for a government office – or the full-time annual wage of four people at $9 per hour.
with fraud cases, the number declared is a fraction of the amount missing. I
heard the costs were double. For what? What has been done to earn it?
as for the Health Ministry. I never heard one utterance during Covid-19. I only
remember when all the nurses were dismissed after a successful nursing
conference. Sure, they have to have a place to work from. But therein lies the
point - they have to work, don’t they? Is there a work review done on these
members of parliament? Do we know what they actually do? Then, beside the need
for renovation, who decides the cost? I have heard from builders who have seen
bids for contracts go to the same people all the time at exorbitant charge out
rates. Let’s look at the transparency shall we. Show us the money where it went
and why and to whom?
million in cars for the Pacific Forum. It’s mandated for the Pacific Forum – mind
you, not the British royal family - the host must provide the top range of
everything. Really? Everyone is arriving
by plane with incredibly large entourages. Why? They want fancy cars to drive
10 kilometres to fancy hotels so they can debate climate change and the carbon
foot print and how our islands are going to sink and how everyone else in the
world needs to tighten their carbon emission belts while sitting smugly in new
electric cars - that ticks some sustainability box.
electric Nissan car is $30,000 which would give us 56 cars for the same spend.
say ministers need cars. Why? To drive to the office and sit there. Why not use
a taxi firm who can provide transportation to the MPs when needed for work
GA licence plate on a brand-new oversized truck worth $50,000 for one person is
them sit outside sports venues is not work if you are not the sport minister.
does the golf club and fishing club after dark count as sport?
want to impress people in the forum, then be real, be authentic, be
transparent. Don’t just fix the roads from the airport to Muri where they are
staying, do the other side of the island as well.
show off flash cars, instead show them the hospital toilets. How great are
they? Show them our statistics on domestic abuse, NCDs and obesity, and how
wonderful we are at reducing the violence in homes and against our vulnerable.
them the people who have recently lost their homes to fire who are trying to
fundraise by selling food plates, how you have catered to them and provided for
them in their time of need.
them the sludge created by the addition of chlorine you insist on putting in
the water, and where you are dumping this toxic waste when you discuss Japan’s
when you are eating at your buffet three times a day, lounging in your hotel,
while many of the old, sick and vulnerable starve inside tin shacks, you have
just driven past, give yourselves a pat on the back for a job well done
negotiating more funding, so you can have ecofriendly designer paint for your