More Top Stories

Editor's Pick

TB cases detected

1 June 2024


Alleged rapist in remand

27 April 2024

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

LETTER TO EDITOR: ‘We’ve to be cruel to be kind’

Monday 20 March 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion


LETTER TO EDITOR: ‘We’ve to be cruel to be kind’

Dear Editor, Mahatma Gandhi acutely observed that “the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. The Saturday feature article on the SPCA shelter at Vaima’anga testifies that there are among us many citizens who do us proud in that respect. But, is it necessary to balance that against present reality? The picture of SPCA president and shelter manager David Pokia tenderly holding newborn pups is heartwarming. The story tells us that Mr Pokia takes 32 dogs each day on a morning stroll. Thirty-two mature dogs needing loving homes. Why would we add two more pups to that number when the chances of ever catching up on the adoption of homeless dogs, we know from years of experience, are pretty much zilch? Shakespeare, as well known to us as Mahatma Gandhi, said words to the effect that, sometimes, you have to be cruel to be kind. Allowing more homeless dogs to mature may seem kind, but is it kind to the dozens of mature dogs waiting for a family to adopt? (Name and address supplied)

Shelter support

Could you please check with David Pokia, the SPCA president and Shelter manager, to confirm whether he got the $8000 that I donated to the dog shelter. And I was made aware of where this money was being spent so I know that it almost completed the construction of the shelter which still remains unused 

In Saturday’s Cook Islands News, David was interviewed at some length about the house and this dog shelter and he thanked and named various people who assisted with this project but I was not named on this list.

David’s statement was “a little over a year ago we had some fencing that was mostly donated to us … then we got some more funding from the NZ High Commission.” Well, I know that my $8000 almost completed the dog enclosure, I would think to 90 per cent stage of completion.

I am not fishing for thanks but I would doubt that the SPCA would get many donations of this amount so to be totally ignored in this line up is annoying.

Don Carlaw

Stand up for child abuse

It’s about time these stories made headlines (‘Your abuse has stolen her life’ Man, 50, sentenced to eight years in prison for rape, March 17). Why are we acting like this isn’t a common thing that’s been happening and swept under the carpet amongst our people? Our very Mangaian families. We must make people feel uncomfortable for not only committing these crimes but ignoring the signs or deliberately denying the truth.

It is the victims’ own families that keep their trauma a secret.

Tera Pekepo


I am sorry to the girl who was victimised and abused for so long! I wish you all the love to heal what was taken from you.

Honestly can’t imagine that this young lady had to suffer. And who knew about it and did nothing about it or even said anything?!? Shame on you for not having the guts to stand up for what’s humanly right. Shame on you more for hiding someone’s disgusting secret. You should be locked up for life! Doesn’t give you the right to abuse a child!

Let’s call it what it is – you’re a paedophile and to the mother, sorry you should be locked up to because you let it happen. For what reason? It’s not ethically right. Child molesters need to be publicly known on the island.

Families, stand up for children and listen when they are telling you someone is hurting them inappropriately. Regardless if they are family or some high profile person! It takes one person to stand up to stop the abuse furthering on in families and communities.

Rachel Nolan


It takes two to make a baby and a village to help raise her, yet she was NOT protected or believed and it continued for so long! The adults on the island are responsible and all should be made accountable and pay her compensation.

She is only one of many others out there living in fear and scared to speak up. Churches, schools and police need to preach, educate and protect.

She will be constantly reminded, tormented and some evil people will accuse her for turning him on!

She needs time to forgive and heal, it’s her body, her choice, her time. Come back to Australia they have better support systems. “God accepts us for who we are, but loves us too much for us to stay that way.” God bless with lots of love and prayers.

Teela Komene