LETTERS: Destroying Rarotonga’s beautiful trees

Friday 8 October 2021 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion


LETTERS: Destroying Rarotonga’s beautiful trees

Letters for Friday October 8, 2021

Dear Editor,

Driving past St. Joseph’s school the other day, I was shocked and gobsmacked to see the wholesale ‘trimming’ of so many of the trees in and around the school grounds. I was part of the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) so many years ago, under the watchful eye of Sister Allyson and Bishop Leamy, and it was during those years that we built the Punanga Marumaru, the playground in the far corner, and planted all those flamboyant (patai) trees specifically for shade and beauty. There were very few trees around the playground before that.  

The most significant tree was chosen for the new playground, specifically because of its long-term prospect of providing overhanging branches to shade the kids while they played. It achieved that and more for many generations of kids.

This week, to see a number of trees, as well as those two major branches overhanging the playground now cut down and removed was very sad indeed. Also worrying to see trees in general all over Rarotonga getting the chop.

Kia Manuia,

Andy Olah

It was sad to see that the magnificent flamboyant trees and the tamarind trees in front of St Joseph’s school were given their marching orders last week.

What was their crime? For looking too beautiful. Some people in this community don’t just hate beauty but it seems they hate their own history too. Cutting down the trees is tantamount to erasing the memory of ourancestors who planted those trees. For the ugly people who cut down trees, it’s a form of sick revenge for their own lack of skill, ability or handsomeness. These magnificent trees which took 60 plus years to grow were destroyed in less than 60 minutes.

It is always easy for people who did not contribute to the building of this country to destroy that which they did not build, in this case the trees which they did not plant. They were not here when those trees were planted in the 1950s by the schoolchildren who grew up to become our parents.

If we examine closely those people who were responsible for the actual tree cutting, one will discover that not one of them has ever actually planted a tree in their lives. For people with no familial or spiritual connection to our land, it is easy to destroy that which they have no ties to.

To those in charge of giving the orders: try to think about the long-term effects of what you are doing. Our main industry is tourism. Do you think the tourists want to come here and look at tree stumps and our boring lack of biodiversity?

Te Akaaroa

(Name and address supplied)

Trouble in paradise

If you look at the papers lately there are a lot of headlines about (alleged) corruption in our high-ranking members. From the dismissal of the Puna’s, to Henry Puna being back in the news by the Citizens Against Corruption to the Deputy Prime Minister in court for conspiracy to defraud, it looks like there is a big shake up going on.

The news about Lee Harmon showed soccer was getting a shakeup. There is a lot of money given out to sports and charities with many taking advantage of the funding for themselves.

Is this why for years people have referred to us as the Crook Islands? Will we be able to clean up from the top down and have an honest and transparent democratic system in the islands?

Looking at our neighbours and their elections and all, makes us look saintly but just because it is not in the public eye does not make us innocent.

Convict the Criminals

(Name and address supplied)


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