More Top Stories

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022


Moment of truth at COP27

12 November 2022


We’re halfway there!

16 November 2022


From the river to the ocean

18 November 2022

LETTERS: More than meets the eyes

Thursday 17 March 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion


LETTERS: More than meets the eyes

Dear Editor, (As a follow up to the article published in Cook Islands News, Saturday, March 12: “There’s much more to the Cook Islands than meets the eye”).

I felt compelled to write this letter as on Tuesday 15th of March, I received an email from the Business Trade and Investment Board (BTIB) regarding booklets produced for sale by Storytellers Eco Cycle Tours.  Their email informed me that it was brought to their attention that I am “writing books and selling them”.  The email continued: “This is seen as carrying out a business activity which is way out of your foreign enterprise registration approval”. 

During 2020 through early 2022, six simple booklet guides to Rarotonga, primarily aimed at visitors to the Cook Islands and initially inspired as products of interest and benefit to visitors participating in Storytellers Eco Cycle Tours, were developed. As the person responsible for their development, I would like to clarify a few points in relation to the aforementioned article, and with respect to BTIB’s email.

While the efforts to research and write these booklets were the sole effort of one individual, the financial benefits of booklet sales do not go to any one person. These booklets are available along with other merchandise/products sold as part of the Storytellers eco-tourism operations, and as such, any income generated by their sale goes to the company (which is, incidentally, a joint venture between a New Zealand foreign investor and a Cook Islander). Products/merchandise sales have always been a part of Storytellers operations. That said, the financial benefits of the booklets pale in comparison to other advantages. An integral element of sustainable tourism is respecting and contributing to the understanding of the socio-cultural, environmental, historical and traditional heritage of a given place: it is these points that are the foremost, underpinning inspiration in the production of the booklets.   

The BTIB website home page states that they “…encourage, manage and regulate Foreign Investments…”; and, Part B. Priority Areas for Investment. 1., of the Cook Islands Investment Code states “The Board should encourage investment (by Cook Islanders and others) in activities that are in the agriculture, marine resources, or tourism industry” (my emphasis).  In 2019 when purchasing the business, and for some months after, I had the great pleasure of being assisted by a BTIB compliance officer who was thorough, supportive, and helpful. I was able to approach her about any questions or ideas, and was provided with responses in a helpful, timely, direct and friendly manner. I felt confident going to her, and trusted in her judgement, authenticity and motivations. Since this compliance officer that I initially had, left, I cannot say that this has been the case. Fortunately, I have a wonderful, helpful, supportive and caring ‘family’ here in Rarotonga, who make it all worthwhile: meitaki ma’ata to you all.

Dr Corrina Tucker


Storytellers Eco Cycle Tours 

Rarotonga dogs 

Dogs have been some of the loveliest memories of all our holidays in the Cook Islands. Free desexing clinics are the key as well as responsible ownership. Dogs and roaming dogs are part of Polynesia: they give it that special vibe we all love.

Catherine King


The dogs of the Cooks were some of our best memories. We had dogs on the beach, dogs that would swim with us, dogs at outdoor dinners, dogs at the pubs and even had two dogs that came with our beach house. And never a mean one. Your wandering dogs treated us well.

Russ Tinder


Keys to control:

  • Dog registration first and foremost,
  • Desexing initiative which I believe is in place,
  • Limit per home,
  • Hold owner’s responsible/liable,
  • Destroy dogs that attack humans and animals. Unless prowlers are on your property,
  • Remove dogs from owners who are not caring for their animal,
  • Police dog wardens become more proactive in the community, and
  • Show a dog love family for life.

Aundrey Grimes


Why don’t you try rehabilitation and finding these stray pups loving and forever homes?! You seem to forget that Dog spelt backwards are our Creator’s creations and man’s best friend!

Round up these officers you have designated to hunt down these poor strays and use our money and resources to continue the search for the two human lives that are still deemed missing in our shores and bring them home back to the arms of their broken-hearted mothers!

Grannie Smith