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LETTERS: Why does the Cook Islands not have a premier netball team?

Wednesday 8 June 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Opinion


LETTERS: Why does the Cook Islands not have a premier netball team?

Dear Editor, as a netball follower for many years I have often wondered why the Cook Islands have not had an ANZ premiership team to take advantage of the diaspora of talent in New Zealand.

There are five Cook Islands girls in the ANZ premiership all in contention of becoming Silver Ferns.

Surely the Cook Islands government and New Zealand government can strike some deal to see the growth in the national squad.

It only seems right that this happens as young girls in the Cook Islands can aspire to play for the Cook Islands and the talent of netballers in New Zealand don’t just stick with New Zealand to whom we are losing players due to eligibility rules. We can’t change the rules so we must find a way.

Secondly, I would like to notice the hypocritical behaviour of Fiji netball to whom in the past have scrutinised other pacific island nations who have brought in overseas players, now netball Fiji is recruiting players from overseas after being demolished by Tonga twice in a recent series. A nation that has always put other nations down for reaching out for the diaspora of players is doing the very same and we are all sitting back and nodding our heads like Fiji is performing well, Fiji’s netball performance internationally has been poor under the international coaches. It’s not the coaches, it’s the talent. It’s not there, it’s here in the Cook Islands. We own the netball court in the Pacific. We have been the most competitive. I’m sick of Fiji netball, they’ve done nothing but demoralise the region in the sport. Enough is enough. Netball Cook Islands, sort your governance or cease operations.

Details supplied

‘Simplistic, unrealistic and delusional’

Kia Orana Sir,

Tata Crocombe's proposed solutions to encourage skilled and semi-skilled Cook Island workers to remain in the county is simplistic, unrealistic and delusional. 

If anything, Crocombe attempts to portray a situation whereby the minimum wage prevents his company from paying his employees any higher than this level. This is utter nonsense. As a country whereby market forces operate freely, as an employer Crocombe can pay his employees triple the minimum wage if he so wishes.    

As someone who has been actively involved in a wide range of tourism related businesses and helped managed a successful construction business, what we have paid to our employees has always been significantly higher than the minimum wage. Had we not, our employees would simply move to other businesses that do offer more. Economics 101!

So Crocombe needs to stop whinging and pointing the finger at government for any financial woes his business may be experiencing, and acknowledge that his solutions need to come from within his own management style and decisions.

In regards to Crocombe's crazy/scary idea about our country developing its own airline to service our major tourism markets, any knuckle head would know that a small country seeking to own an airline that operates internationally is not only doomed for failure, but has the real potential of dragging the country into severe debt that it may unlikely get out of without outside help. One just has to observe what's happened recently in Samoa whereby the government has decided to get out of owning an airline and leave this to international airlines such as Qantas, Air NZ, Jetstar, Fiji Airlines etc. Again, Economics 101 Crocombe.   

The bottom line is that governments should not be in the business of business. Leave that for the private sector and free market forces.

Details supplied


My daughter was married in the Cook Islands 12 years ago. We had booked to have a big family reunion there on the tenth anniversary but Covid-19 happened.

We rebooked twice for the anniversary each year but now Air New Zealand is making it difficult to get there from Australia.

They have cancelled the direct flight from Sydney to Rarotonga so now the flight from Sydney gets into Auckland after midnight. To go offsite and return for the morning flight to Rarotonga means being at the airport at 5am or hanging around the airport overnight. It’s not much fun with little kids.

It seems like Air NZ is trying to make your holiday traffic from Australia spend time in New Zealand. This is going to deter a lot of people from going to the Cooks as it's getting too messy.

I hope things are recovering for you but I fear you are going to lose a lot of tourist traffic.

Ken Trickett


Dear Editor.

I am a Cook Islander living in New Zealand. I lived back home in Rarotonga in the early 1990s for five years. It was truly beautiful and safe. I could leave my house unlocked. Or the keys on my car and bike. It would never be stolen. I could drive on the roads at night and feel safe from humans and animals.

You could spot the natives. They were everywhere. When I returned in 2007 and thereafter, I was shocked. Graffiti, burglary, drugs and westernised. What happened to our beautiful island? It is full of tourists and people wanting to buy our island or live here. They want to make money on our island. Now you can't spot a native Cook Islander.

Home is not home anymore. We have become like Hawaii. A tourist state.

Very soon, the natives will be living in the slums like the Hawaiian natives. The locals will be ousted. And then the tourists will run our island.

The locals also start to adopt the western ways and foods. And before long, we have crime. Something rarely heard of in the 1990s.

It is only a matter of time, before we lose our island and our humble ways.

A few years ago, I went for a boat tour to our Motu. There was a tourist skimply dressed, sunbathing around many families with children. She had no bra. Only cupping her breasts with her hand. I stopped and politely addressed her pointing out that it is not appropriate on our island. Her and her partner looked at me in shock horror. She knew the rules and she thought cupping her breasts was covering up. Fortunately for her, she covered up because I was going to tell her off more firmly this time.

All the other natives around me were disgusted with her. I was the only one who spoke up.

So, to all the natives returning home, or tourists and those who are given residency. Cook Islands is home. You are welcome here, but don’t change what my parents and their parents, and generations before that were proud of.

Sadly, it has changed. If our parents or forefathers were alive, they would be crushed at how our island is slowly being lost to money.

I had gone on a drive one night with my sister while on the island. Our poor brother waited up all night for us. He was worried for our safety.

Something unheard of in the 1990s. Safety was never an issue then.

China is looking at buying the Pacific. It will be a matter of time before our island is bought or run by them. If it’s not run by China, it will be run by everyone else...but the natives. I ask you all to watch this space.

Don't let our humble island ways become lost. We have almost let it go.

From a disgruntled native living in New Zealand due to health reasons.

Details Supplied