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Attack on award nominees ‘appalling’

Friday 31 December 2021 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion


Attack on award nominees ‘appalling’

Dear Editor, as someone who took the time to nominate someone for the Cook Islands News Cook Islander of the Year award, I totally disagree with Te Tuhi’s letter to the editor.

There are a lot of people who have done amazing things this year. I nominated someone who I think did just that. The nomination is real, I wrote the bio for my nominee myself. In my opinion the person I nominated went above and beyond their job and thoroughly deserved recognition.

What is a real shame is that more people didn’t take the time to nominate someone who inspired them in 2021. The fact that more people from a wider spectrum of the community weren’t nominated should not detract from the people who were nominated. If nobody inspired you then perhaps you should get out more or hang out with different people!

Congrats to all those who were nominated, someone taking the time to send in a nomination should show you that your actions have been appreciated and that you have made a difference to at least one other person.

Trish Barton

The letter in yesterday’s edition of Cook Islands News, written by a Mr Te Tuhi Kelly on behalf of the Progressive Party, was simply appalling.

He attempts to assassinate the character of most of the nominees (for Cook Islander of the Year). In one sentence as he uses the words “apparent”, “seeming”, “allegations”, “seemingly” and “allegations”, followed by whatever mis-behaviour that springs into his head. Make up the charge to suit the person. The only thing that happens when you throw mud, is that you lose ground.

Everyone was able to make nomination (apparently Mr Kelly didn’t), and everyone has the right to vote.

Speaking of voting, if this is the level of contribution from the Progressive Party, I predict you will not even get your deposits back at the next election.

Kind regards,

Mike Carr

Homeless dogs

Take a drive to Papua waterfall, past the SPCA kennel, with a dog in the back of a ute and amidst the chaos try and count the number of homeless dogs loose in the SPCA yard and locked up in cages.

While most of us appreciate the good work of this organisation, is it time to face reality? We had excess dogs before families packed up for New Zealand and left dogs behind. Now we’ve got a whole lot of more excess dogs.

Most of these dogs, and the many more that are running loose and are homeless, are simply not going to find homes.

They are excess. And the loose ones are breeding. And the neutering is good, but the dogs are winning the breeding battle.

Goats are being mauled, are we waiting for a child to be ravaged before we take action?

It must be time to cull. 

(Name and address supplied)

RIP to a legend

“My name is Gulpilil.
My skin group name Balang.
My language is Mandhalpingu
My moiety is Dhuwa.
My mother is same and my
father side is same.
My name is Gulpilil, you
know that mean?
That’s my name, that’s my
totem, that’s what I sing,
that’s what I believe.
If I forget, if I give up, if I stop, what will I have?

  • David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu

It is with great sadness that I draw your attention to the passing late last month of a film great David Gulpilil aged 68 years. He was born in Maningrida, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory and was a Yolgnu man.

His presence transformed the Australian film industry, paving the way for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to appear on screen.

In 1971 aged 16 years he appeared in his first film ‘Walkabout’ directed by Nicholas Roeg. It was probably the first time that white fella Australians had seen a black fella on the big screen.

He was celebrated in Europe, winning in 2014 the award, Un Certain Regard (best actor) for ‘Charlie’s Country’ directed by Rolf de Heer.

His filmography is distinguished and long including ‘Rabbit-Proof Fence’, ‘Australia’, ‘Crocodile Dundee’, ‘Ten Canoes’ (in language), The Tracker and more.

‘Storm Boy’ made in 1976 is based on the children’s classic book by Colin Thiele, about a boy and his pelican and features a scene with Gulpilil as Fingerbone preparing to dance. He was celebrated in his clan as a cultural dancer and the reason that director Roeg chose him for ‘Walkabout’.

My favourite is ‘Satellite Boy’ made in 2012 where he plays the grandfather caring for his grandson on country and teaching him their culture, knowledge and skills to survive in the desert and the strength of character to survive as a black fella in a white fella world.

The documentary ‘My Name is Gulpilil’ directed by Molly Reynolds was completed earlier in 2021, knowing he had not long to live.

Vale to meet the ancestors in The Dreaming.


Jacki Brown



Te Tuhi Kelly on 31/12/2021

For the first respondent, to say that one disagrees with my letter to the editor tells me a couple of things. You haven't read it properly, and hence have not assessed its intent, just taken umbrage at what you presume is an attack on your nomination and hence it's very much an emotional response. The focus of your riposte is only on a number of negative comments without actually realising that I also spoke about those who deserved to be nominated by their nominator. To the second respondent, to say that the letter was appalling means an emotional response over selective bits and pieces of my article to shore up a negative narrative. I probably would have made a nomination if in fact I had been apprised that it was happening. Myself and many other thoughtful people had no idea that this was going to be bestowed. I never throw mud as you put it, I have been here long enough and been eyewitness to shonky and shady dealings not only to myself but to others. You are welcome to your voting prediction and win or lose I have put my money where my mouth is many times and I'm not frightened of losing. I don't shirk from having an opinion when i see things that are unjust, and some of those nominees are morally bereft. Maybe both of you should get your nose in the dirty seedy parts of what passes for life in the Cook Islands rather than what passes for blinkers in your current sterile one. For both comments in the CINEWS if you want to respond properly please do so sentence by sentence that way we will all know that you have read and understood its contents in total and then make a considered response. It does your response no world of good to pick and choose to support your narrative.