OPINION: It is that time of the year when people make New Year resolutions. Many of us always have every good intention at the outset, but by the middle of the year, many of those resolutions are no longer in focus.
Several weeks ago, the Cook Islands water authority, To Tatou Vai, announced it was conducting a six-month trial of Poly-Aluminium Chloride (PACl) as a flocculation agent. Flocculation is a process of settling out particulate matter, for example dirt, from the water. Given that PACl is a chemical that produces a potentially toxic sludge as a byproduct of the flocculation process, this trial needed to be properly assessed for environmental impacts before it was approved.
Ko au ko koe ko tatou “It is me, it is you, it is all of us…” This statement attempts to sum up what the Cook Islands’ graduation as a country means, as the clock ticked past January 1 this week and we stood as a developed nation.
For some Christmas is all about life – in particular the birth of Jesus. They say that bread is the staff of life, it might be; but while you can probably live without bread, you can’t live without water. No living organism whether plant or animal can live without water. When the World Health Organisation was looking for reasons why people in developed countries in Europe live longer than those in less developed nations, there were several factors - but the one that stood out and was possibly most easily fixed – was contaminated water.
After you’ve spent time chasing the goals and dreams of the high speed, concrete jungles of the world, coming to live in the Cook Islands is a decision most of us make to get some real island time, where the rhythm of life is slower, simpler and cleaner. It’s where eyes and hearts wake to nature and views and tourists pay money to visit and absorb all this for a short time. We are the lucky ones – we live here. So, as we head into a new decade, let’s take a moment to wallow in our good fortune. We have changed and evolved yes, but some things, thankfully, remain the same. Before you rush headlong back into work and routine, remember island time is alive and well.
Flowers, now, a little browner, litter the vinyl floor. They are remnants of just moments before, when joy and thankfulness greeted each other as families and friends, came through the airport arrival doors to the welcome arms of those who had been waiting so patiently to see them.
Life is like that; when we have a final destination in our minds and we set our course, only to find the wind we had hoped for has dissipated and we must now tack away … but the ultimate destination remains the same.