What now, fishgate?

Tuesday 19 April 2011 | Published in Smoke Signals

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Theres growing opposition to the way the government through its Ministry of Marine Resources is handling the future of our oceans. One MMR official, who blames the media for the public reaction, needs to realise the backlash is because of the way they have foisted the fishery plan on an unsuspecting public, and signing the memorandum of understanding with China WITHOUT consultation was a strategic mistake. A bit like Sholan Ivaiti and Sir Terepai Maoate foisting their Toa scheme on the public without discussion, because they felt they knew better. In a recent email to a paddling group of the petitions from those in the Northern Group opposed to the fishing deals, Josh Mitchell replies that he hopes to see people attend the public consultations next week. Personally, I dont think Ive ever seen the media whip up the mass hysteria as well as they have this time around. A pity they didnt let the facts stand in the way of telling a good story. And when all else fails, just throw in the word Chinese and watch the horror of the general public grow. Anyway, Ill save my views for the appropriate forum, which will be at the planned public consultation where dare I say it, we might actually be able to have an informed debate, instead of distorted media tripe. One person emailed the newspaper to comment: He believes anyone with a different opinion is stupid or misinformed and should be marginalised. He forgets that these fish belong to the people not to the MMR and its cronies. If the majority is AGAINST it, for ANY reason, it shouldnt go through. A lousy $7 million for the rape of our oceans? How much of that is earmarked for a new MMR headquarters?

The tutaka inspections of household and business properties is underway using the Public Healths new system in which they dont publish in advance which area of Rarotonga they will be looking at each day. This wasnt good enough for one local homeowner who from a security point of view feels people need to know which day to expect the tutaka team in order to recognise who should and shouldnt be walking around their home during the day.

Telling it like it isWedded Bliss is looking for a wedding planner to join their team and in their advertisement in the CI News classifieds section they list eight talents the right person must havetop of the list is someone who enjoys dealing with people and also enjoys the challenge of the occasional Bridezilla! The next talent listed which no doubt will come in handy when dealing with the first is a sense of humour.

A smoke signaller responds via TXT188 to a letter to the editor: After reading Sam Crocombes childish ranting in Saturdays CI News I can understand why he failed twice as an election candidate.

If you missed the fun Fresh Speak episode on CITV on Sunday featuring Form 6 drama students from Tereora College, you can view segments of the show by checking out the Poly Fresh TV channel on the Internet at youtube.com. The Tereora students obviously had a ball filming their fresh take on each word! Also on Episode 16 is Mary Hoskings yummy poke recipe.

Keep the smokies rolling in! Smoke Signals and interesting island photos will be accepted by e-mail (smokesignals@cookislandsnews.com), or text to 188 or a phone call to the newsroom.