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RUTA MAVE: ‘We ask others what we as nation are not prepared to do ourselves’

Monday 10 October 2022 | Written by Ruta Tangiiau Mave | Published in Opinion

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RUTA MAVE: ‘We ask others what we as nation are not prepared to do ourselves’
Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown takes a selfie with United States President Joe Biden at the White House. FACEBOOK (HON MARK BROWN)/22100101

We may be small and unremarkable but we know how to punch it out to the big guns to stand up and call the large nations of the world to attention, to take heed and stock of themselves and look at us small minions.

Why we need best friends is because they laugh at the same stupid things we do. Because they give us honest advice. Because they will be there for us, even if they’re thousands of miles away. Because they celebrate with us when we are at our best, but still love us at our worst.                            

Our country likes to collect friends in high places all around the world. Recently the Government announced there is no immediate intention to leave the monarchy that has supported us for so many decades. We recently became friends with America when we got asked to join the adults table at the recent summit possibly because our Prime Minister was not wearing his island shirt. Now after having a suit selfie with President Joe Biden he’s good mates.                                                                                       

Lets however not forget that we are also friends with China and we will let them build us buildings using their own workers while in the meantime we have Japan financing new school buildings and India buying vans. Of course New Zealand is helping us all the time with money and stuff and if we can get Australia in on the act too, but they are like family and they don’t count – not really.                                                                                            

Our last prime minister spent a lot of time travelling the world, pressing the flesh as he called it, making friends and alliances to win over their generous pockets to fill our ever-empty ones. We have friends, yes, and they do laugh at our stupid things we do because it costs us so much money and they are happy to flutter more debt towards our ever-growing burden. They give us honest advice in their opinion as it will help them and of course we want to impress and be their BFF (best friends forever) so we can look sophisticated, we take it without thought or wonder why. Of course they will be there for us even though they are thousands of miles away because we are in a strategic point of the Pacific, they want our stepping stone to the west to the south to the east and north – whatever it is that is relevant for them to prosper. Needless to say, they will celebrate with us at our best because it makes us an investment that is worthwhile and they still love us at our worst because quite frankly that’s when we need to get ourselves into more debt to them.                                                        

So what do we have that wants anyone to be friends with us? We are a rock in the Pacific Ocean that has a huge protected water area we can’t protect and we are most likely to be the first to ruin with our mismanagement.                                                                                                                                            We may be small and unremarkable but we know how to punch it out to the big guns to stand up and call the large nations of the world to attention, to take heed and stock of themselves and look at us small minions. We accuse them of destroying our environment, asking them to do better and donate more with no interest on payments and protect us and provide for us and pretty much do all the things we as a nation are not prepared to do for ourselves –  to change our culture back to the time we cared about ourselves and our environment where everyone had a vege garden and where movement and fitness wasn’t a 12 week course, it was a part of our lifestyle. We walked and biked everywhere, we had small trucks for working not large trucks for carting kids to school.                                                                                                                              

We are facing a fuel and power price rise but no one is dumping their large Toyota or Nissan or aircon unit. We want to be saved but we don’t want to save ourselves.  Is this what we want for our children a world of begging, of being okay with someone else looking out for our life and not be part of it or responsible for it ourselves?                  

We may be a right royal pain in the backside but we let everyone think we are their ‘China’ – you know plate – mate, while we are ‘Biden’ our time looking for the next big payoff. It really wouldn’t surprise me if our government would ‘Putin’ some chips towards the possibility of another friend just on the side while of course holding a ‘Trump’ card because you have to cover your bets, right? The sad side to our friendship making is what our starry-eyed leaders are overlooking. The fact that we are just a Duff to them, the cheerleading superstars of our high school parody. Yes, that is right the Dumb Ugly Fat Friend that every Hollywood movie adds to the main character to give them some sensitivity or to make them look good to others.