HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 650: 23 January 2013





Herald Issue 650

Oh dear chooks! Was that the result we wanted? Jimmy was brought in from across the waves to work out a new structure for Education in assimilating the old HRD with Vocational and tertiary training only to come up with a new organizational structure that looked suspiciously like the old one! Way to go Jimmy! Don’t forget to pick up your fat cheque before leaving!

A chook observes more ex-pats are piling in to MFEM. It’s become an ex-pat club of sorts. Jolly ho! Not satisfied with congregating at Traders or the Game Fishing Club, ex-pats are making a bee line for MFEM. MFEM even has its own economic duo! Eco- Batman and Robin! Why it takes so many bodies to manage a small budget for a small population of less than 19,000 people and less than 30 major revenue earning companies is a mystery! Still MFEM have a way to go before reaching the level attained by Education! Here’s a way to slash some staff, cut out all PAYE tax. Push VAT up slightly. Stop local businesses from depositing their money in overseas banks.

An even harder question than how to get the old hotel finished, is how to get around the curse! Obviously, the hex times two, has to be lifted but by what methodology? How to appease all land claimants or broker a truce to allow Sherrie to be properly clothed? Perhaps the solution is to give all claimants shares and a cut of the revenue before tax. Not forgetting the stately head of Puaikura.

Woman is adamant Cyclone Gary must not come on Wednesday as that is her day off work! Get the foreshore finished folks! Attention worker ants! Get them trucks and big rocks moving! Pronto Tonto! Get large metal containers along the main road to protect the Cathedral! Get moving now! Cancel all tea breaks!

High flying Deputy Minister for Agriculture arrives soon from the land of the great wall with a party to look into fishing, pearls and agriculture! Will the anti-fishing brigade stake out the airport waving “Leave our fish alone” placards? Will the visit coincide with that by high fliers from PNG? Will members from each party recognize the other?

PM is heading home on the 29th. Manihiki calls! Over some two weeks, longer of the plane can’t make it, (only two small birds on the tarmac with the big bird being seen to in Kiwiland) to show off the island to high powered visitors from the land of the great wall, and nosey around the harbour project no doubt, oh, and maybe attend to a pearl or two!

Seems the Manihiki harbour project is delayed because no local firm has the expertise or machinery to do the job. What about getting back from Melbourne, the fellow who was in charge of the Mangaia harbour job?

Sea food Minister’s man announced on Monday that he has a new job! His contract with the fishy one came to an end and he has just signed a new contract!

Chook with feathers in a ruffle says how dare some unknown turkey lambast our beloved Chief Justice of the Peace! The comments border on “contempt of court” and the individual better hope he or she does not come up before the beak at any time! Those in Judicial positions do not have the luxury of being able to respond publicly to such comments for the thankless task they perform and in this case, the Ministry for Justice should respond in strong manner! Being a JP in court is like being a Ref in that oval ball game. You get attacked!

Times have changed. Of course fishing patterns will be turned on their head as a result of climate change. Nothing stays the same anyway. So why don’t some fishermen accept that they may need to change the way they fish. Change their techniques, their bait, their lures, hooks, attitude. Fish are continually evolving and changing behavior. What’s more, they’re not all dumb, after all did not the human race originate in the sea? From the early forms of fish life? That’s why the early human fetus in the womb looks amazing fishlike.

Recent scientific research by the East Asia Institute of De Dhing Ah Leeng, has disclosed chooks that the electronic detectors used at airports to detect contraband may be inadvertently frying your reproductive hardware with each pass-by of the detector stick! What next? Lead lined undies?

Herald Issue 649

Whisper is chooks, the Mirage Group has become just that. A Mirage! Is Sherrie going back to Papa?

Once upon a time, all the talk was about economic development. Then along came Johnny Infrastructure demanding over 200 million dollars! Suddenly, Johnny Infrastructure became the talk of the town! That is until Renewable Ruby hit town with her big lips sucking up that 200 million! Freddie Fish is trying to get a look in. What now? What’s next? Manganese Mary?

How to get your submissions to government adopted! Remember, if your submission has nothing to do with renewable energy, it’s going nowhere! So, figure out how to link your submission to renewable energy! Take a submission for instance for a grant to eradicate the Myna bird. If it could be proven that Myna bird poop is capable of reducing the electrical output of solar panels, you may just get your money! Bird poop by the way, could fuel a methane gas plant and generate electricity!

Word to hand chooks that the fishing boat stranded on the rocks at Avatiu is to be sliced up! Suffering the fate of the previous vessel to occupy that space! Why the cut up? Maybe another boat is scheduled to wreck itself there! But why remove the boat at all? Set it upright, give it a coat of paint, alter the inside to a café and open it up for tourists! The Café on the Rocks! Whale sightings guaranteed!

Seems some locals have become disgruntled at not getting a job interview! This seems to be a new policy! Advertise the job, accept applications then without holding any interviews, appoint who you’ve been instructed to by the higher-ups!

Why do foreign tuna boats just love fishing in our waters? Because in exchange for a $60,000 license, every day is Christmas! They are free to catch as much tuna as they want! Unlike other Pacific nations, we don’t have quotas on our tuna! A foreign tuna boat can putter off with millions of dollars worth of tuna, its owners laughing all the way to the bank!

Get those foreign fishing boats out of our waters? Yeah! Lets be greedy! Leave all our tuna for us! For our three boats! Yeah, all 20,000 tonnes of the stuff! But, but, ty-ho chooks! Foreign tuna boats don’t need to come into our waters to deplete the stocks. Because tuna are just passing through our waters, coming from somewhere else to go somewhere else, the foreign boats could if they wanted to, just wait outside our waters and nick all the tuna they can carry!

Hands up that man who has just landed a job paying over 20 grand more than his last job! And it’s not even with government! Yes you!

Keen on local produce, like local tuna fresh off the boat instead of the packaged stuff from overseas? If you were, why would you be eating chicken packaged and imported from Kiwiland? You would be eating the local variety-you know, the wild chooks roaming around the neighbourhood!

A local chook asks, got a gripe about eating canned tuna? What’s wrong with that? For ages we have eaten foreign branded canned tuna imported from Kiwiland. Now we are about to bring out our own canned tuna-shock! Horror! But what’s wrong with eating our own produce whether it be tuna fresh off the hook or in a can? It’s all Cook Islands produce, no? Get a grip says the local chook! You’re losing the plot! Get a grip before you slip off the edge!

One local chook says, lets put out more local boats to catch our own tuna! Get fresh tuna into the shops! Buy fresh! Yeah! But what about the price to the customer? Don’t forget to add on the high price of diesel fuel, the high cost of electricity to chill the tuna in the shop, the wages for the tuna boat crew, the cost of the fishing license, the cost of ice for the boat, insurance, the high cost of berthage fees at the port for the boat, the cost of transport from the wharf to the shop, the VAT, then, maybe the tuna will cost about $48 a kilo! Yeah! Buy local!

Herald Issue 648

Chooks the Kuru tree may be trying to tell us something! Have you noticed there’s up to three Kuru to a limb and old timers will mutter that more than one is not a good sign! A hurricane could be on the way! But we already know that because the lads at the Met Office said last year, expect a hurricane in February, possibly two, with one being at least a category three!

Local chook has this advice for a local man of laws who has great difficulty hooking a fish, “Rueben, Rueben, Rueben, take up kite surfing!” From the heights achievable in that sport, one might be able to spot a fish or two!

Santa brought the PM a great present! One of the black cars from Korea! Question is, “what happened to the old brown car?”

Manager of a Chinese fishing company so loved a pad he saw one night out east he returned in the morning to sign the rental agreement on the dotted line! Then, he opened the door and in the bright light of day spotted two graves near the house! Shock! Horror! A very nervous Chinaman fled the scene! Bad Feng Shui?

Is this the same Chinese national spooked out of his Nikao digs, down a long dark driveway, by a strange Italian national-armed with a camera?

Speaking of departed souls, one local had a vivid dream the other night. He awoke to find a very prominent passed one standing near the bed! Immaculately dressed, the passed one grabbed the local by the arm and yelled, “Government is coming off the rails!” Who was this messenger from the great beyond? All will be revealed next week! Watch this space!

Oh dear chooks! Maintenance problems are already popping up with the new jetty at Arorangi! Seems some of the nails are popping up!

Dead silence about the cruise liner that came recently and could not discharge at Avatiu because of rough seas! No matter! Sail around to the new jetty at Arorangi and calmer waters! Calmer waters chooks? The sea there was just as rough! Cruise liner then sailed on! Meantime, local kids are having a fabulous time jumping, diving, leaping and falling off the end of the jetty! Yes, it really was made for them! Thank you NZ Government for a great Christmas present!

One old salt’s outlook on fellow man soared when callers (not wise men from the east) visited late one day and gifted a $50 voucher for Christmas. A list of items to buy was hurriedly drawn up but a tangled web unfolded when it was realized the voucher had passed its “use by” date begging questions as to why it was delivered! Why the person was targeted was also a mystery. Perhaps it was the thought that counts!

Looking back at the lead up to Christmas, one chook noted there were so many sales! Sales here! Sales there! Sales, sales everywhere! Normally the big sales would come on Boxing Day! But not in these tough times! Food parcels went out to the elderly, those living alone and the needy. Churches were well attended. Maybe when parliament resumes, the public should attend in numbers so the politicians will sit up and take note! Only one drawback-the public gallery in parliament is so small, only a few people can attend at any one time! The public would have to attend in shifts, with the queue out the door!

One item was so popular in the lead up to Christmas that many had to abandon trying for it! What was it? The booze bus! The booze bus was often seen hurtling along the main road at a questionable speed, with the joy riders singing at the top of their voices!

Also popular over the holidays were the rental vehicles. Cookies visiting relies for Christmas or home for one of the many family reunions, took up most of the rentals on offer forcing tourists to catch the bus!

It pays not to take your trousers off in a big cosmopolitan city like Melbourne as one Cookie on holiday discovered! He took off his pantaloons in a clothes shop to try on a new pair of jeans. He then went out to show his daughter but on returning to the change cubicle, discovered the $400 he had in his pocket was missing!

Will the real Prime Minister of the Cook Islands stand up! Yes, that’s you John!

Herald Issue 647

Who was the mysterious Samoan from America who flew in for a few hours whistle stop tour with a famous ex-All Black flanker to chin wag with the Minister of Shipping Licenses? Seems the Samoan may have been an investor looking at the possibility of taking over a troubled shipping company. Why was a prominent local businessman in NZ? Was he after the company’s shipping interests? Whisper is some 50 interested parties were whittled down to six but are they all interested in Noni and Fish Processing?

The Endeavour man came to town for a week endeavouring to meet with someone, anyone! But no-one wanted to meet with him! He still had $15 million stuffed in his pocket, a gift to the powers to be but that was not to be! Where was the DPM? Away having a Chinese takeaway? Te Minita o te Moni got excited and was ready to flick his fingers through the dosh but too late! The Endeavour man had gone!

Whisper coming out of the deepest, darkest, taro jungles is that in the next general election, the CIP are to put up the Party President’s son against Nikao’s incumbent battler. Will he turn out to be the sacrificial lamb? Can he handle a rake and sweep up at the Social Centre?

Just as some wise men from the east (the mysterious Magi) followed a star over 2,000 years ago, all the way to a small town where they heaped goodies upon a child, some rich men from the west, the mythical land of Papua, will next year set out to follow a star all the way to the Cooks! Where will the star take them and what will the star pin point? As legend has it, the star will lead them to the Rock and stop above an unfinished Inn. Over 2,000 years ago there was no room at a certain Inn but this Inn is empty!

The first anniversary of the Palace at Turangi turned out to be a very quiet affair. Many had other engagements it seems. Did they get the date wrong? The tri-athletes enjoyed themselves with the former Tax man making a speech! At least here we have one Ariki who is doing something for the health and welfare of the community. What is she going to tackle next? Diabetes? What are the other Ariki doing?

Householders can’t wait for government to come knocking with water tanks to hand out. But the disgruntled householders who have had to endure low water pressure for months and no water for weeks at a time, are are getting tanks in at their own expense before a real drought comes!

The famous American newspaper the Washington Post featured a story about the Cooks establishing a shark sanctuary! Will the PM visit Washington and appear on US TV talkshows? Sing a song or two on the Letterman Show? What about the Jay Leno Show?

Word is the barge is heading off to the southern islands with freight. Where’s Tapi’s boat?

Unemployment at 8 per cent, average pay for women $4,000 below GDP, inflation running at near 4 per cent, depopulation at the rate of around 1,300 per year, high interest rates, a huge amount of money sitting in overseas banks, nothing to be glad about! What is the average household disposable income? The truancy rate? Are things really that good? Why are we still tied to the western system of finance?

What should government do next year? What’s their New Year’s resolution? What should they focus on? Big Red has peered into his large, misty, crystal balls and sees the words Agriculture, Infrastructure and Economic Stimulation, drift by. Remember, you heard it first from Big Red!

Poor CISA! Will Education be setting up its own Academy? With tutors from Kiwiland? What now for CISA?

When the Punanga Nui Market’s new stage was opened, there were many references to Tavioni. But where was big Mike? Why did he not show, and make a speech? What happened to big Mike’s own vision for a stage at the Market? What happened to big Mike’s plan for a new Market? Gone! Nowhere to be seen! Just like big Mike!

Why does the country’s biggest construction supplying firm get government contract after government contract? Well, who else is there? Eh? Eh? Why bother with a time consuming and costly tender when who gets it is already a foregone conclusion!

Herald Issue 646

Schools are holding their end of year prize giving chooks, and for the biggest school on the island, parliament, their prize giving list has been leaked to the media which can now announce the following; Most money spent on overseas trips-Cabinet. Most traveled MP (both parties)-the PM. Most silent MP-J Marurai/ W Pickering joint winners. MP most likely not to declare he is standing-Vavia. Longest smiling MP-Smiley. Most active MP, running, passing, jumping, diving, falling,-Wilkie Rasmussen. MP most likely to be elsewhere eg Court-Big Norm.

Was there any need for those boats to leave Avatiu port the other day? Was it that rough? Did the Harbour Master panic? One boat ended up on the reef, but did it really need to be moved?

News from CNN-Coconut News Network broadcasting from deep within the west side taro jungles is that Infrastructure Minister Heather abstained from the Cabinet discussion on Numa’s suspension because he did not agree with it! A chook among the maniota stalks asks what if it is found there are no grounds for suspension? Will the NZ High Com still pull the plug on NZAid? Should we now look more to China and PNG than NZ for aid funds? Alas, NZ Aid comes with too many strings, interference, questions and is not enough to make any real advance to our economy.

Now that the Cooks has become an official Shark Sanctuary, that is a signal for all sharks to begin attacking humans with impunity! Impunity because they will know humans cannot fight back!

Yes lets bend over backwards for the sharks! Raise the minimum wage? What has that to do with sharks? Create more jobs? That has nothing to do with sharks! Stop depopulation? What has that to do with the shark? Bring down interest rates? Hey, that has nothing to do with sharks! Going for a swim at Avana passage? Hammerhead Shark in the water? May as well go home because the shark has right of way.

Worf! Worf! Did someone have Ganam style on the brain chooks? Look at table 8.18 in the 2011 Census Report. Video Games is listed as Video Ganme!

The country’s going backwards chooks! Nothing but retreats! What about advancing? Recently, there was a HOM’s retreat! There was a Forum Leader’s retreat! Why can’t we have a HOM’s advance? A Forum leader’s advance? Stop this defeatist attitude!

Tini was warming a chair at the Ports Authority Board then left to turn Ombudswoman into Ombudsman! Now Vanilla Man, Teariki Matenga has slipped into Tini’s empty chair at the Ports Authority Board table, ensuring it’s kept warm for the CIP!

In Mangaia, the Demos are putting up a woman to stand in the Tamarua seat in the by-election. The CIP are yet to name their candidate. Will Mangaia go completely Demo?

Rumour is the Punanga Nui market will re-locate to a huge new, air conditioned building on the site of the old Toa Petroleum tanks. Everything will be under one roof, out of the wind and rain. It will be Raro’s version of NZ’s Warehouse, except, bigger.

Is the Flamboyant Tree making a comeback? The red and yellow flowers look pretty but who’s going to rake up all that stuff on the ground? At least Tupapa has an MP with a blower!

Where to build the airport on Rakahanga? Simple chooks! Build a raised concrete airstrip along the sea side coastline with a concrete ramp connecting the main township to the airport. Build it up on large concrete poles so there is still access to the lagoon underneath and heavy seas will not affect the airstrip. The Japanese could build it in no time at all. Cost? $50million?

Worried about sea level rise? Had a look at Dubai lately? This proves mankind can adapt quite rapidly. Underwater hotels, artificial islands, tall structures, it’s all there. Apply those same innovative minds to the northern Cook Islands and what would they come up with?

What’s going on in MFEM with interviews to fill vacancies? When will the PSC look into the way and manner MFEM is conducting these interviews? A recent advert attracted 5 applicants (two ex-pats, -one from Aussie- and three locals) who were interviewed by Papa’as. Short listed were the two ex-pats. Odd that? Where were the locals? Whisper is the questions were constructed to suit the ex-pats. No wonder MFEM is stacked with ex-pats. And the whisper is most locals in MFEM on 30-40K while ex-pats pick up 70-80K. What’s the PSC doing? Hiding in his office!

Herald Issue 645

Forget Ministers acting as each other! The musical chairs at MOIP sees a once acting HOM replaced by a former HOM now in an acting position! It’s a case of the spanner fitting the nut! The acting HOM was once head of Disaster Management!

Fantastic to see another non-native Cook Islander heading Tourism Corp! In recent times we have seen a Fijian and 2 Aussies at the helm, now a Tongan. The PM will be in good company, at least Fua can sing!

Last weekend the man from Tahiti had an MVA (motor vehicle accident) accident. The whisper is he crashed into a power pole at 5mph. His vehicle was seen being carted away on the back of a local mechanic’s truck with lights flashing. You know what they say about falling off a horse.

Whisper chooks is that there is a move to establish a regular “Highland Games” in the Cook Islands. Who’s for a highland fling then? Now you may say “We’re not Scottish.” What does that matter? It means a trip each year for our national team to the World Highland Games in Scotland. And if the Scots challenge our right to be there, we can always point to the number of us with the surname “Heather.”

The true parliamentary opposition amounts to just two people. The Opposition Leader and Big Norm. Why are the others not speaking out? When was the last time Wynton was quoted in the media? Smiley carries on smiling, Mangaia Jim is nowhere to be seen. Where are the political reformists? The economic reformists? The social reformists? Where is everybody? Is anybody out there?

Rumour is government has plans to build an Ark to escape the deluge! The coming flood of questions from Big Norm as his large dark clouds of unanswered questions appear over the horizon! Will the MPs board the Ark two by two? The PM and Mark Brown will go up hand in hand but Nandi will board by himself because Teina will get a lift by a Luen Thai fishing boat, Teariki will have his own Super Ark, eight levels high, built by T&M (with eight 1,000 hp engines paid for by government) while DPM Tom Marsters will issue a shipping license to any company wanting to send their ship to pick him up!

A new industry could spring up on Penrhyn chooks as a potential new use has been found for pig waste! It was discovered when an excited 5 year old school kid, during Bio-Chemistry lessons, accidentally spilled an unnamed rare earth chemical on some pig doo dahs. To cut a very long story extremely short, pigs eat coconuts, bacteria in the pig’s gut react with the coconut to produce waste containing rare elements which when further refined by electron bombardment in a cyclotron, can produce a new low carbon emitting fuel. Amazing? Now, how to fit a 15 mile diameter cyclotron on Penrhyn!

Whisper is chooks an outer island MP is to start up an emergency fuel delivery service to respond with speed to islands running short of fuel! It involves having a high speed boat loaded with 44 gal drums of fuel, at sea, constantly on patrol, and responding to the call for help when it arrives, which, in the case of the outer islands, is about once a week!

MPs only get ten minutes when it is their time to speak. When parliament is in session, an MP will spend eight minutes saying kia orana to all the folks back home leaving just two minutes to comment on important matters of state! Well, what’s more important? Eh?

An old codger near 100 reckons you die if you worry, you die if you don’t, so why worry?

If you went into a shop in these tough economic times with five dollars in your pocket, would you buy local eggs or the cheaper NZ eggs? Admit it chooks! You would go for the cheaper stuff-all the time!

Imagine a new super port at Nikao! Giant cruise liners carrying 4,000 passengers and 2,000 crew tie up alongside and come ashore! Imagine the wads of folding stuff to be made! Question? How do we accommodate 6,000 visitors on an island with a population of just 10,000 people? CITC are well placed because they have anticipated the coming of the tourist hordes! Main store-big, supermarket-big, hardware store-big. Take the big empty section where Toa used to be. Something big can go there. A huge new market with everything under one roof!

Herald Issue 644

Oh dear chooks! Has there been a cock up on the shipping front? Will the Christmas goodies get here on time? Seems the scrum that packed down behind the Reef front row, has collapsed!

Whisper is all HOMs will be meeting with Ministers then going on a retreat! Why are HOMs scrambling to get their hands on copies of the CIP election manifesto? Only a few were ever printed!

It’s to be hoped the aqua-ponics plant at Titikaveka is not allowed to flounder because of a lack of funds for further development as was the case with previous owner Tap Pryor. Poor Tap struggled to get funding and eventually everything went belly up. It is also to be hoped the aqua-ponics plant doesn’t just grow the same crops as every other grower. Word the plant has stacks of tomatoes, is concerning as too many of the one crop drives prices down and no-one makes money.

Visitors from Kiwiland turn up with chilly bins loaded with grub! Seems the travel agent in Kiwiland told them food was very expensive in Raro and to take their own! What does that confirm about some Kiwi visitors? That they don’t have much dosh, don’t pump much into the local economy, are price “fussy” and walk around the Market “looking” but not buying! After all, there are better Markets in Otara, Porirua, West Auckland, all selling Cook Islands products and food and cheaper!

Oh dear chooks! Seems there’s no end to the drama dogging the Education building at Tereora! Even before the building went up, engineers from NZ reckoned it was in the wrong place! They said it should have been built where the Indoor Stadium is and vice versa. Oh no! local taro patch qualified engineers are more clever than any University qualified civil engineer. Then came furniture and décor issues. Now it’s been discovered solar panels cannot be fitted unless more work is done. Watch where those fingers are pointing!

Is a certain person having “hat” trouble? In a case involving two part time workers, the whisper is the person can’t decide whether to don the Worker’s Association beret or the Ministry’s pith helmet!

For years, government has been looking into the matter of creating a large reservoir (lake) up in one of the valleys. First build a dam to hold the water back. Run a small hydro-electric plant off the dam. Fit filtration units! Why not create three large lakes in the hills? And why not do the concreting work now while the weather is dry? (That’s far too simple). What to do in these lakes? Use your imagination! Start fish farming! And chooks, if a lot of water is simply going underground, why not collect it and run it into huge underground storage tanks? (Again, far too simple!)

Whispers have surfaced again of making better use of the “million dollar” site at Avana to reap the benefits of five star tourism when it comes. Instead of a collection of private homes, design and build a marina befitting millionaire yachts together with a waterfront of cafes and shops to rival St Tropez. Next to this, convince NZ Maori to pour money in to build a museum to house memories and artifacts from the great migration. Imagine how much dosh landowners will make from converting the site into an “international playground” for the rich and famous! And why shouldn’t landowners get rich off the backs of the bold and the beautiful?

Hydroponics versus aquaponics! Now it could be waste-oponics! What is waste-oponics you ask? It’s where food is grown on scrap heaps! Government is now considering leasing out the landfill site in Arorangi to grow crops! Don’t count on the produce being totally organic! The landfill also contains chemical cocktails, dead rodents, perhaps some human wastes and gallons of alcohol from old beer and gin bottles. So what sort of produce might we see come out of the landfill? Ten foot long beans? Cabbages five feet across? Tomatoes the size of beach balls? Would it be safe to eat? If you walk down a street at night and see someone glowing in the dark, you’ll know where they got their veges!

Herald Issue 643

Local chook says let’s not over-hype the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) chin wag. The CPA is a private club for MPs whereby they meet in each other’s country for a jolly good nosh up and pats on the back all round. Let’s keep our feet on the ground. The CPA has nothing to do with setting national policy that is why the PM is not here. Some years ago, local MPs traveled to Africa to attend a CPA meeting there costing tax payers over $20,000. The African branch of the CPA must have been puzzled to see South Pacific region CPA members turn up for their meeting!

The Maniota jungle tom toms have been beating chooks and the word on CNN-Coconut Network News is that contracts for the water project have been let to two major local construction companies. Does that really come as any surprise? Are you Holding onto your Tea and Muffins chooks?

NZAid forks out $2 million for the Arorangi Jetty as an alternative landing site for cruise ship passengers but first to use the jetty is not a cruise ship but an overseas yachtie! Action man was cruising past the area in the weekend and his eagle eyes spotted the yacht tied up alongside the jetty! Seems the owner claimed to be doing repairs! He was swiftly moved on by the authorities! Will we now see signage put up to warn off further yachties? Who will pay for the signage? NZAid? “That you John? Hello, hello, John are you there?”

Isn’t Nikao doing well chooks! Their Chinese tractor is raking in the dosh as growers there make full use of it! Whisper is the Nikao growers have poured $40,000 into Crown coffers from renting the Chinese tractor! Bravo that committee! Isn’t it doing well! Then there’s Matavera! Oh dear! Their Chinese tractor is kaput! No dosh coming into State coffers!

Overseas donors are not going to fork out $400 million for infrastructure and renewable energy projects for a tiny nation of less than 20,000 people! But! They will hand out some dosh if they can see some major private sector driven projects underway! That’s because with depopulation our tax base is shrinking and our ability to repay large loans becomes suspect. But, any big private sector projects say to the value of $300 million, will actually reduce the cost to government of the big energy and infrastructure jobs! Reason? The overflow of energy and services from those projects can go into the local grids and reticulation systems! And pray tell, where would those private sector projects be? Tourism is growing at 6% per year and we are yet to tap into the 5 star market or the potential outer islands goldmine!

A replacement has been found to warm the vacant Island Secretary seat in Mangaia chooks! It’s back to school-College in fact!

Chook on the Rock from Mangaia says spending $60 million putting in new water pipes is like putting the cart before the horse. He says, build the big reservoir first then you will have water to run through the pipes! Putting in the pipes without being able to guarantee any water, is what happened on Mangaia says the chook from Mangaia.

A water tank for every home! Bravo! Now what happens if there’s a drought? No rain for say three months? Build the big reservoir in the valley in the hills says the chook from Mangaia!

But another chook says if you build a big reservoir in the hills to create a lake of water, what if it does not rain? Then chooks, there’ll be no water anyway whether you have pipes and all!

In Israel, their religion-according to the Old Testament, requires that when growers harvest their fields, they must leave the crops along the edges for the poor and the aliens (foreigners) to come and help themselves (Leviticus 23:22). That system is already in place here with people helping themselves to crops from the edges, the centre, and all parts of a grower’s field!

How many religious sects are on the Rock chooks? There’s CICC, Catholics, SDA (two versions), Latter Day Saints, Jehovah Witnesses, AOG, Apostolic, Corner Stone Church, Celebration on the Rock, New Life, New Hope, Holy Spirit Revival and perhaps more. We are still yet to get a Mosque and a Synagogue.

Herald Issue 642

Rarotonga’s two art groups, one headed by a local, the other by an American (no relation to the British Spy), are to benefit from some funding from the Education Ministry to run workshops. The council headed by the local will get funding to run 4 workshops while the society run by the American gets funding to run 6 workshops! Why are there two arts groups?

Rumour chooks is that two more shipping licenses have been issued. Is one for the old Masters Dream from Palmerston that the Art Director now has? And the other for the tub that the Port Boss has? When will the announcements be made?

Workshopmania chooks! There’s the ACP workshop going on, next there’ll be the CPA workshop and the Immigration workshop! Is there a cure for EWS- Excessive Workshop Syndrome? When will someone invent a vaccine that can be injected into state works to protect them from a workshop attack? Symptoms of workshop fever are; fatigue, sleepiness, drooping eyes, sudden weight gain, alcohol disorders and general breakdown in immunity.

Chinese dosh for Japanese tractors chooks? Were not the Chinese people protesting in the streets over Japanese products recently? Who in their right mind would ask the Chinese to direct their donor funds for tractors for the Cooks to a Japanese company?

PM attended a rodeo when in Noumea recently, at the invitation of the New Caledonia President Harry. The PM looked a picture in his 10 gallon hat, surrounded by beautiful looking horses! Did the PM get on a bucking bronco? Calm the horse with his gentle, velvet tones?

What’s happening in MOIP chooks? Seems the big guns are being brought in to pacify a situation that may be almost out of control. Will more be revealed?

Chook asks why is a $60 million project to fix our water pipes being started when government still hasn’t fixed up its own internal problems to do with policies and procedures. Where is the policy for dealing with landowners affected by the laying of the pipes? Why is the 2006 Water Bill still not passed by parliament? Chook says we are still using legislation enacted in 1960 and lo! That legislation makes provision for a fee to be charged for the water!

Chook also says if just 30 per cent of the water pipes are leaking and causing problems, fix the 30 per cent! Don’t dig up the other 70 per cent causing no trouble!

And the same chook goes further to say why replace pipes that work well but the message is, replace them all! That’s what the $60 million is for!

Cost overrun on the Arorangi jetty job of around $40,000 is looking for a generous donor to pay off! Trouble is NZAid don’t look interested, after all it wasn’t in the contract! Catch some fish off the end of the jetty and sell them at the night market to pay for the overruns! Where’s Des?

Serious lack of water in upper Tupapa, Kii Kii chooks! Houses along the main drag and some on the back road have had no water for three or more days! No pressure either! What use is a water tank if there’s no water? One transport giant is having a field day delivering water to households! How many can afford the cost? Charge it to your local MP? What political party said they would fix the water?

Are we in a recession chooks? One chook up the Valley thinks so. He says it’s obvious there’s no real growth, no money circulating, cash flows have slowed down and families are under crisis-big mortgages, big bills! To be in a recession there has to be two successive quarters of negative growth! There might be more tourists on the rock but their wallets are firmly zipped shut!

The Maroro man at the market has dropped his price down to $5 so the locals can afford a good meal! One chook reports now even some tourists are joining the Maroro school for a feed! No expensive restaurant meals for this lot! Where are they from? Kiwiland?

Hands up all those who down a quick ale at Traders, then scoot across the road for a ten dollar meal at the Friday night market!

Herald Issue 641

No-one seems the slightest bit interested in the end of the world-21 December 2012 as predicted by the doomsayers! Is the world as we know it going to end as the ancient Mayans predicted through their calendar? Not long to go now, then we’ll know for sure if the ancient Maya were right.

What happens chooks when you dial 999 to report a fire? Do they immediately ask you where the fire is? What they do ask you for, is a lot of personal details, like name, age, passport number, address, phone number, then they will ask if you have been drinking and lastly, you realize that during all this questioning, the premises on fire has burnt to the ground. You have saved the Fire Service from a trip!

Oh dear chooks! Soon we could have four boats servicing the outer islands, five if Tapi’s other one gets here! How will they avoid a collision at sea on the busy shipping lanes? Is there enough cargo for four boats? Will the patrol boat be out there to ensure they comply with the speed limit?

So the Cooks is going to Honk Konk to try and qualify for the IRB sevens world circuit and pray tell, how will the team be funded? The old plastic bucket around the island trick? Check out all the foreigners trialing for the squad! Is this a Cook Islands team or what?

$2 million for the Arorangi jetty? There are tongues wagging over cost overruns due to the need to keep re-doing the dirt track for the heavy digging machinery due to the tidal action constantly washing the soil away.

What’s up chooks? Whisper from the taro jungles of Bird island is that a large quantity of the canned stuff landed on the island’s coast but who for and what for? Island authorities are investigating!

Owners of homes built on the Matavera coast since the 2005 cyclones should be sweating right now that hurricane season has begun and there are predictions for at least two hurricanes our way-one at least category three and the other, well who knows! In 2005, waves loaded with rocks, came pounding over the Matavera shore, across the main road and went inland some distance. Many homes suffered damage. Many homes along the Matavera coast have still not been raised up and will once again suffer damage if a cyclone strikes this area! You live and learn but some don’t learn.

With the body building lot in town, what about a new category in the contest? Not Mr Universe but Mr Poliverse! This is where our Politicians come on stage in nothing but their speedos and strut around, pose and flex their muscles. In the warm up room where professional body builders pump their muscles up by lifting weights, our Polies for instance the Minister for Finance, could lift old copies of the budget! The Minister for Infrastructure could lift up the end of a tractor! The Minister for Health could lift a bed pan and the DPM could lift a sack of Nodules!

Oh dear chooks! Does anyone in Foreign Affairs and MFEM follow overseas news reports? If they did they would know that China and Japan are at each other’s throats at the moment!

Following his election win, it was reported President Obama wants to get to the Cook Islands as soon as possible! Reason? He wants to be carried on that thingamee by native warriors just like the Aussie PM!

Local chook questions the fixation for “blessing” everything. Put up a new building? Get it blessed! Received some equipment from overseas? Get it blessed! Built a new boat? Get it blessed! Just got your weekly shopping? Get it blessed! Just cooked a chocolate cake? Get it blessed! First gunja crop? Get it blessed! First day in jail? Get the cell blessed! First meal in jail? Say grace!

With fags costing what they are now, some are turning to puffing on dried banana leaves rolled up with coconut husk in the centre! High rollers!

The new stage at the market may be open and up and running but if a certain individual has his way, the stage and huts and all would be bulldozed into the lagoon and everything started again from scratch to a new, much better plan!

Coming up to the half way mark in the parliamentary term and it’s mid- term exam time! It’s time for all you voters out there to get out all those leaflets distributed by MPs at election time and see if they have done what they said they would do! Will they get a big tick or a cross? Will it be a kiss or a smack? An A plus or an F?

Herald Issue 640

With the CIP winging it to Mangaia Wednesday to chin wag over the next candidate to warm the Tamarua seat, for the Demos, will it be a case of sixth time lucky for Andy?

When are the Census figures going to come out chooks? Maybe there are some figures government does not want us to know about. Like how many of us are unemployed. And when is government going to have the guts to tell us how many foreigners are working and living in the country and where are they from? These figures have been omitted from past census data available to the public.

Why did Pukapuka run out of supplies again? Shipping for the north? Where is it?

Has the time come to scrap the Mangaian seat of Tamarua? Reduce the number of seats in Mangaia down to two? It requires a change to the Constitution and government does not have the numbers to ram that change through. No outer island MP wants to lose his seat and while outer island MPs outnumber those on Rarotonga, no changes are likely!

Why is government waiting for someone else to bring a fast ferry in for the southern group? With air fares as they are, It makes huge sense to start a fast ferry service to Aitutaki, Atiu and Mangaia to get tourists over there in numbers and cheaply to boost their economy. More than 100,000 visitors to Rarotonga need somewhere else to visit, somewhere different and to get their cheaply! Once up and running, growers on those islands will have some incentive to produce crops!

Word pounding out from the depths of the taro jungle by tom tom is watch for a challenge to a party leadership next year. Big Red has heard a whisper on the wind that the Mighty Maggie Man-MMM- has his sights set on the very top!

Right now chooks, indications are foreigners make up around 35 per cent of our population. This is why government will not release the latest census data on foreigners! The public would become alarmed-and rightly so! Last year, it is rumoured some 1,300 locals left the country permanently and if this trend continues, then in just five years from now, foreigners will make up the majority of the population! Now there’s some food for thought!

Thank goodness for the dirt cheap fares on Air NZ to Kiwiland! Makes it easier for unemployed locals to flee to a better life!

One 40 year old woman with kids has been pushed from her perch and not having a parachute, she’s bundled the young ones up, packed her belongings and headed for the land of the Zespri!

Government’s silent assassin, “The Ninja,” has been at work chooks, slipping into buildings and without warning, silencing and dispatching unwanted pen pushers. Word on CNN-Coconut News Network is that one High Over Man (HOM) was instructed to dispatch two lowly types because they were only part-timers! But hold your horses muttered the Lord Higher up! It seems if they toil for more than a certain number of hours, then their status changes! So what now?

Over 100 years ago, the Kiwiland overlords of this Rock thought the Paramount lot would soon die out and a problem for the Kiwiland reformers would be solved, as three of the five had no kiddies and all five were of old age, but 100 years later, the chiefly lot are back, stronger than ever and getting stronger, not so much in the traditional sense but also the political sense!

As our waters fill up with more and more sharks due to our protection of them, expect more shark attacks on our Tuna and attacks on humans! Humans just can’t stay out of the water-shark territory. Sharks know bugger all but they do know humans in the water are just another meal to them, the ungrateful sods!

The taro jungle Tom Toms continue to pound out the message chooks of something big heading this way! Look out to the horizon chooks, it’s coming that way!

Word is the previously empty café on Tupapa’s main road will re-open soon under new owners. CNN-Coconut News Network, has heard that someone connected with a cookery school could soon be whipping up bacon and eggs in Tupapa! Or will it be a genteel affair where dainty types raise and sip their Earl Greys slowly with their little finger extended?

Herald Issue 639

Good grief chooks! Naughty, naughty shark bites a boat! Doesn’t that shark know we humans are protecting him then he goes and does this! The ungrateful sod!

Here’s a recent conversation between a Mako shark and a swimmer:
Human: “Well Mr Shark, we humans are now protecting you from being killed and eaten.”
Shark: ”Well, Mr Human, I’m grateful but I’m also hungry, so, you die!”

Here’s a bold suggestion put up by our very own Master Carver! Stop all foreign aid! Live with what we generate ourselves! The only way to snap out of the ADS-aid dependency syndrome- is to sever all ties with aid donors! To stop our economy shrinking will require us all to pull our socks and stockings up and work harder, grow our own food, raise our own meat producing animals and stop unnecessary spending on luxury items like under arm deodorants, fizzy drinks and fags! Is this man running for parliament or what?

Here’s a new, innovative idea for a chemical free substitute for tobacco cigarettes chooks! An enterprising local has been experimenting with it! Tightly rolled up, dried banana leaves with coconut husk in the centre-not quite cigar class but it just may catch on!

Red alert chooks! Red alert! Spotted recently proceeding slowly along the road, was that old fellow from Tahiti, Louie?

Oh dear chooks! Well meaning foreign papa’a busy bodies arrive on shore and in no time are appearing on the goggle-box. Next they are out in streams and along coasts cleaning up our trash! Now these are the sort of visitors we need! Ones who come here, roll up their sleeves and get stuck in while we locals watch on in amazement, sipping our lattes and daintily nipping on canapés with our little finger extended.

Watch out for a cunning new plan by government. Annoyed public servants come in at 9am instead of 8am, government plans to move the start time to 7am so public servants come in at 8am. It’s a form of daylight saving.

Chooks Big Red has heard the taro jungle Tom, Toms pounding in the night and alerts you to go to Avatiu harbour and look out to sea. Something will be arriving if the Tom, Toms are right. Something big.

Chooks two government jobs will soon be filled, the big shoes of a copper that once filled the cabinet are to filled by the HOM who once liked to play with trucks and ships and transport things in general! Also chooks the empty, cold chair once filled by the Ombudswoman is to be filled by a retired Inspector! Chooks, neither jobs were advertised!

Rumours on CNN-Coconut News Network, is that the Golf Club has now become government’s new Employment Agency for those seeking work! If you are at a loose end, no cash in your pocket, then head down to the Golf Club, oops, Employment Agency and you are bound to find work and at the same time enjoy a round of golf, rubbing shoulders your prospective employers!

Could the Demos occupy the treasury benches before the end of next year chooks? With a by-election looming in Mangaia the Demos may have a good chance of taking it out. Also a by-election is possible in Murienua if the DPM becomes the QR! What if the Demos capture this seat also? That will give the Demo opposition 10 seats and with big Norm, 11 seats. All that is needed to upset the applecart is for two to walk from the government side and bingo! The Demos become the government!

Instead of trying to take over government two years out from the next election chooks, the Demos may decide to just wait it out. The reason? According to the Demo leadership, government is doing a good job of ruining their own chances they may lose anyway!

Chooks, who is keeping track of all the foreign consultants waltzing into the country to give advice, run workshops, pester government for work, offer to write reports and in general contribute little that a local consultant could do anyway. Who is keeping a central register of all these Turkeys? Let’s find out who is here and what are they up to!

Chooks, there is one exotic fruit we have in abundance growing wild in the hills and which if properly cultivated could bring in millions of dollars! What is it? It’s been around for a while. It has that funny shaped leaf and so far the only government agency showing an interest in it is the Police!

Herald Issue 638

Did we miss something chooks? The tax payer subsidized Air NZ to the tune of $13 million this season to fly the LA route and bring in the big spending visitors from North America. Trouble is during August, the flights were less than 60% full. Now government has a brainwave! They want local retailers to offer the US visitors discounts as an incentive to spend more. Spend more? But is that not the reason the government uses to justify subsidizing Air NZ for LA flight in the first place? Because the US visitor spends more? What have we missed here? It’s this, we are already subsidizing the airline, now government wants us to subsidize the visitors! What next chooks?

Chooks, where is the report by the independent consultant funded by the Kiwi government to report on our shipping needs? Why has it not been made public? Is it because the report recommends open competition with no restriction on licenses issued? And when will the Audit Office or Crown Law look into whether the current set up creates a monopoly contrary to law?

Local chook gets a big surprise to receive a letter from Kiwiland. Letter was posted over a year ago in February 2011. Where was it held up? In Kiwiland obviously! Although the writer failed to put a box number on the envelope, the envelope has the name of the local clearly spelt on it and his name is in the local phone book. Our Post Office would have rung him up. We think.

Cook Islands leader of delegation to a Pacific conference in Suva walks into a reception wearing (unintentionally) the blue version of the red TAV dress gifted in the Solomons to Kate what’s her name. This got the Solomon’s delegation all worked up and their tongues wagging!

Ruben! Ruben! Ruben! Forget trying to squeeze more dosh out of Tuna! Sea bed minerals is the in thing-it is what you must focus on now! Their value far outstrips that of the Tuna!

Interesting to see the big delegation from a Chinese General Hospital present the PM with gifts of rice wine and embroidery. Question now is, are these gifts connected to tuna fishing licenses? Where are all the tuna fishing license conspiracy theorists? Are their minds at work? Were all the medical supplies really from shadowy tuna companies seeking more fishing licenses? How will we know? Does the Minister of Marine’s adviser Sam own a hospital? Will someone go to China to check?

Minister Glassie is back from a Health conference in Vietnam but was the conference just a front for a tuna fishing chin wag? Is Vietnam now wanting some tuna fishing licenses? Did Glassie get any gifts? If so are these gifts related to any requests for tuna fishing licenses? Will the tuna fishing licensing conspiracy theorists mount a probe?

Was Minister Brown’s trip to the IMF and World Bank meeting in Japan really to discuss finance? Surely it was just a cover to discuss Japan’s demand for tuna fishing licenses. Why aren’t the tuna fishing license conspiracy theorists hounding Minister Brown and demanding answers? Did Brown get any gifts from the Japanese?

Why must the Cook Islands feel obliged to celebrate every United Nations Day for every topic under the sun? Is there someone watching? We have recently marked Disaster Awareness Day, now it’s the Day for the Blind, what next? How about “Cook Islands Day” to mark the Cook Islands celebration of every other day specified by the UN? How about “Shoe Day” to celebrate the importance of shoes in preventing injuries? How about “Rake Day” to celebrate the importance of rakes in clearing away waste to protect the environment? Why don’t we just ignore all these “Days” and focus on doing some real work.

Oh dear chooks! The poor sods who purchased a certain type and brand of vehicle are now discovering they cannot get a replacement tyre when one is needed because there are simply none on the island! Surely when one buys a vehicle one will ask about the availability of spare parts? No? Then start asking!

Being a consultant is about finding the right questions to ask others so they end up doing the work for you while you collect a big fat pay cheque!

Why was the recent visit by a top Israeli official kept fairly quiet? Was he not here to secure some tuna fishing licenses for Israel, reputed to be seeking to become one of the world’s major tuna fishing nations? Was he successful? Did he bring our Minister a gift?

Herald Issue 637

They all came out on Fiji day didn’t they chooks! Some 500 of them! A great day enjoyed by all. Did you spot the provisional PM?

MPs will come back into the House on 8 November chooks and one Bill up to chew on will be the Police Bill. Watch for Police to be upgraded chooks into a modern, well trained force! Will the new skill level be matched by a new salary level?

MPs will also be back again in December when the new helmet law may be passed into law before the Christmas/New Year binge drinking begins and road accident numbers soar. If on a bike between 7pm and 5am you will need to wear head protection chooks-no excuses! Wonder if there will be exemptions on religious or cultural grounds? What if you are a Sikh?

And MPs will yet again be back indoors in February for the Supplementary budget! That’s when the begging process begins for extra dosh for more overseas travel and the fine act of balancing the accounts also begins. Look for some creative thinking chooks! Also a re-spread of unused funds to prop up agencies who were careless with theirs and overspent on dubious items.

Will government open up an Office in Brussels? Who will get the posting? Rumour is big Jim wants it until his sun sets but a younger person will most likely get the tap on the shoulder! Rumour is it could be a woman!

And what happened to the two who were tapped on the shoulder for the ADB jobbie? Seems neither wanted the job. Was it the money?

Chooks, is MFAI employing Land Agents? MFAI 3 was spotted in Matavera with a land agent in the front passenger seat! Looking for a new site for the Immigration Office? Opening a branch office in the districts?

With global warming threatening to diminish the water supply, who needs trees? Trees only use up precious water we humans badly need. So, chop those trees down! Start with the big trees. Bring them down! Soon we’ll be like Easter Island! No trees! They saw global warming coming years before we did and took action, they got rid of their trees!

“Gate” is the wrong term chooks! Think about it. Colagate, Toagate, TAVgate! All topics that have given us a massive “Head-ache!” The right term chooks, is “Ache!” How about Cola-ache! Toa –ache! TAV-ache! Sharkfin-ache! Tuna-ache! Mangaia harbour-ache! Shipping license-ache! Cyclone Pat repairs-ache! Oh the pain! When will it end? Pass the Disprin, Ibuprofen, Panadol, anything!

Tupapa’s action man, MP Mighty Maggie Man, is sporting a new motorcycle jacket emblazoned on the back with those famous words, “Action Man.”

What’s to be built on the old site of the Toa tanks in Avatiu chooks? Don the Claw has the front bit and Superman, Clark Trent has the rear. Is this where the big freeze will take place?

Will the 50th anniversary of self government see a Vaka fleet arrive from all points of the Pacific? What about a replica of Captain Cook’s ship? Come to think of it, why not an ocean going Chinese Junk? A raft from Peru made of reeds? A Viking boat? Thrown in a Spanish Man o War, a Portuguese ship, an Arab Dhow, an Amazon jungle tribe dug out and an Eskimo Kayak!

And how about a great fireworks display on the 50th anniversary of self government? Forget Geoff’s 5 minute plop and go for a Chinese government funded fireworks display that can be seen from the Moon! $10 million ought to put on a good show.

Finally, the stranded, taxi driving MP from Pukapuka, has managed to hitch a ride north on a flight chartered by an agency of the State! Will he be able to get back chooks? Or will he be forced to work for his electorate? Where’s Vai?

And another action man from out west is a tad annoyed at how long it is taking to get things done! In private industry, this would not be tolerated but in government, the west’s action MP is learning the wheels of the giant bureaucracy machine turn slowly and then, fall off!

Herald Issue 636

The problem with the Cook Islands is that on any given day, half the population is asleep and the other half does not read a newspaper or listen to the hourly news on radio. How else can you explain this sudden fascination with our politicians being involved in conflicts of interest? It’s been a national pastime for years chooks! Check out the Audit reports! How long do you think the Audit office has been calling for a Code of Conduct for politicians? Years! Why hasn’t any member of the public raised the biggest conflict of interest of them all? What is that you ask? It’s the lawyer politicians appearing in court! Politicians make the law so why appear in court trying to convince the Judge what that law means? That’s the Judge’s job!

The public service annual leave policy is out. But is it news chooks? How can someone’s annual leave entitlement be news? Is the CITC staff’s annual leave policy news? Is T&M Heather’s staff annual leave policy news? What about US President Obama, is his annual leave entitlement news?

Some chooks are under the misguided belief our PM went to the United Nations in the Big Apple and delivered a speech to the General Assembly. Well, hello? That did not occur. Neither did he sing a song. The Cook Islands is not a member of the UN. So our PM has no business being up on the podium. The PM met with the UN SecGen on the sidelines, out of sight of the big boys, for a chin wag and that was it.

MPs, get your shambles sorted out! Get your transport issues sorted! Get your pay issues sorted! Stop moonlighting on the side! Spend more time on parliament business! That’s why you were elected! When the House is not in session, get to work on select committees and work every day, 7am-6pm, on draft bills. MPs from up north, work there not on Rarotonga! Be where your constituents are. Why are MPs having these problems? Because there is no proper parliament building, no proper work schedule, no office for each MP! No discipline! Get the Whip out!

With the 50th anniversary of self government coming soon, what better way to mark this historic event than by building and opening a new parliament building. Government will only get one shot at this. Perhaps our esteemed friends from the land of the Great Wall to the north will construct a glorious building along the lines of the Great Hall of the People! Bonny Prince Willie should be invited to open the new building and mate Kate should be presented with another TAV dress. The Chinese Navy could turn up to show off their new aircraft carrier and do a fly past while the sailors march downtown. Hello sailor! The PM could sing a song and the Tourism Minister could break into a little jig.

Government has balls! Heavy round balls! Shiny metallic balls! Manganese Nodule balls! Government is pinning its hopes on its balls bringing home the bacon! The $200 million odd needed for infrastructure and the $200 million needed for renewable energy! It’s no coincidence the renewable energy target date of 2020 coincides with the date commercial exploitation of our sea bed is expected to commence!

It was months ago that Big Red broke the rumour Tom Tom was headed for Titikaveka and the QR’s robes! Big Red also tipped you off that the big shoes Tom Tom leaves behind will be re-engineered and re-shaped to fit the feet of Mr Big in the Western Alliance, the King of Concrete.

Metamorphosis is alive in the Cooks chooks as evidenced by the daily’s photo of elderly, Chinese mogul Sam Chou, who walks hunched over, transformed into an upright, younger looking Professor from a Chinese University!

Why is the Pukapuka cyclone shelter closed and locked? Is it because it has become more dangerous to be inside than outside the shelter? Not only does the roof leak and fittings are rusting but the concrete floor is cracked in places! Too much Zumba? A private charter flight will be heading north with military precision to recon the installation. Will the same people who complained about the problems with the Chinese built courthouse, come forward and complain about the locally built cyclone shelter?

Herald Issue 635

What happens to the bottles of alcohol confiscated at the airport? How many have been taken off passengers? What is the monetary value? Where do these go? Are they not put into an auction at the end of the year?

Whisper chooks is the person who organized the Pacific Forum Leader’s chin wag in our neck of the woods, has been roped in by the Marshall Islands to organize the next Leader’s chin wag. Bet she’s singing like a Jay Bird! This time she is to come in 6 months before the event. Will they engage the same media man?

Minister for Health and Agriculture is in Vietnam on a WHO health seminar. Vietnam is a leading producer of rice so the Minister cannot fail to do a little “I spy.” Will we see the return of the little nutritious grain to the old paddy fields in Atiu? What about Takuvaine where years ago rice was also grown? One old planter says back then, rice failed as a crop because it only fetched $1 a kilo while taro returned $6 a kilo!

Message to those chooks out west hoping to take part in Murienua’s upcoming by-election, start your campaign now or at least, get your fund raising underway! The by-election will be an indicator of how the main event may pan out later.

And looking ahead to the next general election, whisper is some current MPs will be playing musical chairs. Some safe seats will no longer be safe seats so where to go? Look for some MPs to be standing out of place!

One northern MP is frantically trying to get back up north on the cheap! He’s looking to hitch a ride on any charter flying north but is having no luck! Maybe he needs to hitch a lift on a fishing boat.

Rumour has it that as from October 1st, all Ministers will be conducting their media conferences in Maori.

One MP from up north is lucky he’s an MP in a sleepy hollow. If he was a NZ MP and was caught driving an unlicensed taxi after hours, the NZ media would crucify him. He would be hounded day and night by reporters following him, demanding answers. His political party bosses would also be hounded-relentlessly. But here in the sleepy hollow? Ho hum, roll over, back to sleep!

Dude who was asked to make his flash wheels available for the Forum Leader’s safari tour, but who declined, has now been asked to submit an invoice for the use of his car! Should he chooks?

Training courses to rehabilitate young offenders? Teach them a useful trade? Of course! With crime skyrocketing, we need more people expert in alarm systems, home security systems, security camera systems and lock-smiths expert in security locks, secure door and window locks and safe mechanisms!

How about an honorary PR for NZ High Commissioner John Carter? He’s everywhere, you’d think he was the PM and since being here, we’ve had heaps of NZ Aid funding pumped into our projects!

CITV achieved a world first chooks when the fellow temporarily in charge of transmission split a rugby replay match into ten minute segments in order to play advertising!

After hearing, at the recent opening of the Seabed Minerals Authority Office, how much money the Cooks could potentially make from the seabed riches (billions of dollars), NZ High Commissioner Carter suggested New Zealanders could become Cook Islands citizens!

Boot camp for the young offenders? Better idea is to send them on special attachment to the Afghanistan Army for one year. In that country they will get all the fighting, thrills and unruly behavior they crave. They will soon achieve peak physical fitness after spending months being chased through the hills by the Taliban shooting at them!

How high can our population go chooks? On Raro we have 10,000 people living on a narrow strip around the coast. If we opened up access to the interior and built some multi-floored buildings (up to 8 levels), Raro’s population could be doubled to 20,000. Mangaia is about the same size as Raro but without mountains in the centre. Mangaia could take up to 15,000 people. Aitutaki could take another 5,000 people and Atiu another 5,000. Challenge now is to attract some of the 100,000 Cookies living overseas.

Herald Issue 634

Now that the Pacific Forum Leaders chin wag is over, the race is on by those who were involved, to fling their invoices in to claim expenses! Who gets to vet these invoices and how does anyone know for sure what it being claimed is legit? And what of some of the young Cookies who worked their butts off? Is there a place for these worker bees in the hive?

There may be something like 55 vacancies in the public service chooks but is the money appropriated by parliament for personnel costs still there or has this money been hived off to pay for other costs?

Here’s a poser for you chooks. Does the Ruling Cabal need Mighty Maggie Man more than Mighty Maggie Man needs them? Consider this, “MMM” came in on a wave of votes, more than any other MP. The Ruling Cabal needs to step up work in MMM’s electorate or the Demos might just wake up!

According to Women’s mags, Hollywood star Jennifer Aniston and her partner are looking for a paradise getaway for their upcoming honeymoon. Why not Aitutaki? Will some bright spark in Tourism Corp contact her and suggest One Foot Island? Does Aniston own a Black Pearl? Does she have a TAV dress?

Has someone at the Ministry of Water Shortages finally woken up? Now we see public messages advising to conserve water! Tuesday morning a large school closed-no water! Word from the Water Works was because the Big Boss Boy was overseas, no warning messages were going out. He must be back.

Oh dear chooks! Niggles over Cola levies! The media exposed this issue more than a year ago when the Audit Report went public so why the fuss now, a year later? Does it really take a Cookie 12 months before something sinks in? The Big Store types do not make the laws, MPs do! Blame them! How many governments have come and gone since the former Big Store lot cottoned onto this Cola levy concession? Was not one letter writer related to a former Minister of Finance?

Telecom’s launch last Thursday of its cell phone network and products in Mitiaro revealed just how much purchasing grunt the small population of Mitiaro has. Mitiaro coughed up a record $11,000 plus in sales. That’s whopping compared to the $5,000 Telecom reeled in from the Atiu launch, the $3,000 from the Mangaia launch and the $800 from the Mauke launch! Even Mitiaro’s school kids got in on the act along with some Mitiaro ex-pats over from Melbourne who bought up big because they found the prices for the Samsungs were cheaper than in Oz! On Monday, Telecom had to send more products to Mitiaro to restock the shelves!

Police were at Taputapuatea last week chooks as the caretaker installed a gate at the main entrance! But several family types intervened, saying, ”Tyho!” Words were exchanged and the entrance declared open.

Did you spot the big threat to the PM on Sunday’s goggle box story of the PM’s recent trip to Aitutaki to thank them for hosting the Pacific Leaders? The big threat was revealed as a “singing” Teina Bishop, Aitutaki’s Cabinet Minister better known for his impromptu dancing to drum beats! He now wants to take over the singing role.

Will TAV, fresh off the success of its Solomons clothing coup, now receive by Royal Appointment, the job of outfitting the Royal family for all visits to tropical spots in the Pacific?

A fine, upstanding gentleman is a tad miffed that he had to pay twice for a meal and he has decided to take steps! Steps he says, to another eatery elsewhere!

With all the dosh we will make from the seabed doodahs, we could afford to pay all resident Cookies over 18yrs, a yearly dividend. That way, every Cookie has a share in the wealth and becomes a shareholder. Our Hori cousie bros down south side already pay Iwi members a dividend each year from their business enterprises set up from multi-million dollar proceeds from Treaty settlements! But should PRs and non-native Cookies be included?

If the Leaders decided to pay a yearly dividend from the seabed fortune to all local residents, that might attract overseas based Cookie to come home. Only stipulation? You have to be born in the Cooks to qualify. That way we do not get swamped by the more than 100,000 people born overseas who are of Cookie descent. Cookies born in NZ or Aussie can return to have their kids born here so their kids qualify once they turn 18yrs provided of course, they reside full time in the Cooks!

Herald Issue 632

Chook asks why the weather reporters on the goggle box wave their hands in the air in front of the weather map? Do the hand movements actually point to or indicate anything the chook asks? It just seems to be a random motion as though the public expect some hand movement therefore it’s done!

Chook reports the Tupapa Health Clinic opens bang on eight o’clock! But why not open before eight so out patients can settle in? Opening bang on eight says the chooks means staff probably sign in after eight!

Cabinet flew to Atiu this week for the commissioning of the power station’s new state of the art power generators and while there held a Cabinet meeting. But another motive for the trip across to Bird Island may have been to shore up Strickland’s chances of winning a by-election against incumbent Big Norm!

And hasn’t it been a good period for the local airline! Group of Health officials to Pukapuka, followed by another official group to Pukapuka, big charter group of Chinese to Aitutaki, big group to Aitutaki during the Forum pow, wow, now an official group to Atiu, oh gee!

Talk about pulling rank! Aitutaki MP could not hop aboard the wive’s boat to One Foot Island because of security restrictions however, the Island Mayor managed to scramble aboard under protest. That left the MP to traverse the lagoon at high speed straddled across the bow of his speed boat!

With Lady in Orange, Clinton’s visit upstaging Chinese rice-power and knocking their chopsticks out of alignment, look to the higher ups in the Beijing Temple to send from the Wall a very high powered leader quite possibly the Premier himself. However, Russia could upstage the lot by sending “PP”-Putin Power! Putin-the man! The Black Belted Judo tossing, bare chested, bare back horse riding, macho man! How does that Village People song go? “Macho, macho, man!” Putin could take part in bare back horse racing along Muri beach-just like back in the day! He could wrestle with our PM then engage in an Elvis sing a long around a camp fire on One Foot Island! Line up now ladies!

Staged for the camera? Did you spot one of our top fishermen, Pupuke Robati Jnr on the TV clip promoting the Marine Park, pulling up a fishing line with no fish on the other end? Note the grin on Jnr’s face? There’s no way such an experienced fisherman as Jnr will come up empty handed!

Seems there’s been some unhappiness wharf side chooks. The Chinese were all smiles with their big fishing vessel parked alongside dockside until a much larger, flasher, Korean fishing vessel entered harbour and parked next to the smaller, less flashier Chinese vessel upstaging and annoying the poor Chinese crew! Amazing we did not get to see a demonstration of Chinese and Korean martial arts!

Aitutaki council, leaders and port people are doing their darndest to raise the $15 million needed to carry out their harbour project! Seems no-one has that amount to spare! The problem with the Cooks is that depopulation has distorted the people to cost to revenue ratios required to justify large expenditures. That is, the cost/benefit. Aitutaki’s population was once nearer 5,000. Now it’s about 1,600. Visitor numbers are about 20,000. This makes the cost per head of resident population high. The expected return is about $1 million per year but if depopulation continues, and visitor numbers do not increase, the return could be seriously affected.

What is the value of the pine trees on Mangaia? Would the revenue from sale of the timber, cover the cost of harvesting the wood? Has anyone done an analysis? What is the cost to Mangaia’s economy if the timber is not harvested? When the timber was planted, what were the projected revenues? Is anyone on Mangaia awake?

Why are we looking at hydrogen technology? It’s ok in small quantities and when used for BBQs. But large scale storage of hydrogen gas is risky as the gas is very volatile. That’s probably why it has not taken off overseas!

Disgruntled locals trudging into private sector pharmacies to pick up medicines not available from the two hospital pharmacies must be wondering how government officials and Ministers always seem to have funds for travel.

Herald Issue 631

One thing overseas leaders will have quickly learnt about Rarotonga, is that there appears to be no shortage of food! Everywhere they go, there’s food! Little tete a tete somewhere, there’s food! Quick visit to someone, food pops up! Locals should have been encouraged to set up food stalls all along the roadside, say every 20 yards, to impress the visitors! Any food will do! Donuts! Sardine sandwiches! Kuru and corned beef stew! Paw paw topped with milk powder! To name just a few local delicacies!

Ooooppps! Who tried to get an exclusive one on one with Oscar, Mr “T” only to find everyone else crashed the party? Can’t keep anything a secret these days!

What’s with the PM and his dark glasses? He seems to be wearing them everywhere! Is this a transformation from Elvis to Tom Cruise? Next he will be on a Harley Davison gunning around town!

16 Pacific Leaders being carried aloft on a paata? Has our culture gone “mad?” The paata was reserved only for the very highest ranking personages like “Royalty.” Now it seems, every Tom, Dick and Harry can hop aboard and be toted about by imitation warriors clothed in leaves!

Why did some drivers attached to the delegations here for the Pacific Forum Leaders showdown drop their passengers off not at their hotel door, but on the road and next to puddles of water? A tongue lashing was duly delivered by the higher ups it is reported!

Seems some of the younger, more fashion conscious femmes do not like the old fashioned Mumu made for them to wear at the Pacific Forum Leader’s events! A tongue lashing from the higher ups brought them into line! It’s not about the fashion it seems, but the “culture!”

Seems Madame Stately Secretary is to host a gaggle of gals to munchies at Traders when she drops by. With Gender issues a solid topic for a good old chin wag, what better way to pass the day than engage in a good old natter over fish and chips (no fins).

There’s one simple way to make huge savings on the diesel fuel bill and reduce the size of our carbon footprint, and that is to move towards using a mix of diesel and coconut oil. There is a new coconut tree which will fruit after five years. Let us make use of our available resources which are sustainable! Other Pacific nations are already using coconut oil but we seem to be a tad slow in catching on. Why is that?

Isn’t it good to see the Polys finally getting together at long last! The MSG (Melanesian Spearhead Group) have their spears, what do we have? Let’s come up with a term that’s more imaginative than PLG (Pacific Leaders Group)! PLG is all about the leaders-what about the people? If we let the Horis, the Giant Stone Faces and the Aloha lot into the group, will we be buying into their personal sovereignty battles? It’s the crowd behind the PLGs that could be the main worry. The French are behind the Tahitians, The USA is behind the Aloha lot and the American Samoans, China is behind the Samoans, the Kiwis are behind the Cooks, Niue and Tokelau, who’s behind Tonga?

Is Minister Brown a financial wizard or what? His brilliant, guru like deductions on why our people travel so much, he boils down to the fact that the economy is doing so well that their discretionary income allows them to travel overseas! Whoop-dee-doo! Did he see that in the chicken bones! Did the Minister not know that it is the el cheapo Air NZ air fares which are enabling people to travel by the thousand? When the fares are less than $300 to Kiwiland of course our people on $5 an hour can afford it! Tell us Minister, in your wisdom, why are people not regularly traveling by plane to the northern group? Is it because the fares are more than $1,400 one way to Penrhyn? How can people on $5 an hour afford such fares? Why hasn’t the basic wage increased from $5 an hour? C’mon Minister, as you yourself has said in the daily, the economy is doing well. If that is the case, lift the basic wage! Or is that too difficult for you to figure out?

What’s our main country problem? Untreated sewerage, that’s what! If we do not start treating the stuff soon the task will get too big, and too costly! New sewerage plants can be paid for by a special levy on visitors. Make the 116,000 visitors pay “A buck for a flush!”

Herald Issue 630

A better strategy chooks would have been to leave the main road from the airport to town in an unrepaired state with deepened potholes. Maybe then some of the bigger visiting nations would have offered us handsome grants (not loans) to fix our roads!

Who is the hopeful HOM who asked an MP to stand down at the next election so he-the HOM could stand instead? HOM was reminded who it was among the MPs who supported his continued employment when his contract came up!

From Bula Land and want to transit permanently into Kiwiland? Simple! Nest a while in Hula Land until the coast is clear! Dangle your toes in the lagoon for a few years then make the move! Home and hosed! Welcome to Kiwiland!

Ministry of Health employee in the Land of the Rising Sun enjoying a four week training course, returns soon to the Rock where he has already resigned his jobbie because he is off again this time to the Land of the Great Wall for another training course! How mobile are our people?

How to succeed in business without really trying? Steal goods from someone, sell them off, make a quid, don’t pay VAT, don’t declare your earnings, hey, it’s a win, win!

Local watering hole has a new entertainment thrill for patrons-Fight Nite! Highly illegal of course but hey, who’s looking? Certainly not anyone in authority!

Who is the high flier from the Land of the Wale, who wants to meet the Stately Hillary,and Kiwiland’s John Key to pow wow about a tremendous venture for the Wale isle? Said high flying entrepreneur was recently hauled before the bench over some real estate investments gone belly up but was given a clean bill from the Beak.

Forget MC Hammer-he’s history! All the talk nowadays is about Emcee Mato! Any big do on- get Mato! 21st Birthday in Aussie-get Mato! State Function-get Mato! Big Conference-get Mato! Pacific Forum Leader’s meeting-get Mato! Yes folks, fly Mato in from Kiwiland-get him to the event! Get Mato! What about JJ? Mato and JJ-what a tag team! Make that chin wag team!

Something great to see will be an attempt by our Police to disarm one of Clinton’s armed body guards, a seven foot tall Secret Service Agent who is an ex-US Marine, ex-Green Beret, ex Ninja, ex Navy Seal and expert in Judo, Karate, Jiu Jitsu, Ju Jutsu, Nin Jitsu, Aikido, Kendo, Kung Fu, Savate, Tae Kwon Do and a host of other martial arts!

Forget the Marine Park! Why not introduce the Poli-Park? This Park will be a sanctuary for politicians! They will be able to wander about free, do what they want, not be accountable, please themselves, work if they wish and reside where they want! But don’t they do that now?

What’s this!? No room at the Inn for Clinton’s Globie? But the giant plane is flying in her bullet proof, stretch Limo! Talk of an Aircraft Carrier showing up is nonsense! They are nuclear powered and we are a nuclear free zone!

Will Clinton’s bullet proof, stretch Limo require local registration as a motor vehicle, a local warrant of fitness and the driver to have a local driver’s license? Or will Clinton’s diplomatic immunity extend to her car and driver?

Local motorists will have to pull over to the side of the Queen’s highway when a Pacific Leader’s Forum motorcade screams by at high speed and now we hear that a fleet of luxury private jet planes will be flying into our international airport! Will this mean that Air Raro pilots will have to pull their planes over to the side of the tarmac and let these private jets carrying Pacific Leaders, pass?

When the QR steps down next March and Tom Tom steps up, will there be a by-election or a snap election? No, no, no, you say but so, so, so, others say!

Here’s a mystery chooks. When Cain was expelled he went to live among other people. We know who created Cain’s parents, Adam and Eve, but who created those other people?

Will Tupapa go back to the Demos in the next election chooks? If the CIP shun Maggie, then he could split the CIP vote and let the Demos through the door! In the last election, the old man and younger Mann split the Demo vote and let the CIP in!

Motorcade practice run through Tupapa had bystanders gawking because the vehicles were certainly not keeping to the speed limit and one broke from “convoy” formation!

Herald Issue 629

Chinese visitors are mystified as to why the Cook Islands is not promoted in China. They are so impressed with what they have seen so far. They say more will come if the country was promoted. They say in China, Tahiti is the only South Pacific country on the internet! C’mon tourism wallahs, get busy with some promoting!\

On Wednesday 26 August chooks, the First Lady is to host the Pacific Forum Leader’s wives at a special parade and Tav fashion show at the Punanga Nui market! Pearls from Manihiki will be on show! Will they buy anything?

Chooks, the Forum Transport organizers are seeking drivers to cart about the VIPs! Seems they are now desperately short of drivers after Police revealed that some who applied had previous driving offences. The Wallahs from the Forum’s Wheelie Brigade are willing to cough up $50 an hour to drivers with sober habits, nit free hair and clean finger nails! Public servants don’t want a bar of it because during the day they will just get their normal $10 an hour pay and after hours although they move to the higher pay, they will end up paying secondary tax!

Chooks, when the Pacific Leader’s tongue flapping and chin wag is on and a car or bus carrying VIPs about is traveling along the Queen’s highway at high speed escorted by Police bikes with flashing lights, you had better move your vehicle to the side of the road! But what about ambulances and fire engines racing to an emergency, do they have to pull over so some VIPs from say, Tuvalu can whizz past on their way back to their hotel for din dins? Would the QR’s car also have to move aside?

Question chooks, will the Aussie PM get to ride in a Holden or one of those donated Korean cars?

This nonsense must stop says one chook. Every time a new fangled apparatus is purchased or donated, is it really necessary to go through this time wasting rigmarole of conducting a blessing, speeches and a big feed afterwards? Take the new X-Ray machine at the hospital. Did you spot three Cabinet Ministers and countless hospital staff standing around, grinning, oogling over the machine, and in general just sitting around chatting. How many public servants did you spot just standing around, bemused by it all and grinning instead of working?

An X-Ray machine is just that. A machine. Put it in place, plug it in, throw the switch and get on with the work. Why the speeches? The prayers? The blessing? It’s a machine not a visitor from Mars or Venus says another chook! But why not go the whole hog, put a giant ei around it, do a welcome and some dancing? You may as well.

Another chook suggests that since we’re in the habit of putting on what’s virtually a “State” welcome for a bit of machinery, what about getting the QR in on the act? Surely we could wheel the QR in to bid welcome to say, a new door, or a new chair, what about a box of new soap for the bathroom? We must be the only country in the world to go to extraordinary lengths and costs to welcome a bit a machinery as if it were an important Head of State! Next thing we will be granting PR to a new carpet!

Save the whale! Save the shark! Save the cockroach?!! The cockroach you ask? Why not? The cockroach has survived the dinosaurs! Where as a shark can attack and eat a human without a second thought, the cockroach runs from humans! The cockroach could become man’s best friend after the dog! A cockroach will snuggle up to you at night! Share the same food as you! Travel around with you in your pocket! Who could ask for a better friend? So let’s stop the slaughter of cockroaches!

Do you suppose, one day in the safe waters of our shark sanctuary, a 20 foot Mako shark is going to swim up to a human and say,” Thank you Mr Human for protecting me, I’m jolly impressed, see ya round.” Phooey!

Did not the last government have a cunning plan for us to get our own brand new, speedy, large, passenger and freight carrying inter-island ship capable of getting the northerners down for the Te Maeva Nui without any fuss and getting them and their cargo home again? Was not that ship going to be built by the Chinese for a mere $8 million?

Herald Issue 628

Here’s some advice for locals during the Pacific Leader’s Forum starting on 27 August. Stay home! Keep well away from all the hype and drivel and chin wagging! Get a supply of DVDs in, barricade your doors, shut your windows, put the kettle on and pretend the outside world does not exist!

The Kiwiland government has put up the dosh to fly the Pacific Leaders over to Aitutaki for their retreat! So is Air NZ to do the honours? No! It will be Air Tahiti! They’re cheaper!

Saturday saw Manihiki vendors selling off their remaining craft items from the Trade Days at the Tupapa football ground. One sharp eyed buyer noticed then argued that hats which had been for sale at the Trade Days for $20 were now for sale at $25! If you are desperate to clear unsold stock, why put the price up? Sharp eyed buyer got her hat at the old price!

Rumour has it the Jamaican Olympic 100m sprinting stars, “BB,” Bolt and Blake, are to conduct a world tour of promotional “head to head” races to build interest in youngsters in taking up athletics. Team BB will start in spots recognized as “deserts” on the athletics map. Their first series of races will be held on Rarotonga.

Rumour also has it, self appointed missionary for swimming pools, Wike Favioni, has arranged for American swimming super star Michael Phelps, to visit Rarotonga in an attempt to convince government to put up $20 million to build a new Olympic size swimming and diving pool.

Will Big Norm blast into, across and through the Demo conference next week like a force 10 gale, a wind of sweeping change or will another wind, swirling and eddying, pick him up and carry him off?

Plenty of action out west last week when awestruck and bamboozled residents witnessed our thin Blue Line practicing their high speed motorcade escort duties in preparation for Uncle Sam’s Head of State’s visit! Cars were speeding along the main drag, up and down at speed! Will they be practicing their high speed driving on Aitutaki and One Foot Island?

The outer islanders have never had it so good this Maeva Nui what with piles of chooks from the CIP, oodles of veggies and fruits from the Demos, umpteen succulents from the BCI and Air Raro now Telecom jumped aboard the food bandwagon with chewable deliverables of their own! And what became of all these munchies? They went into a pot, then were sold off!

A fish processing plant at Aitutaki? A win, win for Aitutaki’s economy! Vessels calling to off load would stuff berthage fees into the Port Authority’s coffers and be just the incentive needed to upgrade the harbour passage and wharf facilities! Electricity used by the blast freezer and chillers would pour dollars into the Aitutaki Power Supply Company’s coffers and if solar is used, the excess can prop up the island’s grid. There would be jobs for locals reducing Aitutaki’s unemployment rate. The fish could be flown out adding revenue to the Aitutaki Airport Authority’s coffers from landing fees!

When will we see the Avana Marina become the Riviera or St Tropez of the south seas? The exclusive playground of the rich and the famous! Imagine, a fleet of luxury super yachts backed up to a waterfront boulevard of high class cafes, souvenir shops, top fashion outlets, haute cuisine restaurants and retail stores brimming with pricey Gucci, Rolex and Armani products! How much longer must we continue to watch super yachts and their billionaire owners cruise past us and unload their moolah in Tahiti?

What’s happened to the two steam trains? Lay the rail line down in the centre of the main road from Club Raro to the airport! What a major tourist attraction that would be! Imagine leaping on and off a moving carriage drawn by the steam trains! Imagine the injuries, unsuspecting people being hit by the trains and drunks colliding their vehicles with the trains! Imagine the excitement of a head on collision between the two trains! With no tunnels, tourists could even ride on top of the carriages! For extra!

Will Uncle Sam’s Head of State’s Security Service escort set the alarms off at the airport on arrival as they pass through the detectors with a small arsenal packed under their armpits? Will our detector be able to handle such a workload? It might short circuit! Does Aitutaki airport have a detector?

Herald Issue 627

A clue to the heir apparent chooks? An ominous sign of things to come? Did a comet cross the sky? The Minita o te Bulldozer strides into the HOM’s chin wag at the Palace of the Cross and every HOM stands to attention! Earlier, MM, the Man from Manihiki, entered but no-one rose to their feet!

When Tom Tom dons the Queen’s robes and rises to new heights next March, it is rumoured the Deputy badge will be pinned on the Minita o te Bulldozer! What then for his CEO? His right hand man? The right hand man will move to the left and become the former right hand man on the left while a new person will become the new right hand man and take up his position of right hand man, on the right!

Word among the ultra deep sea fishes is the new Sea Bed Commissioner has already been decided despite the charade of a recruitment process! Chunky tuna soup anyone or should that be Irish stew?

Will the Acting Ombudsman or should that be the Acting Ombudswoman, step up and into the top job? But, but, but, chooks, she doesn’t have a legal background! No need! What is Crown Law for?

Residents in Tupapa, near the hostels are complaining about outer islanders wandering like Brown’s cows through their properties at all hours of the night and even discarding litter willy nilly! The Police need to shift more officers off the day shift and have them patrol the area surrounding the hostels at night!

With destructive hurricanes predicted for this season due to the return of El Nino, those going around on the Tutaka checking on cleanliness and dogs, should also check on cyclone preparedness. Like ensuring the dog house is firmly tied down, the dog has adequate water and food for a week and all trees surrounding the dog house are chopped down. The dog should also be provided with a radio and a torch.

Heaps of visitors here from Aussie-good on yer Ockers! Also good to see the return of the Pott Hole family for their umpteenth visit to these shores. This large, extended family are staying on the back road and its members are so numerous, you may “bump” into them at any time! In fact Big Red can guarantee you will run into them!

Will there be a by-election out west when Tom Tom puts on the Queen’s robes? Do not be surprised if the “MM” - Man from Manihiki- calls a snap election! Are the Demos ready? Is Big Norm ready? Is the Tupapa go getter ready?

When we will see a “Cookie” at the helm on the flight deck of our highest flyer? We’ve had a Fijian, Two Australians and now a Tongan is Acting Head! Who could be in line for such a prestigious position? Will one of the more competent HOMs be offered a sideways move? What about a sideways move for bigger bucks?

Join government’s Senior Executive Service and see the world! And not through the job! See the world through your secondary employment as the leader of a tere party! Yes, tour the world with your dancers and drummers while back home, your second in command gets to receive higher duties allowance in your absence! Isn’t the public service wonderful! It’s a win, win for everyone!

Why won’t Daryl the Geologist reveal how many people have applied for jobs in the new Deep Sea Unit? Because he doesn’t know! He would rather go fishing!

Too many government Boards chooks? Then scrap them all! If Boards are to be retained, then retain them as advisors to government-that’s all. Let government do the hiring and firing and make the CEO report directly to the Minister not a Board.

Has there been a reshuffle of Cabinet portfolios chooks? Why was it kept secret? Tuesday’s daily has exposed government’s secret reshuffle of Ministerial portfolios! The DPM is now the Minister of Marine!

Tried to get hold of a senior public servant or an MP on Tuesday but had no luck? That’s because they were at Golf taking part in a tournament! No cell phones allowed it seems!

Top Samoan claims we are still under the Kiwi government’s thumb and as long as we stay that way, we will never make any real progress. Look at downtown Apia, look at what it has become thanks to Chinese investment!

Rumour has it, a top Cook Islands developer has been invited to assist with development projects in Samoa! The Samoans apparently recognize his talent for development.

Herald Issue 626

Good to see the HOMs getting together to chin wag over what it is they are supposed to do! Even had a pep talk from the PM! You would think that some HOMs especially those on a pay packet of more than $150,000, would know what they are supposed to do, otherwise why would they be employed?

Tried to get hold of the Head of Culture on Tuesday? Tried contacting his office? Tried his mobile phone? Hard luck! Where’d he go? You see he was spotted on the back of a truck with others, driving about the town beating up a drum storm!

Who forgot the forms chooks? The arrival cards that is! Plane loaded with Ockers arrives Saturday morning from the land of Aus but without any Arrival cards on board for the visitors to fill in! Passengers are then forced to spread out on Terminal floor to fill in their Arrival cards as there are no tables and chairs! Who was supposed to have got the cards to Air NZ? Immigration?

And chooks, on that plane from Aus on Saturday morning, was a horde of Cookies arriving to visit their rellies! Just one thing chooks, quite a number of these Cookies were traveling in “Premium” class! Thanks to all that dosh made in the mines west of the Black Stump maybe? Coming home to fill the pockets of their rellies-yes? Chooks we all know that’s highly unlikely!

Einstein’s “General Theory of Relativity” has a somewhat different interpretation in the Cooks chooks! According to his theory, the nearer YOUR speed approaches the speed of light, the slower it will seem YOU are going. Cook Islands Taro University trained Astrophysicists interpret this as: the faster YOUR relatives who have borrowed money from you, run away, there more it will seem YOU are standing still!

Concerned Maukean advises that this past month some 50 people have left Mauke for overseas! The resident population of the island is sinking dangerously and may soon dip below 200! There were once over 700 people living on Penrhyn now there’s barely 200! Who would want to continue living in the far northern outposts when shipping is irregular, the cost of air travel horrendous, goods cost a third more than in Rarotonga and few jobs exist? What are government’s plans to lower costs and stimulate investment, growth and employment in the north? There are none. However, a local developer has a plan. Whether government will support it depends upon a simple thing called-“courage.”

Former high flying hotel financial guru has walked from that role and has now burst into other entrepreneurial activities! The repair of shoes and motor bike mufflers to name a few! Seems word is getting around by way of mouth resulting in a steady flow of customers out west.

There’s been a fair bit of mudslinging lately chooks over who should steer the mini goldmine that is the Market, through these turbulent, quarrelsome times! Trouble is some of the mudslinging is being done by some who should remember that old saying about the pot calling the kettle - black!

The Cook Islands is poised to rake in heaps of dosh from products made from leaves. Yes –leaves! Who needs iron ore? A new skin care product and an introduced tea look set to put the Cooks on the map! Do we have in these products, the long sought after “Youth Creame” and the “Tea of Life?”

Chooks there’s a wacky possibility some powerful Pacific Leaders coming to the Forum chin wag may try to bring body guards bristling with concealed weapons! To protect against what? What use is an Uzi machine gun against a falling coconut or a Glock pistol against a Stone fish? What other perilous dangers are thereon Rarotonga? The danger of not being served in a restaurant? Now that’s more real than a threat from the Taliban!

Isn’t it great to see our outer island cousie bros from up north arrive on the Samoan boat Lady Naomi. The rellies and others were at dockside to wave them ashore! Question now is, after the celebrations, will the rellies and others be at the airport to wave the same cousie bros from up north, bon voyage as they fly off to Kiwiland and the Land of the Black Stump! Isn’t it great of the government to finance part of their fare out of this place before it all goes down the toilet!

Herald Issue 625

The passing of Sir Terepai Maoate leaves another huge gap probably not noticed by many and that is, we are now down to just Knight of the Realm, Sir Frederick. Gone are, Sir Tom Davis, Sir Geoffrey Henry now Sir Terepai all former PMs. Question is, when is our quota of Knights going to be replenished? Who out there is worthy of a Knighthood?

Strong rumours doing the rounds out west are that next year Tom Tom will be moving into the QR’s mansion in Titikaveka! Chooks, that means Tom Tom could become Sir Tom and it will be “by-election“ time out west and who will fill the crater once filled by some pretty big shoes? Wich- man will it be? Could it be a woman? Mrs Tom Tom? But why would Tom Tom be moving up from DPM? So he doesn’t become PM? Who will be the next DPM? Will it be the lagoon pleasure boat captain or the bulldozer driver? But the even bigger question is, will the CIP win the next election? If it doesn’t, Tom Tom will be sitting pretty! Who will the Demos put up?

Who will get to warm the seat of Cookie Consul General in Auckland? It only pays $70,000 so do not expect a high flying Cookie already holding a top job in Kiwiland! Such a person would have to take a massive dive in pay! Neither should this be a political, nod, nod, wink, wink, appointment. The position is so important even the Kiwi government is holding its breath. You see this Office, to be now based at Manukau City Centre thanks to our mate Len, is our gateway to the Kiwiland economy, trade and business opportunities. The appointee will need to know something about local businesses, the local economy, trade and imports and have strong communication skills if he/she is to “open doors” for local businesses to export and trade with Kiwiland.

The Regional Pacific Leaders chin wag is rapidly developing into full blown International jaw-jousting! So many people not directly connected with the Pacific Leaders chit chat are coming that the original intention and meaning of the Pacific chin wag is in peril of becoming lost in a tsunami of side line chatter dominated by other nations.

No official government representation at events like the Festival of Pacific Arts in Honiara is nothing new chooks! There was no official government representation at the big Climate Change gas- bag held in the Carnival City (Rio) recently! So now you know how important the three “C’s” culture and climate change are to this government!

Big Red’s undercover agent in the North reports that while each island in the north is allowed to have 50 get on the Samoan boat for the trip south to the Maeva Nui, the PM’s home island gets to have 82 clamber aboard. Is this fair some northerners are asking? Last year, the quota system went out the port hole and into the sea when at each island, more clambered aboard than planned! The Samoan boat arrived overloaded!

There’s been much tongue wagging chooks on the merits of the visit by Len Brown Mayor of renown and his business entourage from Auckland. The fact is Mayor Brown needs us more than we need him and he knows it. It would be good to see Mayor Brown host a large team of exporters from the Cook Islands!

Chooks, the shipping fiasco up north again involving the Samoan vessel food run, is still to be sorted. Northerners are still waiting for the rest of their cargo and some are still awaiting their refunds! With the Samoan vessel coming south bringing the Maeva Nui teams, will it be taking much needed food supplies north for those staying behind? Not likely as it will probably be loaded with goodies for the Pacific Leaders Forum!

Here are some big Rarotonga projects that will give our tourism industry a shot in the arm: (1)new port at Nikao, (2)new parliament buildings containing artifacts and carvings at Parekura next to Te Atakura park, (3)new cross island road from Rutaki to Avatiu, (4)Airport extended out into lagoon, (5)new Riviera style marina with shops and cafes at Avana for international luxury craft, (6)five star hotel located in the centre of Avarua, (7)new, large, inland marina at Rutaki by dredging out the swamp area with movable bridge across main road, (8)chair lift in Muri going up to the hills and large restaurant at top.

Herald Issue 624

Chooks, our government could have set aside airfares for 5 different artists to represent us at the Pacific Arts Festival in Honiara, to put that aspect of our culture into perspective. But all this complaining about not being represented is a load of bull frog doo dah! Our vaka and its crew were there. Being in a foreign place usually brings out the true spirit of being a Cook Islander, just ask all the students who went to USP Fiji that never ever danced before! They stepped on USP grounds. No talent? Hey, we have a star-studded crew, Uirangi Bishop is our top Dancer, Kura Happ is one of our leading local singers and guitarists, Terii Pittman is an experienced fashion model, Ngariki Ngatae is the Herald’s lead female reporter a poet and a songwriter, and what of the men, their talents are numerous. No flag? Improvise! Is there not one flying on the sail of our Vaka? Rise up and lead the way! The Cook Islands is always the life of the party – no matter how small we are, that is the spirit of the Cook Islands.

Will the Secretary of Culture be attending the meeting in Honiara of Government Cultural Officials? Word is his fare is paid for and a posh hotel has been booked. Perhaps he can hurriedly form a dance team from our Vaka crew to perform a number or two. Two other regional chin wags also took place in Honiara, one for the youth and one on intellectual property! We missed out on these it seems.

Past governments have not been interested in things cultural. When tourism numbers began rising in 1974 with the opening of the new airport, did government do anything to encourage the arts and crafts people to up their production? No. Did government establish a school for carvers? No. Now the bulk of the crafts tourists buy from our shops are from Asia! Our MPs are more interested in overseas trips! Who wants to go to a regional chin wag? Our MPs would rather visit Paris, London, New York, LA, Tokyo, Beijing, Manila and Delhi! Samoa-boring! Honiara-boring! Port Vila-boring! Tonga-boring! PNG-too dangerous!

Marvelous spectacle out west last Friday chooks! The float parade and tapa fashions were exciting with Atiu taking first place for their innovative float! Where was Pa’s float? Should El President have walked the walk like Pa? Set an example for good health and exercise? What about all that succulent food, pork dripping with fat, all those calories to clog the arteries with cholesterol! The oldies may soon be beating a path to Pa’s next healthy living clinic! All that was missing was the fireworks display-where was Geoff?

Slight hiccup at the Ariki celebrations chooks when the Religious Advisory Council rep could not deliver the prayers in Maori! And it seems the Religious Advisory Council was so impressed with the car donated by government to the Ariki that they now want one! Will it be akin to the “Pope Mobile?”

After that extravaganza of an opening for the House of Paramount Chiefs, perhaps we will see the same thing for the next opening of Parliament! A float parade of MPs carried aloft by their constituents! A big feed for thousands followed by an immediate adjournment of the House for a few days so MPs can recover!

With word last week from Samoan based SPREP that El Nino is back, what will happen chooks, if those houses on Aitutaki still not repaired after Cyclone Pat two years ago, get further damaged in a hurricane this coming season? This government will not be re-elected that’s what will happen. The current government has a chance to put things right but instead it is diverting funds to non priority areas like sprucing up the VIP room at the airport in Rarotonga -$300,000 so 22 Pacific Leaders can whizz through in about three seconds to their cars. Where is the sense in that expenditure?

Who is the grey bearded one from the Commonwealth Legal Office in London working on the amendments to the Sea bed Minerals Act? Spot him daily trudging along the main road to his digs. Rumour is when the changes are done, the PM will call parliament to push the amendments through-why? So Canadian mining company Endeavour can get its license to explore? And is this why two big wigs from Canada are coming down?

Herald Issue 623

At the official opening of the Are Ariki on Thursday in Arorangi, the PM plans a big surprise by presenting the Are Ariki with a gift from the government! A new car! Well, not really a new car, but one from the OPM that’s been spruced up by the lads at T&M! In fact the car looks so good now, it’s said the PM wants to keep it! The President will be pleased! Now he can stretch his legs out and drive about not hunched up!

No official representation at the Arts Festival due to tight money worries! The Vaka team was on hand to take part in the march and fly the flag but the team was without any gift to present! Oh dear, couldn’t even rustle up a little something-a black pearl, a pareu, a carving, anything?

Jumping the gun chooks? Seems to be the thing these days. Long range plan for the Punanga Nui Market is for it to become self sustaining business and for it to come under the wing of a committee. So why did that committee meet just last week at the OPM? And it was chaired by former Market manager Rosie! Will we see the return of Rosie? And word is the current manager has already been approached about changes! So what happened to the “long range plan?”

Rosie for next QR? $87,000 salary plus perks! Could be the plan chooks! What about the Consul General job in Otara? Carries a pay packet of $70,000.

Recently announced, were the 7 Cookie athletes to the London Olympics along with their Coaches, Managers and the Chef de Mission. Still to be announced are the others who will go. That is the QR and his good Lady, The Minister for Sport, Rosie (as CISNOC Secretary General), A CISNOC official to do the website for results and a CISNOC official to be the Go-fer.

The Three Amigos chooks or the Three Musketeers? “One for all and all for one!” Check out the photos in the Herald, the Times and the daily last week of the three man “handshakes” at the Arorangi Jetty job site, the Punanga Nui Market handover and the CISNOC office handover! Notice that all “handshakes” involve one common denominator, the Finance Minister! Or should that be Mark the Musketeer! Where did he pick up this threesome thing from?

Chooks, the Chinese are doing more to stop the depopulation than anyone else it seems! One Chinese fishing company is going so far as to create 60 new jobs for locals and with possibly more to follow! What’s the NZ government done? Sure they put up dosh for jobs but the people who get those jobs are almost always Kiwi contractors and consultants! Pat on the back to those Chinese!

Amid all the hoo hah over all the sharks being caught by the foreign fishing boats, has anyone asked the locals who fish for tuna, how many sharks they have caught?

How can the Cooks name be forever etched in Olympic history? Simple! Enter a sprinter into the 10,000m race. For the first lap our sprinter races to the front at top speed and stays there for the whole of lap one. That way the Cooks name will be the only one over 1 billion TV viewers will hear for 58 seconds. Great advertising! Then towards the end of lap one, our athlete fakes a hamstring injury and falls over just when the Kenyan team comes up behind him. Our sprinter brings down the whole Kenyan team allowing the Ethiopian runners to get ahead and eventually win. No Cook Islander will ever be welcome in Kenya but will be welcomed as heroes in Ethiopia.

OPM’s renewable energy division are investigating the possibility of adopting the “Flintstone Effect” in relation to vehicles in an effort to drastically reduce petrol and diesel use from around $10,000 per vehicle per year to zero! This involves cutting large holes in the floor of the vehicles so the driver and passengers can extend their legs through the floor to the road surface where with the movement of their legs, the vehicle can be propelled forwards or backwards.

Having schools adopt a country idea during the Pacific Leader’s conference is a uniquely Cookie idea that could catch on in other areas for instance, each school could adopt a politician. This would solve the problem of MPs having no staff to attend to their needs!

Herald Issue 621

Why are five MPs heading off to Perth Australia supposedly to visit the Western Australian Parliament? That’s just a cover for the real reason of their visit which is to address a meeting of the Cook Islands community in Perth to persuade them to leave the mines where they get paid big bucks and come home! In the House on Monday the Rass man spoke of the days when the “Blackbirders” sailed through the north, seizing our people and taking them to work in the mines in Peru. Now it’s the mines in Western Aussie! And it’s the planes flying through! And this time, the people are going of their own free will!

While in Perth, the five MPs might as well go visit some of the mines and see just how much dosh our people are earning! Perhaps one or two of the MPs could land a job!

Whoa chooks! Last year there was 8,000 tonnes of tuna caught in our EEZ by less than 40 boats. Does the DPM know something we don’t know? In last Friday’s daily, he is quoted as saying 800,000 tonnes was caught in our waters! Man! That would make us rich! It’s been estimated there’s about 20,000 tonnes in our waters for the taking each year. Where did the other 780,000 come from? Are there other boats dipping their nets in our seas?

Oh dear chooks! Don’t all these warships look alike? Who knows what Navy is coming and going, when and where? The Chinese Navy could be here and we would think it was the British, the Americans, the Canadians –or the Iranians!

The Finance Minister has commented that cruise ship passengers coming ashore pump something like $300,000 into the local economy. When a cruise ship with about 1000 passengers arrives, about one third (300) get off. If they are to spend $300,000 then that’s $1,000 each. Really? What are they buying? A bus tour is about $40. So what are they spending the other $960 on? Fish and chips?

We should have had the guts to go ahead with a new port at Nikao, in the lagoon opposite parliament as was proposed by a former visionary Ports Authority CEO. That large port would have accommodated two container ships, the inter-island boats and two large cruise liners all at the same time. Cost? Around $50 million (peanuts!). The return on investment? Besides increased port fees for more visits by large cruise liners, more passengers would get off along with more crew members. $1 million per ship visit into the local economy is not unheard of along with fresh supplies of local fruit and veges for the ship. With two ships a month, that’s more than $50 million into the local economy in three years or so. It’s the big cruise liners that will come not the small fry we get now.

This $227 per day that a tourist spends, what is that spent on? Anyone know? Let’s stop kidding ourselves. Everyone knows the average, Kiwi wouldn’t spend more than $50 a day. Less if possible! We’re talking about economy class people on budget tours who are happy to live off $5 worth of fish and chips! Kiwis have been seen sitting on the sea side rocks in Avarua, eating from cans of baked beans and two were seen in a cafe eating one plate of food! One Kiwi admitted bringing over his own push bike so as not to pay to rent one here! Some bring their own food! Just ask some motel operators what these “big spending” tourists eat. Cans of Sardines more likely, certainly not caviar.

What cheap, tight fisted, budget tourist is going to fly to Mitiaro to stay in a “shack” when the airfare there and back is almost what it costs to fly up from NZ?

Aitutaki’s one Foot Island will have an “intelligent” solar power system that will allow it to “follow” the Sun! As dusk falls, what about a strong light being shone on it by some yachtie?

Not long ago chooks, there was the “Iron Curtain” in Europe between Russia and the West. Then came the “Bamboo Curtain” between China and the West. Now, in tiny little Cook Islands we have the “Coconut Curtain” between the OPM and us! Why is the OPM curtained off round the back? We can’t see in! What’s there to see?

Herald Issue 620

Our founding father Sir Albert would be a tad miffed that the CIP has strayed from its core values. Sir Albert believed everyone should be aboard the Vaka when it sailed off to a brighter future. However that’s not happening because many people are jumping ship, not sailing on the Vaka but boarding the big silver bird for far off lands!

In parliament MPs have a limited time to say their piece. After being told by the Acting Speaker, Big Norm, to keep the “Kia Oranas” to a minimum, everything proceeded well until it came to the member for Tamarua’s (Mangaia) turn to speak. He began by saying Kia Orana to just about everyone in Mangaia! Then every speaker after him did the same! It became Kia Orana all round and little time on Parliamentary business namely the all important Budget!

Now that the initial “awe” over the weighty wad of Budget documents is fading there’s a growing realization of the humungus amount of the foreign debt we’re carrying and the fact we would not be able to exist without the millions of dollars of handouts from generous overseas donors! The Capital Projects book makes impressive reading but is really just a wish list. It may as well be a work of tragic/comedic fiction. Why would anyone in their right mind lend a country of less than 18,000 people over $200 million? Someone should enter the book into the “Booker Prize” contest, that famous British award for works of fiction.

And didn’t the Acting Speaker do well chooks! Well done that man, former Speaker Big Norm who like a true pro, climbed back into the high chair when he was needed, it was like getting back onto a bike after falling off!

Oh dear chooks, member for Tupapa got his knuckles rapped when he bade the PM welcome when the PM strode into the House after his trip abroad. The Speaker made it clear that was the Speaker’s job!

And in the House the MP for Tupapa made it known he wants a pickup truck and a hike in his constituency fund! All due to the sheer size of his electorate and the number on the roll!

Question chooks. Will Madam Speaker spruce the House up with a bit more colour and modern decor? How about a pink wig? A bright red robe? Flowers in the wig? A wig and robe designed by TAVs? Some flowers in the House to brighten the place up? Will she redecorate her office?

At a public rally for the CIP candidate for the Titikaveka by-election on 21 June, Teariki Matenga, a Minister of the Crown announced that if Teariki wins the Titikaveka seat, his just and deserving reward for doing so will be the coveted post of Associate Minister for Education and Marine!

The Independent candidate for the Titikaveka by-election, Teava Iro, has had his campaign interrupted as he heads for Kiwiland on Tuesday. He will not be back until 21 June, the day of the ballot! It’s a prior commitment which cannot be deferred! What if his flight is delayed?

Seems government has produced a “middle of the road” Budget chooks. Nothing in it to make our people want to return and nothing in it to stop them from leaving! Now that’s quite an achievement!

Here’s an idea chooks that may not sound so silly. Suppose all the agricultural associations got together and decided to put a percentage of member’s fees into their own bank. Yes, their own bank! Something like a “Credit Union.” Then when a considerable sum has accrued they lend out to others for new ventures in an agricultural related activity, at a very low rate of interest, say 4%. This way they can encourage young ones into the industry and give them a helping hand to get off the ground. Or should that be, on the ground!

Should Tupapa have two MPs chooks? Think about it, there are over 1,100 on the roll. It makes sense to have another MP to represent Upper Tupapa which is a growing area. If Mangaia can have three MPs for less than half the Tupapa roll, then perhaps Tupapa should have three MPs!

Herald Issue 619

Why are there no steel reinforcing rods in the concrete bits that are in between the bollards (those round things the boats tie up to) at Avatiu port? Recently a section broke off when it was knocked by a vessel, revealing the lack of any steel reinforcing rods.

Who is the highly paid overseas consultant who would rather go fishing-and not for nodules!

Is Vaka TV struggling chooks? Why else would ex-pats suddenly start an orchestrated campaign to get locals to watch Vaka TV? An ex-pat complains about CITV. This means ex-pats are watching CITV and not Vaka! So here’s a message to ex-pats who enjoy running down hard working locals. Keep watching CITV because if you’re really lucky, you may just find some more trivial, pin pricking matters for your tiny brains to complain about.

Goodness chooks! Soft balls or no balls? CIP’s caucus meeting on Wednesday was a damp squid fizzer-it was all about the troops staying tight for the Budget! No raised voices? All the talk from the mighty men of valour is perhaps just that! All talk! No walk! Look at it this way chooks, the PM can’t kick you in the balls unless you have some!

Oh dear chooks! Clash of the Titans in a clash of functions! Environment week organizers are putting on an art show in Arorangi on Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm hosted by the Associate Minister for Environment and on the very same night, the Minister for Infrastructure is hosting a cocktail party also in Arorangi from 5pm to 7pm! Did these two consult? Decisions! Decisions! Mix with the trendy, chardonnay, “arty” types or the finger food, cocktail set, the “hoipoloi?”

Some aggrieved smokers upset at the astronomical price hike in fags are asking why they have been targeted when drunk drivers, at the wheel, high on the turps crash causing immediate death, injury and damage. The smoking fraternity ask, how many people have been immediately killed or maimed by a cigarette? Maybe not suddenly but the answer is-plenty. Their death is a slow one.

What’s up with the member for Mauke? Was he being groomed to step up from Deputy Speaker to Speaker or what? It now appears not. That member must be feeling a tad miffed. Will this member stretch his legs and go for a walk? Remember, you heard it first from Big Red!

And the whisper is chooks, Tupapa’s King is totally bamboozled as to why his extensive realm with its roll of 1,100 voters has to get the same Community Fund amount-$8,000 -as tiny Rakahanga! Mangaia with 500 voters has three MPs meaning Mangaia gets $24,000 to spend! Where’s the equity in all this? Expect the King to hold a public meeting of his Kingdom’s subjects to air his views. Remember, you heard it first from Big Red!

Where is the copy of government’s Gazette No 23? It’s not in National Archives, no copy in parliament’s library, no copy anywhere! Why has it gone missing? Who took it? Is someone hiding it intentionally? Why is Gazette No 23 sought after? Because it details ownership of the Avatiu foreshore- where a number of developments are planned-by government! The mystery deepens!

Whisper is chooks, there is a three way race for the spot of seventh Minister! It was the CIP’s cunning plan to put in someone to champion women’s rights however there’s one small problem, the three male, sitting member contenders (one from the sister islands) look anything but women’s champions!

What came first chooks, the chicken or the egg? Government wants $200 million for infrastructure but cannot get their mitts on this amount because their own guidelines restrict their borrowing to a percentage of GDP. So the answer is to increase the GDP! To do this they need to spend $ millions on a new development but they cannot get the money because their own guidelines restrict their borrowing and so on and so on! Answer? Do what the Samoan PM did! He threw all that percentage guideline nonsense out the window! Does that man have balls or what!

Overseas consultants make the mistake of comparing us to Pacific nations we have nothing in common with, don’t export to or import from! Why? To make us feel good about ourselves?

Herald Issue 618

Why is Aitutaki airport runway being upgraded chooks? It’s to take the big planes from China that will soon be landing there! You heard it first from Big Red!

Rosie Blake for QR? This rumour is doing the rounds chooks. We have Madam Speaker, what about Madam QR? But lo! There’s a dark horse in the wings! When the QR retires next June, it seems the powers to be are considering the masterful Tom! Sir Tom Marsters KBE and QR! But, does Tom not want to be PM? Remember you heard it first from Big Red!

Oh dear chooks! Big time HOM and frequent flyer desperate to preserve his top dog position in a Ministry is now approaching members of the government back bench, front bench and side bench for support in keeping hold of the chair he has been warming for years! You heard it first from Big Red!

The axe is working overtime in Tourism Corp! Another senior employee has left suddenly from the Avarua HQ. It follows the sudden departure of a senior staff member from the Auckland Office.

Chooks, the standard of dress was one matter raised at the Koutu Nui meeting in Aitutaki last week! It seems mini-skirts are not an acceptable form of attire for when attending meetings!

According to the Tourism Corp wallahs, a tourist spends about $230 a day while in the country for a 10 day stay. Does this include the room rate? If it does not then how is it possible for a “tight fisted” Kiwi budget traveler to spend this much a day? Everyone knows your average tight fisted Kiwi can survive all day on a can of baked beans!

Whispers on the breeze of double standards in the halls of power! Minister Frown ‘s MFEM hires two overseas consultants to advise on a new procurement policy but surely a local consultant could have done the job? Is this not the same Minister who just recently blew up senior OPM staff for hiring an overseas consultant? Come to think of it, what does the Policy Unit at the OPM do all day?

Perhaps MFEM should publish a list of all overseas consultants hired by government, what they did and what it cost the long suffering taxpayer!

With all the public nosh ups going on lately, tourists could be forgiven for getting caught up in events, straying inadvertently into big feeds like two German tourists recently. The Germans were among a number of bewildered tourists who attended the National Auditorium to witness Dame Margaret’s investiture and receive the open invite to the umukai afterwards. It was at the umukai on Takamoa grounds that the Germans proceeded to hoe into the tucker. They also enquired of one of the native peoples, “Is there any entrée?” One thin, middle aged visitor with long hair was spotted chomping on food at the kai kai following Sir Geoffrey Henry’s State funeral.

CIIC workfellows have received further instructions in submissions from the Crown Law Counsel to refit the bars they removed from the windows earlier under previous instructions. It seems they have received advice from the occupiers of neighbouring premises of notorious vagabonds that loiter in the area when darkness falls!

One cannot blame the frustrated Samoan shipping fraternity for giving the Cook Islands a wide berth after the last frightening fiasco over cargo and payments. There is nothing straight forward to anything when dealing with a Cook Islander-as the Samoans now know! But they should have learnt that lesson last year when they put a ship on to transport the northerners down for Te Maeva Nui.

You would think the government was a block of Swiss cheese. So many bits of information leaking through so many holes! No sooner does government think one hole has been plugged when another opens up and out goes the info! Can they find the mole who has burrowed so deep into confidential territory? Who is the mole?

Will the Fijian Commander, the interim PM, come to Raro for the Pacific Leader’s week of pow wows, chin wagging and back slapping? Seems the Commander is popular with the grassroots in Fiji but not the Fijian hoi-po-loi, that money grubby, back handing lot only interested in what the government can do for them! The Commander does not need an invite as he is free to come as an observer. He could sit behind McBully, Key and Madam Aussie Chick.

Herald Issue 617

Ministries were told this week to make savings of 2 percent across the board but without staff cuts. Is this on top of the 2 percent savings to personnel and 5 percent savings to operations already announced? What does it all mean chooks? If personnel is not to be affected, then the 2 percent must come off operations. This means the same number of public servants but doing less work!

How did the PM come up with the inspiring choice of Nikki Rattle as Speaker? He was in the shower singing the song “Shake, Rattle and Roll” and Rattle it was!

Is it in the CIP’s best long term interests to appoint another outsider as Speaker? Had Big Norm been appointed, it may have helped to smoothen out the rough seas surrounding Big Norm at present.

Who is the person appointed by government to oversee the activities of the banking sector? Where are this person’s reports? The last time the media saw such a report and made it public, was several years ago when one (accidentally?) appeared as part of the half yearly fiscal update. The public would like to know why there’s no competition between the banks and no lowering of interest rates on loans.

Word is chooks a group disenchanted with CISNOC’s ruling cabal, plan to issue a “218.” What is a “218?” Whisper is that it is just a step away from going into receivership or being removed as manager! Why not just use the AGM process to put in a different set of faces as managers? Well, issuing a 218 could mean open court and evidence being made public! But chooks, would we be any closer to solving the riddle of the missing moolah?

A public holiday in Aitutaki so the people could welcome in the Vakas? Word is the PM declared a work-free day for the main event! But what about Raro? No public holiday there! Why? Because the commercial sector would get upset at having to pay their staff penal rates on the Thursday! Since the Vakas did not show up until all work was done for the day, the PM could say,”Phew!”

Word is the Aitutaki natives who turned up to see the Vakas are restless! They are grumpy because the pics in the daily don’t feature them prominently!

Word is 1,000 people turned up at Avatiu wharf to welcome the Vakas home. About half were tourists! Where were the other 9,000 people on Raro? What were they doing?

It’s been a tad busy and congested at old Avatiu port lately what with the Vakas coming and going, the two big yachts, the Soren Larsen and the container boat. And all this criss- crossing without a Harbour Master to direct traffic! Where was Bim? Seems the job of traffic cop on water fell to a woman in the office! Yes, women can do anything! We have Madam Speaker so what about Madam Harbour Master?

Whisper is chooks there may not be any road tar sealing until the end of the year! Seems the moolah has run out!

Government’s new, tough policy on the use of motor vehicles may be running into strife chooks! While it’s full of do’s and don’ts, the policy has no “sting” to deter repeat offending! Without the “sting” you may as well slap offenders on the wrist with a wet bus ticket! Better still, make them catch the bus!

Interesting that animals may know something we humans do not. On Tuesday when the two visiting opera singers from Kiwiland burst into song in the studio of Radio Cook Islands, their loud vices carried through the building. Seen racing out the door was the stray cat that had made the building its home. No mice were seen exiting the building though.

Senior public servant makes a great example of preventing dangerous emissions into our atmosphere by cycling to work! Bravo! Only one concern. The motor vehicle traffic backed up behind him, moving at slow speed, can’t be good for the atmosphere.

Government watch out! Building anger in Aitutaki over inconsistency, unfair treatment and unfinished business from Cyclone Pat may see some disenchanted locals with placards staging protests during the upcoming visit by Pacific Leaders. Stop dishing out the silent treatment and fix the problem once and for all or face possible major embarrassment and questions from the visitors!

Herald Issue 616

Is the PM going bald chooks? One chook approaching the leader from behind reports seeing a bald patch on the back of his head! Will he do a Donald Trump? Grow the hair long at the front and flick it back to cover the spot? And will the Finance Minister grow his hair long at the back and flick it forwards to cover his bare spot?

The 50th anniversary of self government is approaching and the NZ government should be a tad nervous. You see, John Key cannot venture down town and with his chest out and in front of an audience of international leaders, point to any institutional structure built by or with NZ funds. The Chinese built the Courthouse, the Chinese built the Police Headquarters. Should NZ gift us a new parliament building? That would be fitting since back in 1965, they fled leaving us with no governance structures of any significance. $30 million ought to do the trick!

Why is it, people with cell phones never answer their calls? What is the purpose of a phone? If only Alexander Graham Bell were alive today to see what has become of his invention!

US$800 million to convert the Cook Islands to renewable energy? How can that be? The population is less than 18,000 people! If this is the cost, then we may as well stick to diesel-it’s cheaper! In any case, diesel will continue to cost us money! Container vessels and the inter-island boats will be running on the stuff for a while yet so any rise in the price of diesel will push up the costs of imports and exports, goods in shops and freight costs.

A visiting group of swingers on the island for an R18 grab and grope holiday were spotted at the “Whatever! Bar” this week flashing their private parts and licking each other much to the mind boggled bar staff and customers! Next, the plan was for a day of game fishing with one proviso being the crew not mind if the grab and grope group got their gear off while at sea to engage in some open air hanky panky! One of crew was too scared to take them out cos of what his girlfriend might say!

Lawyers behind bars chooks? The legal eagles from Crown Law are moving to the old FIU premises behind Minister Bishop’s office but were concerned at the steel bars on the windows! A legacy from the days when the premises were used by James Beer’s retail outlet “Jimco.” The bars had to go! Why? Are not lawyers members of the “Bar?” There’s something rather ironic about lawyers being behind bars and we’re not talking about the kind that dispense alcohol!

It’s only a rumour chooks, but will government be looking to the uniformed societies and sports clubs to provide voluntary security services for the Leaders arriving for the Forum Leader’s meeting in July? Will we see the Boy’s Brigade and Boy Scouts lining the sides of the road from the airport into town? And as for emergency weaponry in case of a grenade and submachine gun suicide attack by the Taliban, members of the newly reformed Archery Club will be positioned in bushes along the route complete with their bows and arrows.

We have depopulation, now thanks to the island wide beautification project, we have deforestation! How can cutting down trees be classed as “beautification?” The Russians during the second world war had a name for such a thing-they called it “scorched earth policy.”

In respect of the “forgotten few” who seek entitlement to the NZ pension but are stymied due to the five year rule which requires residency in NZ for five years after the age of fifty, the NZ PM and his Foreign Minister have been struck down with amnesia brought on by the earthquake in Christchurch! It seems the massive cost of the Christchurch earthquake prevents payment! What the two learned gentlemen conveniently overlook is the fact that if any of the forgotten few were to return to NZ, they would be entitled to the pension. So why not pay it out anyway?

Reports from NZ government about their Ministerial travel expenses would make our MPs shudder. You see in NZ they reveal in extraordinary detail what their Ministers spent during overseas trips on booze (including the name of the wine), laundry (what was washed e.g. underpants), meals (type of food eaten). So far no Minister has been detected with frilly underwear! There is even mention that McCully spent $473 in February at Trader Jacks on a party for our Ministers!

Herald Issue 615

Big Red has his floppy ears close to the ground chooks and has picked up several whispers on who may be going where. The really big whisper is who will fill the Speaker’s position in parliament? That capable, thoroughly knowledgeable Atiu war horse Norman George? Nope. Pity. Big Norma knows Standing Orders back to front! The job could go to another outsider. JK? John Kenning? Now there’s a likely candidate! Misbehaving MPs will be sentenced and fined if they try to pull anything over this Speaker!

Big Red has also heard a whisper chooks that the Head of Transport has turned down an offer to switch to Cabinet Secretary! Perhaps his golf handicap is too high then again he is due to retire.

And rumours abound that the Ombudsman’s job could be filled by an old favourite, the former Secretary of Marine and Public Service Commissioner! You know who!

Whisper chooks is that Air NZ wants to ditch the Sydney direct flight, despite the subsidy, because there are not enough bums on seats!

Forty grand for an NGO to charter a plane to go north? How can this be? It makes no sense! If no other person in the private sector can do it cheaper then Government should force prices down by starting up an air line in competition. Not only will competition bring down costs, it will force all operators to reveal just how high they have been keeping costs at the public’s expense. All operators include the shipping company that ships the fuel north, the fuel suppliers who supply the aircraft fuel and the government itself who impose levies.

What is it about the Cooks that attracts Germans in droves and the Swiss in semi-droves? The tourism figures just out, show that in March nearly 300 Germans and over 100 Swiss paid us a visit. Apart from the UK with over 300 visitors, no other country comes within coo-ee of Germany and Switzerland. It’s a mystery chooks!

How did the Cook Islands manage to wrangle an invite to the pommie Queen’s Jubilee? The answer is simple. The drum dance! No other country has a dance like it. Why else is everybody else in the Pacific trying to copy it? Other Pacific countries are now trying to copy Cook Islands drum dancing because they realize it’s exciting and attention grabbing!

Here’s a suggestion to liven up the ANZAC Day march down the main street. Livening up the march would make it a major tourist attraction. Include that Italian Army band that runs as it plays tunes, a Scottish Pipe Band, a Samba School from Rio, the Marching Boys from Auckland’s annual Hero parade and at the Cenotaph, set up a steel drum band from Jamaica all followed by a thousand strong march past by the Chinese Navy, the US Marines, the French Foreign Legion, the British Paratroopers, the Ghurkas and the Taliban.

Whisper chooks is that there are some 17 applicants for the Head of MOIP job. And speaking of government jobs, a further family group may be added to the growing list of people leaving the country because of problems with their government jobs. It seems government is not doing enough to retain some of the highly skilled government workers. The latest, a family group, is eyeing up a shift to NZ within the next day or so.

Why did government not take up the offer by Endeavour Mining to apply for a four exploratory license for a payment of $55 million? That amount would have allowed government to pay off most of the loans. We owe the ADB alone $63 million. We could have reduced our indebtedness by a great deal say some chooks. Perhaps government had in the back of its mind the great strides being made by the Koreans and the Chinese in particular, in deep sea mining technology!

Will we see a revival of the sport of Archery now that the movie “The Hunger Games” has been such a success? Whatever happened to Archery and the budding Robin Hoods? It seems to have died a natural death-by arrow?

Herald Issue 614

Chooks, why all the 007 James Bond type secrecy over the arrangements for the Pacific Leaders pow wow, chin wag, munch, munch, slurp, slurp? Seems those working on the details are “faceless” and “nameless” and the whole affair has assumed an air of “Top Secret” or “For Your Eyes Only!” So why all the cloak and dagger stuff? Is it because the Commodore is coming? Is that why McCully has gone to Suva? Is Lady Gaga coming? So secret are the organizers that the right hand does not know what the left foot is doing!

Looks like the beautification programme in Arorangi has had the same impact as the one in Matavera as far as trees are concerned! Hard to imagine trees being “beautified” by cutting them in half! One Arorangi resident went so far as to drag in the boys in blue! But it turns out the choppers had the green light from the real landowner and the trees cut in half were coconut trees whose roots were interfering with local graves!

Seems that the “Cone of Silence” has descended on those who were in the high powered political “A” squad that went to Manihiki recently. The PM is saying nothing, the Finance Minister’s lips are sealed and all the Tupapa MP is saying is that he will be PM one day! What did this trio do all day up north?

The Finance Minister and the Finance Secretary are off to the Land of the Rising Sun to chin wag and back pat with top brass from the ADB whom we still owe over $64 million in loans! The great grand kids will be paying these loans off so why should the Finance Minister worry? Anyway, the manganese nodules will pay for everything once they hit the surface and see daylight! Hell, we may even buy the ADB! With trillions of dollars on our sea bed, why shouldn’t we borrow up large and run up millions of dollars worth of bills?

The Small Island Developing States-SIDS- that tight little club of tiny nations that felt so left out by the big boys and the really big boys, that it formed its own little club! A bit like the Boy Scouts and the Cubs! Soon SIDS will meet up in Barbados for a jolly time of chin wagging, flag raising and flag waving. No doubt there’ll be a round of golf tossed in somewhere and perhaps karaoke between rounds of rum. SIDS is a bit like the body’s Appendix. It does nothing, produces nothing and occasionally flares up causing some grief until it’s cut out!

Is the great Magee destined to become the next PM? Tupapa’s Magee swept into power polling the highest number of votes of any MP, a testimony to his right to be heard and taken seriously.

Isn’t the free filtered and treated water system at Tupapa initiated by the local MP and funded by the Kiwi High Com just great chooks! What may not be so great are the bugs, germs, contaminants and bacteria people may be transmitting unknowingly to the water hoses, taps and other fittings due to unclean hands and fingers. What may be good would be a routine test by Public Health for the presence of germs on and around the fittings that could be transmitted to people. After all it’s a public place.

Ever seen those old British comedy movies based on the Doctor series of novels? There was “Doctor in the House” and “Doctor at Sea,” and chooks we have our own version of Doctor at Sea! Rather, it’s Doctors at Sea! Not on an ocean Liner but a Police Patrol Boat! Wonder if any will get sea sick?

He’s just hit the beach but already he’s setting about building an Empire! King Richard that is! Not happy with his cramped quarters in the Camelot treasury, King Richard has set about moving in on “Foreign” territory! King Henry’s deputy monarch is a tad put out and has taken to consulting Lynch pin Merlin.

Herald Issue 613

Big Red has heard a whisper the DPM wants to be treated at the ANZAC event as the Acting PM! But how can that be legally possible when the PM is not out of the country? Also, the whisper is the DPM wants a police escort from his home to the cenotaph! When was the Opposition Office going to pick this up?

Was it a jolly time on Sister Island Manihiki with the PM, George Magee and hello, hello, the Finance Minister as well! What was so important given the state of the nation’s finances, that the Finance Minister needed to be in Manihiki and for a week? A Leader’s retreat?

On Monday, action Minister Heather headed off to spend the day in Mitiaro with Tourism Minister the Bishop along for company! At least we have four of the six Ministers tending to business within the country for once! Jolly good to see the Sister Islands receiving such attention!

There’s a big pow wow and chin wag set down for the Pacific Leaders on one toe island chooks! Expect the island to be surrounded by security in boats! Not a ring of “steel” but a ring of “keel!” And if The Commodore comes as an observer, will he be allowed ashore? Will his boat have a gun on it?

With the PM taking over “Sister Island Affairs,” (SIA) will we see the formation of an entirely new Ministry? Who will be the new Director? A job for some party faithful?

Big Red hears 29 cars are to be used for wheel around the Pacific Leaders here for their big pow wow. What happened to the plan to use mini-buses? Seems that plan is still there for moving groups about but when it comes down to moving individuals about, the cars will be brought up!

And speaking of the likely presence of The Commodore, how will the seating for the observers be arranged? Alphabetically? Will our PM shake hands with The Commodore? Will he be invited to top table to hob nob with his former buddies?

Why would any politician in his right mind want to declare independence when 70,000 Cook Islanders now reside overseas and just 18,000 remain? What we need is for about 30,000 Cookies to return first! The reason? Simple! About 10 percent of the population (1,700) is either Asian or Fijian and some 20 percent are ex-pat Kiwis! Imagine a Cookie coming home for a holiday being checked at Customs by an Indian, at Agriculture by a Sri Lankan, then picking up a rental car from a Filipino and being welcomed at the hotel by a resounding “Bula!”

Chooks, when the Pacific Leaders arrive at the airport, will they be treated to the Cook Islands version of the Kava Ceremony? Yes the Cook Islands does indeed have a Kava Ceremony. Will the big Tavioni be rolled forwards to officiate?

Is there any truth in the rumour Lady Gaga is coming to Raro not Niue. When she heard about the “Rock” maybe she was thinking of Raro’s rock and roller!

To those ex-pats out there who think this paper is rubbish, Big Red has this tip for you turkeys! Keep chirping about the Herald because if you keep talking about it long enough you will begin to start dreaming about it then other people will start reading it to see why you are so obsessed with it!

And if those frustrated, busy body ex-pat no hopers with nothing better to do all day think the Herald is rubbish, tell that to the High Court Justices who read the Herald!

Will we see the sail boat Tiare Taporo docking into Sister island Aitutaki any day soon chooks? Is it on the horizon yet? Or has it had a name change to “The Marie Celeste?”

6,000 husked coconuts up north going nowhere because of a cock up on the paper work front! All that dosh being missed out on because of bureaucracy! The marriage between the north and the Samoans is off to a rocky start-the honeymoon couple is not in the same bed!

There’s a Stuart Little scurrying around the dark corners of MFEM chooks! How else are the secret doo dahs being leaked to the outside world?

Herald Issue 612

The DPM’s Foreign Affairs team has assumed control for ANZAC Day ceremonies and will be taking over from next week’s event! Internal Affairs have been given the order of the boot after the DPM last year lodged an official complaint over protocol and seating! So let’s see if Foreign Affairs can do a better job! Will the old soldiers in Nikao HQ get their tot of navy rum this year? Has the dosh for the rum been allocated? Not to mention the regular donation cheque to the RSA!

With the new Police Minister being none other than the action man “Mr T”, will we see the doors to drug gang laboratories being crashed through by big T&M bulldozers? Not only will Police man check points but that section of road “coned” off may also see the boys in blue do a little road maintenance at the same time!

When the official party flew north for the grand opening of the Pukapuka cyclone shelter/indoor sports stadium, they stopped at Manihiki to re-fuel. A local picks up the story of their stop over. “No welcome, no government people to meet them, no mayor, no island council, just the little GR with his sack of Nu! Then they go up to the shelter to wait for the re-fuelling and the Orometua says the prayer, and the PM is texting! Then after that, the PM and Finance Minister head off into the village by truck. There were a few of the PM’s supporters there, but really? Not many. Just a handful. The flight was supposed to come back the next day, but it didn’t. The plane went on to Aitutaki.”

And chooks, why did the little silver bird go straight from Pukapuka to Aitutaki? Seems the PM’s meeting with the Council in Pukapuka ended later than desired and with the pilot needing to be back in Raro before 6pm, they skipped Manihiki. It seems they had enough fuel for the longer trip.

The PM is back in Manihiki this week with Tupapa’s MP George Magee! What’s in it for George? The real question is what do George’s extended family in Manihiki have for the PM? Votes?

So Pukapuka is sending coconuts on the Samoan ship back to a coconut oil processing plant in Samoa. At least the boat won’t go back empty! But chooks, doesn’t that sound a bit like sending coals to Newcastle? Maybe there’s something about Pukapuka coconuts that has created a demand for them! A different taste perhaps?

A little birdie tells Big Red, the higher ups are still trying to find the leak in MFEM out of which poured the story about the tax on airlines! That leak hit the local daily but word is there were whispers around town days before it appeared in print!

Big Red hears a great fuss was made about the missing keys to the doors of the Pukapuka cyclone shelter on the day of the great opening. The assembled guests and VIPs discovered the doors were locked! It turns out the keys had been sent to Rarotonga so a locksmith could make copies. However, all turned out well although it’s said the Finance Minister was heard to mutter something about rolling heads.

Is there something nobody is telling us chooks? First there’s the massive new indoor sports stadium in Pukapuka, next the huge expansion to the Punanga Nui Market. What’s going on? Is there an influx of new residents expected soon? Will they be arriving in their hundreds? New immigrants-ready to set up shop at the Punanga Nui Market? A new industry in Pukapuka? Their new indoor sports stadium-a processing centre for an expected influx of boat people? Will the under populated Cook Islands become the new “Pacific Solution” for boat people from Asia?

And what better way to revitalize agriculture in the outer islands! Boat people from Asia! They would not only re-populated the outer islands in short time, but set about growing crops-veges, fruit, fish farms, rice, pig farms-you name it-they’ll do it! And working six days a week from 4am to 8pm, they’ll do it in quick time!

Herald Issue 611

Whisper is Chief Big Mac surrendered his peace pipe (his resignation) last week several months before his contract was due to expire but the Lord High (Return to Sender) Flyer would not accept it. If the peace pipe had been accepted, it would have exposed that all was not jolly in the outfit.

And rumour is all is not jolly where the four flocks roosting on the renewable energy tree at the OPM is concerned. Seems they are not all on the same tree at all but up their own trees! A heavyweight was brought in to mediate, convergate, integrate, amalgamate!

Word from the stern faced at the Oceania Olympic National Committees (ONOC)HQ in Suva is that a sortee is planned in the near future of CISNOC. The concern is the impact of the malfunction of CISNOC on the reputation of Pacific Olympic Committees! ONOC as the governing body, can give CISNOC the flick from the flock!

Oh dear chooks! A little birdie has told Big Red the dosh collected for a major appeal overseas, is still stuck in country! Still stuck in the Office of the Lord High (I’m All Shook Up) Flyer! When will that dosh begin winging its way south-west to the land of the long white crowd? Or does the Lord High Flyer plan to deliver it himself?

Here’s a puzzle for you chooks out there. How do you get into a new building when the keys to the doors are several hundred miles away to the south? Climb through a window?

Someone else paid for the charter flight but a whole lot of freight somehow found its way on board and off to the north where supplies of much needed basic foodstuffs is dwindling!

Is this government going to finally solve the age old problem of water shortages during the dry period once and for all, but with $50 million of someone else’s money? The dry period is coming up next so something has to be done but should it really cost $50 million? Local bright sparks like Tom Wichman have been trying to tell past governments how to solve the water problem and for way less than $50 million. Think about it-does an island with a small population of just 9,000 people in 2,000 households warrant spending $50 million? For that sort of money we could develop something else. Something that will generate an income and provide jobs. And why are water meters being considered? You cannot expect the public to pay for unclean, unhealthy, untreated water. Something does not add up here. There’s a fishy smell to all this.

Government continues to drag its feet where timely use of donor funds for projects are concerned. Big Red has heard a whisper of a case where donor funds have been lying around for ages waiting to be used and now someone has finally woken up but is it too late? The donor is considering taking the dosh back because it has not been used!

Amazing chooks! Overseas experts have been wheeled in to chin wag with locals propped up by the Deputy Sherriff’s Office and the DSM (Deep Sea Mining not Distinguished Service Medal) Fan Club but someone forgot to invite the new Policy bod to address the workshop. The Policy bod who started work the other day! Remember him? Nice to see the region trooping to Rarotonga for this workshop, after all we have the most Nodules and if mineable, we’ll also have a tremendous amount of dosh which others in the region would love to get their mitts on!

No Hurricane this season? This year? Well, not yet but beware. Mango trees were abundant this season now the Kuru (Breadfruit) tree is showing that ominous sign-more than one Kuru on a branch-a sure sign something’s up. Old timers are wary.

Does the Renewable Energy section deep in the bowels of the OPM, actually have a plan? If so, why has it not been made public? After all this time, the public is yet to see what the plan is, what the milestones are, what the monthly targets are, what the targets are for the outer islands! How is the public to interpret-“50 percent by 2015?” What does this wording mean? What is it to be measured against? How will we know when 50 percent has been achieved? We wait with baited breath!

Herald Issue 610

Info just leaked is that last week the PM met with his staff to express concern about information being leaked to the media! The meeting to discuss leaks was leaked!

And here’s a leak, -a request from the higher ups for the former PSC to continue to use the office car for a month was flatly refused by the new PSC.

And here’s another leak-word is a Chinese company is seeking to install 150 solar powered street lights from the Airport to the National Auditorium in time for the Pacific Leader’s Forum in August! They will be similar to the solar lights already in place at the Sports Stadium car park and the Avatiu boat marina.

And here’s yet another leak-word is a long serving staff member in tourism’s Auckland Office has had a difference of opinion with the recently appointed boss and she has resigned!

Angered at the snub to our PM when he was not invited to attend the nuclear conference in Korea, other nations also given the cold shoulder, have invited our PM to visit them. Invites have flowed in from the Presidents of Syria, North Korea and Iran. There is also the possibility of a foursome at the exclusive Damascus par 72 International Golf Course (bullets, bombs, mortar fire and rockets permitting).

Forget the Hollywood remake of “Exodus” (the original was set in the 1940s and starred Paul Newman), What would make a good sequel, is the exodus going on right here with our population slowly re-locating to Perth, Western Australia! A few people would need to mutter some words in Hebrew to give the movie international appeal. In the movie “The 10 Commandments,” Moses parted the Red Sea to facilitate that initial exodus. These days, it’s the airlines making the crossing possible! In our movie, our own Moses –dressed as Elvis, (Henri Punar) leads the people back (not to) their original land! A sort of “10 Commandments” in reverse! How do they get back? Puna leads them into a giant Ark (two by two)-actually a fast ferry powered by four engines with Tepaki at the helm!

The highlight of the movie is the attack launched by greedy Aussie industrialists dressed as Black Belt Kung Fu Ninjas who try to stop the Ark loaded with cheap Cook Islands labour from leaving Western Australia! Enter James Bond disguised as Silkie Vasmussen to save the day! He loads all the Cookies onto a fleet of 1,000 Chinese fishing boats, (hurriedly licensed by the Bishop) and they set sail for Penrhyn where two Hercules aircraft fly them and 50,000 tonnes of tuna to Rarotonga and freedom!

The changeover in street lights from the soft yellowy glow to the harsh white colour is upsetting some people! They say such a colour at night looks all wrong for “paradise” and it would be better to have the soft white glow thrown out by the solar powered type lights like those at the Avatiu marina!

Oh dear chooks! Fishing boat just back from a fuel delivery run up north, breaks down just inside Avatiu harbour and needs a tow! Question of the day-the government fuel run north can be a nice little earner for fishing vessels not otherwise engaged in catching fish but what does the fine print on the insurance policy say about acting as a fuel carrier?

Pukapuka is gearing up for an influx of big wigs from the EU and government for the grand opening of the new cyclone shelter! It should be a great event with a slap up umukai to boot but word is food on the island is low due to the lateness of the arrival of the new Samoan shipping service! Perhaps the distinguished guests will have to make do with local delicacies like fish and coconuts!

And word is it is a full plane to Pukapuka for the glorious event! One media outlet promised a seat has been given the bump for a VIP! And word is other VIPs can’t get on either! Everyone wants to go to Pukapuka!

And why is the Samoan cargo vessel delayed? It seems a small matter of payments for goods destined for Penrhyn and Rakahanga(?) needs to be resolved first. Money up front chaps!


Herald Issue 609

How dare the organizers of the nuclear conference in Korea snub our PM by not inviting him! Fancy that! All the world’s top leaders in attendance including O-dam-na, leader of the free world, and our PM is nowhere to be seen! How dare they do this to our PM!

Perhaps the Cook Islands can attract world attention by building a rocket to put a satellite into space! We could leak a rumour that it is really an ICBM (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile) capable of carrying our own home built nuclear warhead and thumb our nose at the USA! Wouldn’t that get the little Iranian around in a hurry with an offer of a free barrel of oil or two not to mention the little North Korean with the offer of a spare warhead!

Has the CIP caucus approved a big rise in the departure tax? A rise from $55 to $80? Why not make it $100? Surely the Minita O Te Moni cannot be that desperate to balance the books? What’s next? A rise in VAT? The tourists will just love this! It won’t stop locals from leaving though.

Word has reached Big Red that the NZ government owned airline may soon include the departure tax in the airline ticket!

Overseas experts have begun looking into our water problems at a workshop! What’s wrong with local knowledge? For years, Tom Wichman and Sam Napa have suggested very cost effective solutions to our water problems and time and again they have been sidelined, ignored and bypassed in favour of overseas experts who know very little about local conditions. The local lads may not have attended Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Studies but the “Taro Academy of Higher Learning” is just as famous. So just for once, why not give the locals a go? After all, is not government urging everyone to “Go Local!”

Big Red has heard government has no money! No dosh, no moolah, no folding stuff! They’ve run out! The cupboard is bare! What is the Minita O Te Moni to do? Look under the bed?

Seems there’s no end to the bright sparks beating a path to the door of our renewable energy division in the hope they’ll get a hearing! Government must make it very clear to these budding Einsteins that our country is only interested in proven technology! We are not a testing ground for every unproven idea out there! Now Big Red has got wind that someone with a bright idea involving hydrogen gas wants to put on a demonstration when the Pacific Leaders are here for their Forum!

All this talk about hydrogen gas is a reminder about the other type of gas (wind) created from eating plenty of chestnuts! Is there a cunningly clever way to harness this gas and use it to power an electrical generator? But then what to do when the chestnut season ends?

Tomatoes are suddenly back at $7 a kilo after a stint of the Kiwiland variety at $11 a kilo! Now more tomato plants are in the ground. While more than a billion people go hungry every day, we allow fruit to fall and rot on the ground in large quantities! Shameful! If we don’t want it, why not process it for food aid to needy countries? We could also supply dried fish protein bars to the starving in Africa made from the bountiful supply of Skipjack Tuna in our EEZ!

And the big question is, with all this skipjack tuna we could process and make several hundred millions of dollars from, how would we haul all this fish ashore? What big boats nave we got? Charter some from Sealords in NZ? How big a processing plant will we need? Where to locate it? Could existing plants do the job? Who would buy all this fish from us? How do we get so much fish to market? Jumbo jets out of Penrhyn?

When the Pacific Leaders are here for their Forum, will they be treated to Bergin’s Big Bangers? A classy display of pyrotechnics all squeezed in to a two minute time frame! That’s probably all the budget will allow for.

Herald Issue 601

Ever asked the jobless young ones hanging around town how they support themselves? They sponge of mum and dad of course! No work for this modern lot! This is 2012! Anyway, isn’t the world going to end this year?

School has resumed but not with a massive clean up like in yesteryear chooks! Nowadays, it’s welcome back with a barbecue, swim at the beach, a picnic but no cleaning up the school grounds, no cleaning up the classrooms, the windows, the leaves, just a jolly good time all round!

Last week three families packed their bags and left the country for Kiwiland’s greener pastures. This week a family of five also packed their bags for the big move to Kiwiland! When will it all stop chooks? The public service review has not even kicked in yet and already people are fleeing for better pay and conditions overseas!

Chooks, did you see the SPREP programme about the Mangaia harbour on TV this week? How could this happen you ask? Over $2 million of tax payer dosh spent and the good citizens of the oldest island in the Pacific end up with a harbour less than perfect! The film footage was clearly embarrassing as were the TV interviews! Who designed the harbour and who approved the design? Is government going to do anything about it? As the climate change guru from SPREP said on TV on Sunday night, the ideal would be to destroy the current set up and start again from scratch.

Any ideas chooks on how to raise extra cash to balance the Supplementary Budget? $50 raffle? Sausage sizzle? Run around the island with a bucket? How about raising the port fees! But that might shut out the small boatie! Force them over to Avana or Avarua! Clear the port! Then there would only be room left for the big boys with their big toys!

Is Cabinet having trouble coming up with a Supplementary Budget that balances? Of course it is! Why do you think the urgent cabinet meetings drag on day after day? Because they love each other’s company? The easiest solution might be to take whatever cash is there for the taking! Like the $10 million cash up front offer from Endeavour! Don’t you just love those Canadians?

It won’t be long chooks before just like in the good old days of the colonial father, the Kiwiland papap’a ex-pat complete with pith helmet and starchy underwear will be running things again! The schools, the hospitals the Treasury, everything! Why are we just sitting about letting and watching it happen? Because to move about sounds like too much work!

There is talk around town of a new political party being contemplated. The feeling is the time is right for a new “middle of the road” party that can present honest, reliable, trustworthy candidates. The new party would only need to win maybe three seats to be a force to be reckoned with.

Five positions have been advertised for people (including a project manager) to implement the findings of the functional review of the public service. Question is, are these new positions given they will be temporary, or have five existing positions within the PSC been converted to these new jobs?

Did you spot the bright light in the sky the other night chooks? Some think it was the International Space Station whizzing by while others thought it may be Planet X. However it turned out to be none of those things! It was a luminous Frisbee thrown by one of the overseas Frisbee contestants here for the fifth World Frisbee throwing competition. Only problem is the contest is being held in Aitutaki!

Word is chooks, a boat builder from a nearby island, is also after that empty piece of land at the airport where the new airline wants to set up its hangar. Would the Airport Authority suddenly grant this piece of land to a boat builder when the business of the Airport is aero planes not boats? Surely, the land should go to an air line related business?

Herald Issue 600

When the Coconut Roundtable Leaders gather in Rarotonga for their talkathon, they will be met at the big silver bird by a fleet of environmentally friendly cars. Why not follow the Kiwi’s lead and put on buses? Seems cars are better because after all the tongue wagging and back slapping, the four wheelers can be dished out to the faithful!

Our dear comrades in Korea are to gift us 3 vehicles (for Foreign Affairs?) and 16 computers (one for each MP and the Speaker?). Is this a marvelously costly gift? It’s a good deal from the Korean’s point of view. Will they get their hands on our nodules? Is it the nodules they are after or some other mineral lurking on our sea bed that they have not let on about?

Folks waitingfor a chilly bin of goodies to Mauke were advised to pick it up from the airport. The people mistakenly approached Air NZ to have the paper work done. They then took the complicated papers to another local for advice and were told, “Wrong airline!”

New vehicle for the GR in Mangaia featured prominently in the daily, now it has apparently been damaged in an accident. Was any alcohol involved? Will there be an investigation?

Why can’t we have “Ministers outside the House?” We already have Ministers inside the Cabinet (six with a possible seventh under the Constitution) and we also have the three allowable Associate Ministers. We could appoint several Ministers “outside” the Cabinet-for instance, George Maggie (Chief Whip) as Minister for Residential Construction and Mona Ioane-as Minister for Juvenile Justice. Then we can have other MPs appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretaries to support the Ministers who are not in Cabinet. This way, every government MP will have a job on better pay.

Will we follow Samoa’s lead and set aside some seats in Parliament for women? How would these women be selected given there are two main parties? Perhaps the women could represent their own party? Where would they sit in Parliament? Would they want a child caring facility provided? What about breast feeding during debates?

Why are there no women on the RAC (Religious Advisory Council)? There are some women who have been ordained as Pastors-have there not?

With the outside possibility of 2 hurricanes towards the end of February, you would think the Port Authority might be interested in moving those big rocks piled up by the main road! The power of Mother Nature is not to be underestimated at any time.

Who would be a vendor waiting for cruise passengers to come ashore, knowing many of them will probably just gawk at your products and buy nothing! Some vendors had that experience last Thursday when two cruise liners packed with about 2,000 passengers dropped by! Most of the passengers who came ashore piled onto the waiting buses and took off! Two hens said they paid $30 for their stall at the wharf and only made $21 all day! Another hen said she only sold one item all day! Why are the passengers not spending? Some say it’s because last week they were mainly Kiwis and Aussies!

Mucho uneaso chooks at Board level! Seems the visitor numbers for the month ahead, especially from the northern parts, is somewhat lowish! Christmas/New Year is traditional the low season for visitors anyway what’s the panic? Cookies returning Christmas time from Kiwiland and the Land of the Black Stump to fleece their kinfolks usually help to bolster numbers but maybe not this year!

Is anyone taking a blind bit of notice of the looming recession in the northern parts? Not only is it going to wack our tourism figures, bank interest rates may go up. Taxation revenue for the Mandarins in the halls of treasury may start to dry up! Run a roadside stall?

Herald Issue 599

When will government take up Endeavour’s offer of $10 mil a year for four years to explore the sea bed for minerals? That’s $40 mil of easy money to boost sagging coffers! Why the delay with the players from the northeast? Are other players lurking in the wings? Would they be from the northwest by any chance?

Chooks we are used to musical chairs with Board members when a new government comes in but here’s a new twist on the old theme! Big Red has heard a whisper of a Board where new members were appointed-fair enough but ho, ho, ho, now they are out and the former members appointed by the last government are back in! What’s going on?

Another who could be considered for a position of Minister outside Cabinet is Lazaro (former taxi driver) for “Minister of Land Passenger Transport.”

Why not give the Great Maggie a Ministerial portfolio? Why not have some Ministers “outside” the Cabinet like they have in Kiwiland? The Great Maggie could be made Minister for “Residential Construction” and be responsible for drafting up new land zoning rules and policies, building standards, standards for training of people in the residential building industry like carpenters, blocklayers, painters, decorators, plumbers, electricians, plasterers, drain layers and standards for building materials like concrete, timber, aluminum, glass, plastics and so on.

Conservation is becoming big news, so much so, why not simply create a Ministry of Conservation? Such a Ministry would look after the Whale Sanctuary, Shark Sanctuary and the Marine Park not to mention the several onshore Parks and protected areas. This new Ministry could also give some teeth to the Raui areas. Of course this will inevitably mean jobs for the “boys.” Those political favourites who must be rewarded for service to the Party. And! There’ll need to be a Board set up with a Chairman and all of course to be paid handsome fees!

Where will you be when the end times come on 21 December 2012? How will you protect yourself from bits of flaming debris falling from space weighing about 114 pounds in weight? After the chaos, what are you going to eat? Where are you going to get a drink? Despite the Mayans, (jolly decent of them to dish out warnings) giving us a warning several hundred years in advance, it seems we would rather blunder on blindly into the end of the world thinking someone else is going to save us! It took Noah 40 years to build the Ark. That was a 40 year warning ignored. Then the rains came.

Rumour just to hand chooks that a Minister of the Crown is now trying to have an ex-high ranking Ministerial Support officer dumped from one of the high flying Boards. Who will replace the “dumpee in waiting?” A political appointee?

Two cruise liners in on the same day chooks! Imagine it. A rare event! Not enough tour buses to handle the crowd? How to absorb the crowd? Thousands of tourists crammed down town shoulder to shoulder, moving slowly, in unison, in one direction, Louie leading the way? Cafes crammed, Punanga Nui market a sea of faces? Where are the pick pockets, young Fagans, career petty crooks? They won’t let a chance like this pass them by! Tours to the chicken farm?

With the change in sea temperatures making Kiwi waters warmer, it’s no wonder Kiwi fishermen are beginning to pull up Wahoo and Mai Mai normally found around our waters. While ours are mostly under 25kg, the Kiwi lot are over regularly 30 and 40kg. The answer may be bring the bow about and head south!

People from the north report a lot of fishing activity between Rakahanga and Manihiki where much albacore tuna seems to be running in big numbers. Many lights have been seen bobbing on the ocean waves at night in that area.

Elderly dreamer claims the world is to suffer greatly in August not December! He has had a vision of a 270 tonne rock whizzing in from the far corners of the universe to wreak havoc on Chile and Argentina!

Herald Issue 598

Will the PM woo Arab Euros while he is in the Middle East? Will he open up a whole new avenue of funding and do the Arabs eat Tuna? Would they like a license or two? What can we export to the Middle East? Bottled water?

Is the pong from Scott’s chicken farm hazardous to health or the environment? Answer: neither! Who should investigate the pong? Answer: the fashion police! The hoi poloi of Muri Heights are tut, tutting over their Devonshire teas because the dreadful pong has come along and cancelled out everything that’s fashionable about “New Muri” (Raro’s own Remuera-“Remmers”).

Chooks, the health services are doing their bit to claw back expenses! Previously outpatients could go direct to a nurse to get a GP’s approval to issue more pills. No fee! That’s all changed chooks! Now an outpatient must see a Doc first who issues a docket then the outpatient must pay! $5. If this were cricket, the Minister would be yelling “Howzat!”

What’s important these days chooks? Take the numerous weddings on the beach-usually carried out by a marriage celebrant like a JP. No man of God present. Then after the “I do’s” there comes the saying of the grace before hoeing into the tucker! In other words, a call on God to bless the food! So what’s more important? Calling on God to bless the marriage or the food?

Tupapa’s slowest driver has sprung a complete surprise! He used to drive around in a ute like vehicle amassing a large following tail then he moved on to a smaller delivery like truck again amassing an enormous tail. Now he has surprised all by taking to a motorbike! Again amassing a long tail behind him! Imagine if he had a pilot’s license. He’d be flying through the skies with a long trail of Air Raro and Air NZ aircraft following slowly behind, waiting to come into land! Flights would be delayed and planes flying so slowly some may even stall and drop out of the sky! Yet again, imagine if he gave all mechanical forms of transport up and started walking! He could start a whole new following!

Make no mistake chooks! Tupapa’s slowest driver can go fast if he wants to as one youth who pulled up next to his truck and gave him the two finger salute discovered! Louie chased him at high speed!

Do we really need stricter warrant of fitness checks chooks? Serious and fatal accidents are largely due it seems to driver speeding, recklessness and drinking! Better training of drivers is needed and raising of the age for licenses as well! Make all drivers go through a defensive driving course! Stricter warrants of fitness will only hit the police themselves as some of their vehicles (bikes –lights and trucks-tyre rods) regularly fail to meet standards anyway!

An international committee of experts on maps is to recommend a new name for the Cook Islands. Why? Well, any name change must meet the approval of the large international map makers or the country will be simply left off all new maps! The Committee that will decide the new name for the Cook Islands is made up of representatives from Russia (who gave the name in the first place), China (who will soon own all the fish), Korea (who will soon own all the manganese nodules) and Taiwan (from whom Polynesians are descended). Will any Cook Islanders be on this committee? Heck no!

Overseas expert on the rights of the chicken, Monsieur Toulouse Le Duck from the south of France, recommends Scotts chook farm go free range! The chooks should be freely given the full range of Muri. Imagine the feathered ones happily snapping up the crumbs of up-market nosh off tables at fancy outdoor cafes, dodging the Gucci clad feet of tourists in posh hotel dining rooms, snapping up young centipedes from Muri beach, laying fresh eggs in visitor accommodations, roaming through shops perching on clothes racks among dresses for sale and the roosters crowing all night beside visitor beds! Now isn’t that a better alternative?

Herald Issue 597

A new real estate agent is to set up in the Cooks specializing in selling homes to people wanting properties next door to chicken and pig farms! They are likely to be ex-farmers looking to retire among familiar smells! Retirement homes away from home! The smellier the better!

Everyone’s on John Scott’s back with suggestions as to improving his chook farm! Where were these people when government was looking for suggestions on improving the economy? Nowhere to be seen! It just shows what takes greater priority! Forget the ailing economy! Attack a local business over the pong it causes! That’s the level we have descended to. More worried about the smell of some chickens than our failing economy and travel crazed politicians!

Here’s a suggestion chooks! Don’t relocate Scott’s chicken farm! Relocate all government offices and parliament to new buildings next door to Scott’s! With government smelling “fishy” these days, one smell should cancel the other out!

It took a while chooks but at long last a local tuna man has stepped up to voice concern at the sell off of the tuna fish resource at a cheap price to far eastern interests. Our barely touched EEZ is like a goldmine to overseas tuna interests and with gold at over $1,500 an ounce, lets have a comparable price per kilo for tuna. Lets hope we don’t let the manganese nodules slip through our fingers so cheaply! And yes! That great tuna fishing nation Korea, is interested in our nodules!

And here is the line up for the New Year’s major Tennis tournament. In the doubles, Geoff Stoddard and Brian Baudinet will face off against Sir Geoffrey Henry and George George. In a lead up tournament at Takuwimbeldon last year, the pairing of Sir Geoffrey and George George outclassed Stoddard and Baudinet with Sir Geoffrey hitting several aces. At the next tournament held at the CISNOC hardcourts, Baudinet and Stoddard were leading when Sir Geoffrey and George George walked off but refused to concede defeat. In the upcoming major, some $600,000 is up for grabs.

The Queen has conferred honours upon three Cooks chooks and well done those people! However, several other New Year honours were announced and Big Red has had a sneak peek of the list! Among the recipients of the distinguished awards are; The PM with a BEM (Best Elvis Matinee performance) for service to the entertainment industry, Nandi Glassie with a MBE (Medical Business Exponent) for outstanding and dedicated attendance at numerous medical conferences overseas, Tom Marsters with an OBE (Ocean Bottom Explorer) for services to the preservation of sea bed minerals, Mark Brown with an CBE (Companion to a Budding Elvis) for services to the PM.

New Year is hardly upon and behind us and word is out already that our traveling PM is once again packing a suitcase to venture to parts across the waves!

Seems one outer island secretary took notice of the pre-Christmas CI Times headline “Hurricane!” Apparently a day off was declared so civil servants could get home to prepare for the arrival of high winds!

Did anyone throw a party this New Year’s eve? Neighborhoods were so quiet, either people had fled to Kiwiland or there was no dosh for grog! Many were in bed by eight!

Elderly Hen pulls into Oasis to fill up with petrol only to have her car conk out down the road! Mechanic fixing the problem found diesel in the petrol tank! Cost to fix? Over $240. Who will pay? The Oasis or the person who put the diesel in by mistake?

Phew! The pong chooks! Neighbours are moaning about the stench coming from hotels in the Muri area! The pong from tourists is enormous! Locals have to whiff Chanel No5, Estee Lauder, Nivea, -it’s getting on everyone’s nerves! Thank God for the down to earth, common scent of Eau De Cockrel!

As Tuna often swim at about 60m below the surface, could someone give that lawyer who likes to dabble in hooks, a longer fishing line. Maybe then he’ll catch something!

Herald Issue 596

Has government forgotten about the “little” people? The ones working three jobs.

With all the liquid that’s toppled from the sky lately and which is still falling, will government suddenly forget about giving each household a water tank? How will the free water tank plan work for those who were already given water tanks by the previous government and who are still paying them off? Will their payment plan be wiped?

One aspect about the overcast clouds and heavy rain we’ve had chooks for the last week, is the lack of sunshine coming through to power up all those costly solar powered electricity generation plants! Who exactly is doing the rain dance? The big bloke at Water Works Division or the management team at TAU?

Boxing Day sales may be big bucks in Kiwiland chooks but here on the Rock, only two retailers opened up to suck the last remaining dollars from shopper’s pockets. How much longer can Parleco and co go the distance? When will others join the gold rush? Is it a gold rush?

The lack of tourists was clearly evident after Christmas saw few out and about and even fewer with loose change jangling in their pockets. Where were they all? Some are now confused about the actual visitor numbers with one oldie asking is the count correct?

Oh dear chooks! Mysterious, strange lights at sea off the coast of Tongareva! A fleet of UFOs from a distant planet in the galaxy? It had the locals worried that the lights got brighter and closer and closer! But no mystery here chooks! The lights turned out to be from a fleet of foreign fishing vessels which locals claimed were within the 12 mile limit! Locals say it now takes all day to snare a finned meal when pre-foreign fishing vessel, it only took a few hours to hook dinner!

Noted local man of laws, attendee at the Bar and frequent dabbler of hooks, has calculated the value to our tax coffers of the dosh paid by foreigners for fishing permits! He has calculated this on a per kilo basis which is how we purchase fish-by the kilo! Now how about coming up with a new calculation of legal fees based on similar method for costing out the value of the fish? It may well turn out legal eagles are charging us around $100 per kilo of body weight!

Have we set our fishing licenses for foreigners at too cheap a level chooks? It used to be $40,000 then it was upped to 80 “Gs.” Trouble is, outfits like the Spanish fleet can sit to our south in international seas and catch 20,000 tonnes of swordfish a year! Get your teeth into that one Rubes!

If you are going to hold a tsunami drill on an outer island, tell the populace first why don’t you? On one far flung northern atoll, a chooks reported some of the oldies were almost dropping like stunned flies with heart seizure when the siren went off! Panic was said to have set in as the sirens burst into life! Some even complained to their former MP!

Are people watching their pennies or what? Seams the last three weeks at the Punanga Nui Market, has been very quiet! Too quiet! Some vendors have commented that they have not made any sales for at least three weeks! There’s a shortage of cash out there chooks and it may get worse! Time to raid the kiddies piggy bank! Oops, government is onto that one!

While government wallows in self congratulatory glory over phantom economic gains and spends thousands on overseas trips that result in little tangible results, the little people, the ones at the bottom are suffering and not only that, they are beginning to “mutter” about their predicament. Prices of imported foodstuffs and goods are too high, wages too low, people have to work three jobs to make ends meet and are now careful about their spending. Cash flow to little shops and small businesses is starting to dry up.


Herald Issue 595

With CISNOC facing such a humungus bill for the next few years, word is our team to the next lot of international games will be a lot smaller in order to save on costs. Rumour is we’ll be giving the Olympics next year a miss and the Commonwealth Games in 2014 in Glasgow a miss as well.

Big Red has just received some shocking news! Santa’s not coming! It appears Santa is miffed that upon his arrival, officials will be on hand to collect $55 departure tax from him! But not just him! Officials want to charge each Reindeer $55 as well! Reason? They all speak English and so qualify as honorary humans. Facing a hefty bill, Santa has in protest, decided to stay away!

School’s out and what to do about the 310 senior scholars exiting Tereora? Well about 10 will get scholarships to attend a University overseas for three years. That leaves 300 to find a job locally! Are there 300 jobs out there for young school leavers? What about jobs in the building sector? Oops, building sector is defunct! Few jobs there! How about government? Nope! Reform is on the way! How about agriculture? Nothing being developed there-just yet, maybe something in an outer island in about 3 years! The answer chooks? How about International traveler! Starting with international travel to NZ!

Roller skates down the main road? Why not? Could be the start of a new sport chooks, might attract Olympic funding! We’ve got cyclists pedaling down main road, Harriers running down main road, Tri-athletes going down main road, marathon runners running down main road so why not roller skaters? Surely they would qualify for CISNOC funding? Add to the debt burden?

And speaking of the CISNOC debt burden, about 700 “G’s,” that’s a bag of peanuts an exploratory license to the Canadians will easily pay for! That 10 Mil will take care of plenty! We could charter our own 747 to fly to Kiwiland say once a week sporting Kuki colours of green and gold, oops! Them’s the Aussie colours!

More folks have packed their bags for a one way trip to Kiwiland! Word is 30 people have fled the Rock for greener pastures elsewhere! What are government’s plans to halt depopulation chooks?

So quiet around town chooks, thought is, cancel Christmas due to lack of interest! So quiet everywhere! Where are the big spenders in the shops? Since October chooks, visitor figures have been down on the same time last year. Also not as many locals are coming back this year while more locals seem to be heading for holidays in Kiwiland! When will the recovery come chooks? Late April? Cyclone expected late February should add to our woes! Get the surf boards ready! Enjoy what’s left of the year chooks! Back to the ledgers money men!

Bravo that Chief for speaking out about the nation’s eating habits-too much of the wrong foods! At the next umukai, how about a healthy spread of raisins, nuts, lettuce, carrots, sardines rich in Omega 3. Turf out the roast pork dripping in succulent, tasty fat and its crispy, fatty, crunchy crust, the starchy, juicy, moist Atiu taro, the big meaty bits of tender chicken roasted in the skin and dripping with roast chicken juices!

Notice the chooks on Saturday stating what they wanted for Christmas? All wanted materialistic items and matters of personal importance to them. Not one wished for world peace, an end to suffering and war. Not one wished for a better life for someone else. It was all about me! Me! Me! Obviously the big guy’s message from over 2,000 years ago still has not sunk in. Remember the one about do unto others? Can’t have that! It’s me! Me! Me!

A new speed limit is to be enforced in the Muri metropolitan area chooks! Gone will be the speed limit of 30kph and a new limit of 120kph will be brought in. Why get motorists to speed through Muri? Chooks the new speed limit of 30kph was fine but then came the smell!

Herald Issue 594

We have one shot at cleaning up the mess in the lagoon chooks! Run big pipes down the main road and suck all the poop back into the hills for treatment! And let’s do it when the Chinese dig up the roads to lay in the new water pipes after all, why dig up the same piece of dirt twice? All we need to do now is get out the abacus and work out how much extra over and above the $37 million put up for the roads, we will need!

Chooks, all round the world some countries and towns are famous for growing certain crops. For instance a town in NZ is famous for its Trout. In other countries, towns are famous for their Crayfish or Carrots. So what can the Cook Islands be famous for growing? Noni? No. Other places grow it better and in more abundance. Taro? No. Other Pacific countries grow better taro. So what grows all over the Cooks and produces fruit by the millions? The humble Pistarch of course! That little purple berry that grows everywhere and produces fruits by the millions. It’s an ideal item to identify us by! You see it grows by the millions, tastes good, yet we do nothing with it. Now that sums us up as a nation! The “do nothings!”

According to men (and possibly women) of science, any fruit with purple in it is a good anti-oxidant. So here we have the pistarch which we produce by the millions, it’s purple, and we don’t even bother to convert it into a dietary supplement to utilize its anti-oxidant properties. Why? Because it’s too hard.

There’s a saying chooks, if the good Lord intended the Cook Islands to make trillions of dollars from the manganese nodules and whatever else is down there, he would not have set the riches so deep! By setting the wealth some 5 miles down, maybe he does not want us to get rich! Seems we may be destined to rely on overseas aid forever!

And with the wealth 5 miles under the sea, we have to find some other way to be innovative when it comes to money! The problem with us Cook Islanders is that we are “asset” rich but “cash” poor! Trillions of dollars so near yet so far!

Will we be slugged by the recession in Europe every Tom, Dick and Harry of an economist is predicting? Look at it this way, how can we be stung if we are already surviving largely by sponging on overseas aid dosh? Because we are stable and living the high life off other people’s money, our tourism numbers are actually increasing, not shrinking! Time to shake the dust of those “Recession Free Oasis” banners again?

Air NZ may be leaking some cash from some of its long haul runs but thanks to the foresight of the Cook Islands government in propping up Air NZ’s LA and Sydney hops to the tune of more than $10 million, don’t Air NZ just love us! Air NZ is owned by the NZ government. The same government that gives us around $16 million in aid each year then takes over $10 million off us to prop up their airline! No wonder NZ PM John Key just loves it here! Ain’t the Cook Islands wonderful!

With the Cook Islands propping up NZ exporters to the tune of over $200 million a year, who’s aiding who? What if the Cook Islands were to import $200 million of goods from Asia instead of NZ?

When it comes to dollars from tuna, the wealth is fleeting and often “illusionary.” The tuna are not here in big numbers all through the year. Tuna migrate and are only in our waters in great numbers at certain times of the year! The trick is to know where they are in 2 million square miles of ocean. Like looking for a needle in a haystack unless you know where to look! So instead of chasing shadows, why not farm tuna in giant fish farms?

Herlad Issue 593

Korean Diplomat set foot on the Rock a few days ago but besides the DPM it seems no-one else knew the Korean was arriving! Our country has no formal diplomatic ties with Korea just yet. Most are familiar with Korea through the daily TV soap operas at 5pm which involve a lot of staring and crying!

In order to celebrate the naming of our nation after British explorer Captain James Cook, we should have a new public holiday called “Captain Cook Day!” Everyone will dress up in olde English clothes, the men will wrap little bells around their legs and do Morris Dancing around a Maypole and the whole day wraps up with a rousing “God Save the Queen” sung in Russian in honour of the Russian Map Maker who named these islands after Captain Cook!

The Kiwis have just voted to keep MMP, a system used only by NZ and Germany. Can it work here? Why not? The more the merrier! Why not a Federal system? Each island to have its own “State” parliament with a Premier. Each island then votes for members to a Federal parliament in Rarotonga!

The outer islands are emptying out at an alarming rate chooks! By the time renewable energy gets set up out there, there may be no-one left to flick the switch “on!” Word is only 125 people are left on Tongareva. Soon there may not be enough left to elect an MP!

Rumour is an overseas entrepreneur is to start up high adventure tourism on Rarotonga next year. There will be new thrill seeking events like bungy jumping off the Needle with coconut sinet around the legs! Crash helmet optional! Also long distance hang gliding starting from the top of Mt Ikurangi and landing somewhere in Aitutaki, perhaps on One Foot Island!

With the variety of skills our young riders of motor bikes have developed, there is no reason why we cannot excel in sports based around riding motorbikes at speed, for example, motorbike soccer, motorbike tennis, motorbike volleyball, motorbike handball and motorbike netball. Other new sports could include motorbike high hurdles while sipping a cup of tea, motorbike slalom while having a blow wave and finger nails polished. How about water skiing on a motorbike while fishing for tuna?

Why is there an epidemic of thefts of motorcycle rear view mirrors chooks? The reason is the bikies need to look their best while riding into town to meet up for their big date! On the way in they need the mirrors to fix their hair, their lip stick, eye shadow, pick their teeth, freshen their breath and polish their nails! Why can’t they do this at home before they set out? Because that wouldn’t be “cool!”

Will government bite the coconut chooks, step in and finish off the Vaimaanga Hotel? Heaps of trained tradesmen coming out of the Trade Training School and heaps of Chefs, and waiters coming out of the Hospitality Training School but where are they all going? Finish the Vaimaanga Hotel and give them local jobs to go to! Give the Hotel management to Hilton so no politician with sticky fingers can reach into the till! C’mon, think outside the square! Create more local jobs!

While the tourism industry is doing moderately well, the rest of the economy is going nowhere! Where are the new construction jobs? Where are the new export industries opening up? Where are the new revenue streams? What new jobs are being created? Wake up government! Get some big construction jobs going! Get the cash flowing through the system!

Forget the economic taskforce report with its 200 plus recommendations! It’s become a dead duck on the water! Where’s the $600 million needed going to come from? Economic recovery can be initiated by something quite as simple as just getting a fast ferry service set up! Don’t throw over $10 million a year to prop up Air NZ, they don’t fly to the outer islands! Support our own local airline and buy the ferry-the cost is said to be less than $3 million.

Herald Issue 592

Here’s a no-brainer chooks! Remember the good old days when we sipped our own locally canned Raro juice and a local factory made hundreds of school uniforms for Kiwi kids? Well, time has now gone full circle and it may now be economical for a clothing factory to fire up again. At basic pay of $5 per hour, no shortage of muscle power from Bula Land and low interest loans from China to set up sewing machines, lets go!

Here’s a plan chooks! How to save the planet! All humans stop breathing! Think of the savings!

Good to see Kiwi ex-pats qualifying for NZAid to run a training school! Any locals setting up training schools? Where are the locals? Oh, they’re in New Zealand! Qualifying for the dole! Bring on the ex-pats!

What will Santa bring our MPs chooks? Big Red has intercepted the Arctic mail bag to discover our MP’s yuletide requests! The PM has asked Santa for a brand new guitar and a Las Vegas contract, the DPM has asked Santa for a manganese nodule processing factory, the Minister for Fisheries has asked Santa for a tuna canning factory and a fleet of tuna boats, the Minister of Finance has asked Santa for directions to the fabled El Dorado, the Minister for Agriculture and Health has asked Santa for a tree that grows solid gold noni and the fountain of youth, the Minister for Infrastructure has asked Santa for one billion dollars to fix things. Yes chooks, some of our MPs have big stockings to fill!

Rumour has it chooks, a team of highly skilled Tibetan Lama Monk gymnasts are to perform at the TSA in a few months! The public will be transfixed as the performing Monks fly through the air, somersaulting, twisting, tumbling, cart-wheeling and all the while wearing their long robes! In between performances, the Monks will circulate among the audience with rice bowls! It is also rumoured the big Lama, the big cheese himself will perform mental aerobatics where he will juggle Obama, John Key and the Aussie PM in his mind!

Word is all the gun paddlers were firing in Hawaii when the Vaka Eiva was on. Next year, how about timing Vaka Eiva so it is a “warm up” for the big Hawaiian event? Put some lucrative prize money up for grabs to attract some top paddlers! Say $20,000 winner take all Round Raro paddle!

Seems government may be leading the charge in sponsoring the paddlers says one chook! $4,000 he chirps for Vaka Eiva-under what POBOC? Will government tip more in next year?

Word is CISNOC is considering the formation of a Cycling Code. Seems to be a number of cyclist types peddling round the Rock these days in their “Tour de France” get up! Will we get a cyclo-drome? Cycle races are all the rage in the French speaking parts-can we win a medal? How about Mountain Bikes? We’ve got the mountains! Where are the bikes?

Our MPs trundle back into the House next Wednesday chooks but for how long? Long enough to say Merry Christmas” to all and get those presie wishes off to Santa at the North Pole!

Think you’ve seen it all chooks? Young woman driving into town on a motor bike, no hands on the handle bars, why? Because she’s doing her hair! Young fellow tearing along on a motor bike, milkshake in one hand, the other hand on the handle bars, clutching a fag! The future of the Cook Islands! The country’s in good hands!

Sharks are an endangered species chooks so it makes a lot of sense to try and save them! Bravo that man and that woman! Now what about those sharks of the two legged kind? There’s a few expected any day now to arrive and peddle their dodgy renewable energy schemes! As always the scheme usually involves us paying outlandishly high consultancy fees-for what? Let’s make it plain from the outset that these bloodsucking nitwits are not welcome! Better still, why not book them straight into the Arorangi Hilton!

Herald Issue 591

Is Vaka Eiva in danger of falling away? Less than 600 paddlers this year-how about next year? The other night, the band outside Traders had no-one to play to. A fizzle! Chooks, these paddlers come here on a low budget. They are not big spenders! The Airline’s cut is the best. Raking in a cool 500“G’s” without even trying. Next year, something better than just a night market, a band and a piss up needs to be provided or even less will come!

What about a Vaka Eiva event not on water, but downhill! Downhill racing! Imagine it chooks! Speeding downhill dodging trees, wild pigs, dogs, roosters, dacca plants and the odd escaped prisoner hiding out in the bush.

Next time the paddlers come, how about giving them their own “currency” for making purchases? On arrival at the airport, they swap their dolleros for a local Vaka Eiva currency. Shells maybe? Beads? Whenever that paddler presents that “currency” retailers must give them a 10 per cent discount. Retailers later hand in the “currency” to government in exchange for normal cash. That way we will know exactly how much the paddlers spend.

Now that the new Polynesian Leaders Group has been formed, and that any group of Polynesians wherever they are, may be invited to join, how about Rotuma Island (Fiji) and Rapanui (Easter Island)? Then again there’s Cairns (Australia), Las Vegas (Nevada USA). Won’t the leader be busy! Boys! Get the band ready!

Pity our poorly resourced local tuna fishermen! Without the aid of sophisticated fish locating sonar devices, spotter planes and satellite technology and facing the prospect of going out into 2 million square miles of ocean, they may as well ask, “Where will the fish be today?”

Here’s a suggestion chooks! Next year, instead of staging a rugby “Sevens in Heaven” event, play eight aside and market it as, “State of Eight.” Who said we have to play in teams of seven? Make it eight and be different! Live differently! Now where have we heard that before?

Climate change chooks? Phooey! The climate has been changing ever since the world began! Global warming? Yes! That’s also been happening since the world began! Is the rate of change speeding up? No. It’s just we’re now able to better measure it. Rising sea levels? Just talk to someone living in Holland. Holland has been below sea level for yonks-that’s why they have dykes! Snow melting in the far north? So? The north of Russia was once tropical-we are just reverting back to the original state.

Some ask, why bother trying to cut back on carbon emissions when Mother Nature just triggers a volcano or two (Iceland and Peru) and pumps heaps of carbon into the air! Hasn’t it occurred to you yet? Mother Nature is trying to kill us! She’s all out to destroy the human race! She’s had a guts full!

Will there be a by-election in Atiu chooks if Big Norm gets the nod from the Demo camp? Will it come down to a vote? Who will run against the Master? Under whose hand will Excalibur be extracted from the rock? The rock being Big Norm!

Signs in the sky chooks! Signs from above! Tilt your ear northeastward for the sound of a distant pair of wings! The silver bird to the south won’t be happy!

It’s becoming noticeable chooks! The only Minister who troops across the waves and surfs back laden down with booty is the one from Aitutaki! No wonder everyone wants to jump on his vaka!

We’ve got “Night Fever” chooks! Night Markets are popping up like weeds! Trouble is most folks don’t have enough cash to go around! Same old story chooks! When one night market makes a bit of dosh, everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon then no-one makes money! Like all growers growing the same crops and flooding the market, driving prices down so no-one benefits!

Is Penrhyn in danger of closing down chooks? Rumour is there’s only 125 pairs of feet on the ground there!

Herald Issue 590

There’s no truth to the rumour empty houses in Atiu will be used to house offenders sentenced to home detention.

Vaka Eiva is due to start soon chooks. What about a long distance relay paddle, say from Rarotonga to Atiu? What about a Le Mans type start? Paddlers line up, the gun is fired, they sprint to their kayaks parked in the Court House grounds, pick them up then they sprint across the main road, dodging traffic and Hari Krishna dancers and singers flown in specially for this race, to the edge of the concrete and leap into the water kayak and all (points awarded for the leap), and start paddling furiously!

How many Police check points will be out the night of the Vaka Eiva final beach party at Muri?

Should Traditional leaders absent from their home islands have others looking after their titles while they are overseas? This was the subject of a chin wag on the wireless box the other day! Answer? If Cabinet Ministers can have others looking after their portfolios while they are overseas, why not the Traditional leaders? But what about ordinary MPs? Say if Tupapa’s Maggie man was overseas, could he have John Henry MP step in and look after things? What about ordinary folk? Can they have others vote on their behalf while they are overseas? It’s already happening now folks! Our people have gone overseas and Fijians and Filipinos have moved in to look after things!

Here’s a suggestion chooks. Our government whispers in the ear of the Aussie Federal lot to whisper in the ear of whoever controls the two Aussie Banks in the Cooks. That whisper is for the banks to lower their interest rates to the same level as in Kiwiland! And if they do not play ball? Cancel all AusAid! After all, while Aussie government aid amounts to about $6 million a year, locals are paying many millions of dollars more to the Aussie banks in high interest rates. Either the Aussie government raises its aid contribution to balance out what locals pay the Aussie banks in interest or we simply cancel all Aussie aid. Because, what’s the point? They give a pittance with one hand and rake in millions with the other. Who needs friends like that? Big Red just heard some chook chirp, “Well, they’re Aussies aren’t they?”

Remember the Tim Burton sci -fi flick “Mars attacks!” Well here on Raro we have our own version called, “Zac attacks!” Chooks, our coppers were so busy being interviewed by our big brother TVNZ, they had no time to make a statement to the small local TV company! Seems local telly is not as glamorous as the Barb! We’re just small koras when the really big news comes calling!

Local coppers need to get their fitness levels up to All Black standard if they want to catch up with rampant rugby types! Seems none of the coppers chasing after Zac, could tackle him!

A new catchy title for promoting tourism to the Cooks could be, “Hoon Heaven!” Just before the Zac attack, another group of intoxicated young men, here for a wedding, took tremendous delight in hooning around the island on bikes, yahooing, gesturing and speeding. The Zac attack actually began at the airport as a drunken Zac got off the big bird drunk and began harassing members of the public! He should have been locked up then by airport security. This young man not only needs professional help, he needs to grow up.

Those who are expressing sympathy for Zac, need to realize local people do not want that sort of behavior here. It’s the locals who need sympathy for having to put up with all the low budget drunks tourism has attracted over the years. Some of those drunks are still here! A strong message needs to be sent by the Courts. Lock these mad idiots up for the duration of their stay. Then there could be another catchy tourist slogan; “Arorangi Hilton!”

Herald Issue 589

It won’t matter who’s at the helm, pity the poor athletes at the end of the CISNOC chain who will have to fund raise to repay the $126,000 loan from government and get the governing sports body out of the doggie doo! How many times can sports teams run around the island with a plastic bucket? How many raffles will it take? Bob a job like the scout of old? Car washes?

The Sevens tournament, while a good event, needs a massive injection of- overseas teams! People will soon get tired of seeing the same local teams battle it out year after year. To freshen up the event, lets get some teams from say, Kenya, Cambodia, Torres Strait, Ibiza, Crete, Malta, Trinidad or the Congo!

And here’s an idea to spice up the Sevens for the future! Play two games on the same field at the same time and also include a 20/20 cricket match as well. With all this activity going on at once, it’s bound to be exciting as sevens players try to dodge being hit in the head with a cricket ball. And while three games are going all on the same field, right through the middle of it all, at three minute intervals, can come the steam train!

Ever since we announced we were going 100 per cent renewable by 20202, what’s the bet, every energy carpetbagging crackpot around the world will be readying themselves for a trip to our shores hoping to hoodwink us into buying into their untried and untested schemes. About 5 years ago SOPAC scientists went around the outer islands and determined which power generation system was best for the island so why repeat everything all over again? The Ministry of Energy is sitting on these reports so why are they not putting them forward again? Seems we like flogging our own backsides! Don’t we just enjoy the pain! Give us more!

All sorts of wonky, hair-brained ideas are now emerging as to what should be done with the 23 acres of land at Vaimaanga since it appears the latest hotel developers have no investors and no dosh to speak of. A golf course? Phooey! Behind the Hotel site there’s ample room for an international 18 hole golf course. It was even proposed by the previous developer! The present developers are sitting pretty-on a 60 year lease and no special time limits for building, they will have to be bought out.

Talking about nutty ideas, where did overseas types get the impression we would rather be stuck in some visitor’s dream of how the world was 20 years ago? No development, no progress, all so some tourist can feel he’s living in the past! That’s not the future locals want. Locals want advancement! And if they can’t get it here, they’ll pack up and go elsewhere! Like Australia! Cairns!

A better proposal for the Vaimaanga site would be as a Hollywood or Bollywood movie set. Imagine the next Die Hard or Rambo movie where a mocked up Hotel occupied by terrorists gets blown sky high only to be hastily re-built in time for the next blockbuster movie-perhaps a James Bond one. What about a Bollywood epic where hundreds of Indian dancers run, sing and prance their way through a four hour love saga! As a giant movie set, there would be jobs for locals as extras, playing the bad guys or dressing up and dancing Indian style! In a Rambo movie locals could play the part of the hundreds who get shot by Rambo using a machine gun that never runs out of bullets or gets overheated!

Imagine these headlines chooks! “NZ to grant Cook Islands government $6 million in aid”” followed by the headline, ”Cook Islands people to grant NZ exporters $200 million in aid.”

Here’s a suggestion for Mr Choo Choo and his steam train! Run the track from Club Raro, through town to Avatiu port. Then, run the train into the fast ferry and upon reaching Atiu, run the train off and around Atiu! Our first train ferry! Like Kiwiland’s inter-island ferry!

Herald Issue 588

Here we are on an island just 19 miles around with only 12,000 people so why are we experiencing a water problem? It’s not for lack of water chooks. The fact is our water reservoirs are too small. So why aren’t our politicians doing something about this? Good question. We can earmark $10 million a year to subsidize Air NZ, why can’t we find the money to build a large reservoir?

The scarcity of water in the pipes out Kii Kii way has meant some residents getting up at 4am to have a shower because that’s when there’s water in the system! A resident in Panama along the main road reports no water at all for over two weeks! That dam in the hills is looking like a firm proposition chooks!

And speaking of damming up a main creek to create a big reservoir, there are a number of suitable inland valleys where this could be done but chooks, the project needs a proper dam engineer and preferably one who has actually built a dam that has stood the test of time!

A dam and a large inland lake could become a major tourist attraction chooks. It would need to be stocked with fish to chew up the mozzies and large aeration fans to stop the water from stagnating. A small hydro plant to generate electricity for nearby villages could be tacked on. Fiji and Samoa both had the political will to create inland reservoirs and Tahiti had a river dammed up but that dam failed causing a major flood.

As well as preparing for a cyclone each year chooks, perhaps we should be preparing for a drought each year! Like getting in a 12,000 gallon water tank, filling it with water (not Gin), buying a home desalination plant, setting up an outdoor solar heated camp shower, saving waste water for the gardens and cleaning the car!

Did you know chooks, the Environment Act prevents people from taking volcanic soil from inland and using it to make a lawn on a sea side residential section? Apparently there’s something in the soil that reacts chemically with sea water and may affect the lagoon! Does this also mean residents by the sea should not use chemical fertilizers on their plants, lawns, gardens and fruit trees? What about their laundry detergents? Residents by the sea fall into a special group of people it seems. Hope none of them ever sneezes in the direction of the reef! Would not want any sea life catching cold!

Local companies are importing just below $30 million worth of fresh vegetables from Kiwiland each year and this nonsense must stop. We should be growing those veges ourselves and pocketing this money. Why are the local growers not making a move? It’s money for jam! NZ gives us around $16 million in aid each year and we plough more than that back to NZ by ordering up their veges! Why doesn’t NZ help by taking $16 million or more of our agricultural products, then our growers will have some incentive to plant, plant, plant!

Is the $10 million per year subsidy set aside for Air NZ and the LA and Sydney flights sustainable chooks? Are we getting the returns expected? Perhaps we may have to just bite the bullet and tell Air NZ we can no longer afford this because that $10 million can do a lot of good elsewhere.

How’s this for a really radical idea chooks! All the profits from the manganese nodules, after setting aside what’s needed to run the country, to be paid out as a cash dividend, every fortnight to every Cook Islander normally resident in the Cook Islands. All such persons to be registered shareholders. Government should start to compile the register now. All government services including education, health treatment, dental treatment, electricity and water to be free. As the wealth will be enormous, in the trillions of trillions, the minimum wage payable to Cook Islanders normally resident in the country, be raised from $5 an hour to $500,000 an hour.

Herald Issue 587

News in the daily that developers Mirage may be pulling out of the hotel project at Vaimaanga revives memories of the curse on the property! Not one curse, but two! The second more powerful than the first! Question now is, will this baby return to Papa? After all, that’s what he has been predicting all along! And what about the plan for a steam choo, choo, chugging around the perimeter? Will we see the day chooks?

Rumour is a team of Inuit people from the Arctic may enter Vaka Eiva! After all they have for generations paddled their kayaks around ice floes and ice bergs and dodged Polar Bears and Orcas! Enquiries have been received about refrigerated containers not to house their kayaks but for the Inuit to sleep in!

News just out that scientists have invented a new cell phone which will not only send e-mails, text messages, photos, GPS signals, receive TV signals, play videos, play CDs, translate languages but will also, wait for it-make an actual phone call. You know, where two people actually speak to one another! So what’s next for scientists? Word is, a cell phone which will actually make a cup of coffee!

As hot air expands and rises, it is an ideal fuel for renewable energy. Therefore the Cabinet Room would make an ideal generator for renewable energy based on hot air technology! A start has already been made by positioning the renewable energy division within the OPM!

Some 70 homes in Aitutaki damaged by the big blow in 2009 did not qualify for donor dosh to affect repairs chooks! Some were on a list for repairs but got shunted off for reasons not clear to the owners. This still unresolved situation shows what happens when limited NZ funds are put up for repairs. Instead of repairing every home that was damaged, regardless and restoring the place to what it was like pre-big blow, the aid pittance put up by NZ meant funds had to be “rationed out” and because of that, a complicated qualifying policy dreamt up by bureaucrats that was mindboggling to those who till taro patches! Why such “mean spiritedness?” In future, bugger the cost. Put up the dosh and repair ALL the homes. Only doing “half” a job begs the question why didn’t government go with the Chinese offer?

And on the topic of Aitutaki, when will an “audit” be done into the receipt and dispersal by the Aitutaki Council, of funds donated by the public and others following the 2009 big blow? Those who donated funds need to be assured the funds were properly receipted, accounted for and dispersed.

Big question chooks-will there be a hurricane in our part of the ocean next February? EMCI says start planning now! Will anyone take any notice? Since 2005 people, complacency has set in-homes are still being built beachside. Where to go chooks? New Red Cross building! Now there’s a strong set up!

Who’s teaching the kids how to catch fish? One chook laments kids these days would rather sit in front of a computer screen than take up a rod and bait and head for the lagoon or reef! Where do young kids learn to fish? In the fresh water creeks but many of these are dried up! How many kids know how to climb a coconut tree? New subject for the schools-teach to kids how to catch a fish and climb a coconut tree. Teach them how to find food if the big blow comes and wrecks everything.

With the population getting older, government must now start planning for their care and medical needs. Start looking at funding for social agencies to provide meals on wheels, home help, medical care and a geriatric ward. The elderly disabled are a group which needs support.

Is there anyone left at MFEM chooks with so many off overseas at meetings? Is anyone actually doing any work at MFEM? When will MFEM staff get the time to draft up the Budget? Will our Budget actually be drafted in say Singapore, checked in Berlin and finalised in Washington?

Herald Issue 586

Oh dear chooks! Works VIP wades into Mangaia lagoon at high tide to point out location of wave monitoring equipment not knowing said equipment had been removed yonks ago-still, brave attempt in cold water!

Penrhyn born local with Omoka in her passport arrives at airport from Kiwiland only to be told by a local she needs a visitor’s stamp in her passport because there is no evidence she was born in the Cook Islands! Hello? Where is Omoka again? It’s in Penrhyn as every Cook Islander should know! How embarrassing!

The great wall of Wynton in Mangaia! Got that right! Solid construction! Bound to do the job! Pity the harbour upgrade by comparison is a shambles. What did it cost again?

Water, water everywhere but not up in apartments at first floor level! As the World’s Oldest Greatest (WOG) lover is discovering, while there’s water below, the pressure is too low to push it up to first floor level where he hangs out! If he pays rent, is he not entitled to expect some water? Where’s the pump landlord?

New store at O’oa quite Manea but so lacking in certain essential household items, one old customer is jumping up and down on the spot! Seems calls to base from the troops at the outpost to restock have not been heard! Time for Nikao headquarters to sound the bugle and send reinforcements to the besieged outpost!

Big Ministerial tere party heads overseas again next week as China beckons chooks. Mista Infrastructure Fix It posing under his Minita o te Culture hat, heads off to a cultural event where a 15 strong song and drum dance team under Sunny Vilhams will be shaking their hips in Go-on-dong-a-long province. PM Puna is also down to poke his nose in along the way and Brown may put in an appearance although the purse strings may hold him back. The Bishop will be preaching pearls of wisdom and fishy tales about tourism with a team in tow.

What will the RAC-Religious Advisory Council do now chooks? Seems one goggle-box showed an adult film the other evensong. Viewers were treated to visions of persons with no clothes on!

You may not have noticed chooks, but there is a growing demand for dogs! Yes man’s best friend, is back in demand again as homeowners look for raging, barking, snarling, snapping mutts to guard their properties against the hordes of petty thieves and pick pockets now plaguing the burbs! Trouble is, with so many mutts having had the chop, there aren’t that many dogs around these days!

With hardly any dogs around to protect your valuables, what about an alternative, like Robo-cop? How about a robotic policeman that fires real bullets? 50 calibre! Rapidly! Then fires live grenades followed by heat seeking missiles!

Big Red’s superior sensory systems have detected “something in the air!” No, not the Thunder Clap Newman song, something much bigger! Look out for a lot of scurrying about and excited officials climbing ladders to the land of opportunity while the “tainted” and those “burnt” by false hopes, all come tumbling down! All will be revealed in the fullness of time!

Real life drama in Kiwiland chooks presents an opportunity for our EMCI boys to get some much needed practice so when they face the real deal over here, they will wade into the mess with confidence! Now, how to get our boys over there? Has our PM spoken to their PM? Quickly now before this marvelous chance passes our boys by!

Will there be a hurricane this season chooks? While there are few reliable signs in the plants and skies, Big Red has been monitoring signals and frequencies over the feathers and concludes something big is going to happen this season! Batten down the hatches chooks! Big Red has spoken!

Herald Issue 585

Faster than a rooster crossing Rutaki road, quicker than a Tilapia swimming up Avana creek, speedier than a moko trapping a mozzie! Who is he? It’s Carter! Hi-Com Man! Coming like a speeding Mako to a NZAid project near you!

Hi-Com Man is doing a good job for the NZ taxpayer by getting his nose into cracks and crevices, prodding and poking and gee-ing the locals along, keeping those projects moving! No flies on Hi-Com Man! He’s always moving!

“Get out of my way!” Maggie Man is in Mangaia- to whip them into shape? Did he ride into town on a paata? Perhaps he can fix the harbour! Get Tapi’s boat right in! Watch out Mangaia, Maggie’s in town! Could be Atiu next!

Who needs fresh drinking water in the north? Nu is more nutritious than water. And there’s thousands of coconuts up north. Anyone want to climb a tree? Better to send fresh, bottled water up by boat. Solar powered desalination plant? Phooey! Still cheaper to send up the boat even if the diesel costs a small fortune!

How to get a Cook Islands team qualified for the next Rugby World Cup chooks? Simple! Contract some highly fit, highly motivated, highly talented, Australian based rugby league professionals and pay them megabucks to do the job. They can tackle, they can run and they are tough. Might be a struggle to find some Cookies with enough height to win the ball at lineout time and in rugby, those in the scrum actually have to push!

Those competing in and winning their events in the traditional sports in the Manea Games in Mangaia, should hold their heads high because they are actually “World Champions.” Since no other country holds these events or competes against us, we have every right as the Americans once claimed in respect of base ball, to call the sports a “World Series.” The winners can also claim to be “World record holders.”

Here’s a thought chooks-why not invent a game that only we can master and play and therefore call ourselves world champions! The Americans thought up Gridiron-American football, the Aussies thought up Aussie Rules, so why can’t we come up with something novel that no-one else can play? What about whale surfing? Remove the reef at Muri and surf to shore on the backs of humped back whales. The whales are bound to enjoy it! Imagine the crowd at Sails!

In November the CIP will have been in power for a year. Look for a celebration of sorts chooks! Will there be any dosh left in kitty?

The Wachter at Better Health has achieved some fame with his electrical frequency box confirming germs in our drinking water. What if the Wachter box were to be connected to the brains of our politicians? What would it detect? Would there be anything there?

Our drinking water has had some level of germs in it for generations so what would happen if it were to be suddenly cleaned up? Would the over-pure water actually make us sick? How would our bodies cope with suddenly clean water? Having developed some measure of immunity to the germs in the water, our bodily systems could start to break down when faced with pure water! What say ye scientific types?

Can someone who trained at University for years to predict the weather, suddenly become an expert on predicting the migration routes of tuna? Our DPM seems to think so. He thinks the weather and tuna pathways are so closely connected that the weathermen should be able to explain where the tuna are at a given moment. Then again everyone in the Cook is an expert at something they’ve had no training in! Look at our MPs!

Herald Issue 584

Yes Russia can have Suwarrow-the Suwarrow that existed at the time the Russian map maker had the gall to name our country after Captain James Cook who never set foot on any of the islands. You see the current Suwarrow is not where the old Suwarrow used to be. That’s because every major hurricane, the seas submerge the land only for it to pop up somewhere else afterwards. So the Ruskies can have the old Suwarrow-if they can find it!

Infrastructure Minita in the Land of the Rising Sun? Nippon? Phooey! Minita is still on the Rock!

Are we going to send our gallant, gunless, patrol boat steaming out at 7 knots to protect the whales from being torpedoed by the Japanese? PM was only too quick to get his sticky fingers on a $1 million cheque from Japan for the Rakahanga solar power project! Maybe he should have declined! This is how Nippon silences the whale critics, throw money at them!

And on the topic of the Rakahanga solar project, was a business plan done? $1 million is being spent on bringing renewable energy to less than 70 people. Is the cost worth it? Is there some other more cost effective means to provide Rakahanga’s energy needs?

It has taken China less than 30 years to become an advanced, ultra modern country yet here is the Cook Islands, self governing for 42 years, a tiny population by comparison yet we struggle to get clean water let alone any water. We have not advanced to where we ought to be. Who’s fault is that? What and who have been holding us back? Think about it chooks. Take the Rock-just 19 miles around with only 13,000 people and only 2,000 households. Why are our feet stuck in the mud? How come our tiny island is experiencing so many delays and “non-advancement?” Some -one, some people or something has been holding back our rightful advancement.

Japanese whale torpedo boats that ping any whale should be required to reveal if that whale has a tag or identity that can be verified. If it can be verified as a whale tagged and given an ID name or number by the Cook Islands then there may be a case for a prosecution!

Pity the PM did not travel to Mangaia the same time as the QR! Both could have taken part in a new sport! A Paata race down main street!

Just picture the Manea Games chooks, 20 years from now, the five people left in the southern group islands, one on each island, will take part but in new sports like wheel chair racing, the five yard hobble (without walking sticks), a pie eating contest (minus the false teeth) and first to turn the light out. Sadly with depopulation, so few will be left on the outer islands but hey, the pensioners left on Raro can foot the bill for the Games to go ahead!

Here’s a novel idea chooks! Instead of raising the minimum wage from $5 to $12 an hour, simply scrap it! Have no minimum wage at all. That way, no-one will work at all because the wages will be so low. Depopulation will speed up and a whole new group of foreigners not used to doing any work at all, will swoop in-dole bludging Cook Islanders from Aussie and NZ.

Plenty of dosh about from foreign parts for non revenue generating infrastructure chooks! Nothing for much needed development though. Government now needs to pour some dosh into development that creates jobs not just for builders but people when the structures (office buildings, hotels, small enterprise units) are completed. Where is the future work for our building industry? The trade training school is churning out tradesmen who have no jobs to go to except overseas. Where are the local jobs for the trainees pouring out of the Hospitality training Centre? Government-take the bull by the horns and finish the hotel at Vaimaanga!

Herald Issue 583

Crisis in Pukapuka! But don’t worry folks! Former MP Vai Peua is sending ice cream! Trust Vai to know what’s really required! And in another development, someone wants to send a pile of alcohol north on the boat! What say ye master? Load it all on boys but we can’t guarantee it will reach Pukapuka!

Now Tongareva wants a shipment! What say ye Minister? Talk to your member of parliament! Will the fishing boat go north again? Sure! Just fork out around 140 “Gs!”

Crikey chooks! Talk about taking liberties! Now papers are emanating from the PM’s Office, with the title “Right Honourable!” How can this be? That title is bestowed, is it not, by the Privy Council in London? An application must be made and it is not always granted. Big Red was told the Council usually bestows the title when a PM has served more than 2 terms! How did our PM get this title? Does the Council know about it? Or is it a “taro patch” title? Japanese Ambassador will be having a quiet chuckle to himself!

If we’re not careful chooks, the government might just start handing out New Year’s honours to themselves and perhaps a Knighthood here or there! Why stop at the “Right Honourables?” Doesn’t every or nearly every PM get a Knighthood? Why wait for the Palace to confer it? Help yourselves!

Where was China’s Foreign Minister when our PM visited China recently? Our PM got to see the “Vice” Foreign Minister. At least Wilkie when he was Foreign Minister got to see and talk to China’s Foreign Minister. Still, the “B team” got the red carpet treatment-albeit from the Mayor of Shanghai City not some top flight Central Government big wig!

There was a comment on the renewable energy show on Sunday night on the goggle-box that coconut oil as a fuel substitute was “not sustainable” because it takes 10 coconuts to make a litre of oil. Who says so chooks? The great Tom Wichman would disagree. According to Tom and the last Agriculture Ministry survey statistics of coconut trees in the outer islands, coconut oil is sustainable. You see, according to the great Wichman, there is a new breed of coconut tree which will bear fruit after just five years. As the old trees serve their time, plant the new breed. Again, the great Wichman’s advice is ignored.

Seems the latest craze, after Zumba, is night markets! Pretty soon the public is going to start suffering from “night market fatigue.” Still, there’s a way to go yet because not every village has one. How about night Zumba at the night market? Why not light up Muri Lagoon and have night paddling races!

Great idea reviving agriculture in the outer islands chooks but what to do when there is no water? Did anyone think of that? Now Aitutaki’s crops are suffering because of a drought! Presto! Bring in water tanks! Fine, but where’s the water to put into the tanks? Chicken and egg situation chooks! What now?

Damsel spotted on an electric bike in a bid to promote renewable energy! Thing is, the electric bike has to be re-charged by plugging into a socket to draw on electric power created by a generator which uses diesel fuel! How does that protect the atmosphere? Will someone explain?

Clean up days by public minded citizens is fine but remember chooks, government has allocated $450,000 to contractors around the island to clean up the neighborhoods! Those contractors must be grinning from ear to ear!

No word yet from the Elvis Puna camp on the release of his next CD. His loyal fan base are looking forward to the next CD which is expected to feature classic old favourites like: “Slow boat to China,” “Everybody was Kung Fu fighting,” “Show me the way to go home,” “Red sails in the sunset” and “Sailor, stop your roving.”

Herald Issue 582

What’s up with the crazy, crazy, prices of goods in the outer islands chooks? A bottle of Vodka in Atiu is $45. Same bottle in Mauke is $75 but in Mitiaro, a bottle of Vodka with the red label is $80 but in Rarotonga it sells for just $18. Something is not adding up here.

Their lips are sealed chooks! French President Scarykozy and our PM Elvis Puna of course! Why is there no report on what was discussed during their meeting in Noumea about Tahiti’s future? Did Scarykozy put pressure on Elvis to support the Frenchy viewpoint? Was Elvis told by the Aussies and the Kiwis to fall in to line with the boss class? The days are gone whereby the old colonial masters dictated to the lowly native classes what to do. Or are there?

Other Pacific leaders will be intrigued to learn our PM inspected cars in China. Surely he could have done that via the internet from Rarotonga? The exciting thing is, one model of car he saw was the same one the Chinese President drives! Now surely that justifies the whole trip to China!

How interesting, the PM went to China to meet and talk to the same person he met and spoke with at the Pacific leader’s forum in Auckland! Catching up on the latest?

PM sporting a pony tail chooks? In the photo from a Chinese press article on the PM’s meeting with a Chinese Party Official, look closely, the PM appears to be sporting a rather bushy pony tail!

With all the Chinese big wigs away in New York attending an important UN Health meeting for world leaders, and rubbing shoulders with our own Nandi Glassie who is attending because our PM is in China, the PM has been stuck with having to pow wow with lower level government officials! Is this the level we have sunk to because of not taking up the China money? Relegated to dealing with officials? A Head must talk to a Head not a tail.

What started out as a “State” visit for the PM, has now, apparently, been downgraded to an “official” visit because he will now be chin wagging with the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs! So how does this place Mrs PM?

With all the hoo blah blah about Temporary Fiji PM Commander Bananarama, some people have conveniently forgotten that the government he tossed out was corrupt. Maybe people love corrupt governments? Bananarama does not and neither should we. Perhaps those who would want a return to the old days and ways, condone corruption. There is no evidence of any corruption with Bananarama at the helm.

Here’s a warning chooks. When Fiji returns to democracy, thanks to the Commander, Bananarama, it will be corruption free meaning those greedy, grubby sods with sticky fingers will no longer get another foothold on the taxpayer gravy train. The gravy train will be gone. With no corruption to deplete State coffers and stagnate growth, Fiji will emerge a power house in the region.

Elvis Puna’s China trip will see the warbler returning with songs for a new CD. Look out for new renditions, “Baby you can drive my car,” “Pearly shells,” “Here comes the sun,” “Baby let me be your loving’ Panda bear,” and “When you’re goin’ to Shanghai City, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.” Watch for the CD at the Punanga Nui market!

Next year’s Pacific Leaders forum could be timed for the same week as Te Maeva Nui. Also, Vaka Eiva should be brought forward, along with Miss Tiare, Miss Cook Islands and the Kite Surfing. Make it one big shin dig! Throw in an Oceania sporting event and the week will be a boomer! However, don’t expect CISNOC to pay for anything!

Herald Issue 581

With the World Rugby Cup assigned to Kiwi-land, how come our Rugby Union did not make an all out effort to qualify? Tonga, Samoa and Fiji are there. When will we get there? We have heaps of Cookies playing top rugby league in the NRL comp in Aussie-lure some of these guys across to Union!

Wealthy Chinese tourists for Rakahanga? Why not? The Chinese love fresh fish and sea food! In Chinese eateries, they select live seafood from a fish tank for the wok! In Rakahanga, the Chinese diner would walk into the lagoon a couple of metres and personally pick up fresh paua for the Chef beachside to cook up! How’s that for fresh seafood! Where else in the world could a diner do that? Tourism Corp take note!

Noticed the new Red Cross structure nearing completion in Tupapa chooks? All that roof area for capturing water during rainfalls and only one water tank? This is the Red Cross! They should have several large water tanks and should dispense water to needy householders during drought periods!

The taro jungle tom toms in Atiu have been beating chooks as a new doco film reveals the sorry state of the bird island’s roads and the derelict unoccupied houses. A massive clean-up will be needed if “A” list tourists are to set foot on Atiu! Behold chooks! Tim has the answer! Clean-up the vegetation and old timbers and process the lot through a bio-mass plant to generate electricity to run the island’s new infrastructure!

Another diplomatic boo boo chooks? PM had the choice of going to China for a State visit or to the UN for an important health meeting for Leaders. He opted for China and Health Minister Glassie is off to New York for the UN meeting. Now the PM has discovered the Chinese leaders are off to the UN meeting leaving our PM to meet and hob nob with “officials” while Minister Glassie gets to stride the red carpet in New York and rub shoulders with the Chinese leaders. Seems the China State visit will be downgraded to something more befitting our country’s size and status in the world order.

Local tartan kilt wearing, caber tossing Scottie complains the World Rugby Cup TV telecast on CITV of the Scotland Romania game did not include the part where the Scottish National Anthem was performed. Seems the broadcast was running late.

A chook chirps that last week the Ministry of Infernal Affairs awarded clean up contracts worth a total of $450,000 to various contractors and the next day the Ministry of Unvironment called for volunteers to clean up the island in honour of some world clean up day! The people who were awarded the contracts to be paid to clean up must have thought their Christmases had come all at once with all those volunteers scurrying about picking up trash!

Another chook chirps if it is really necessary for our government Disinteries to celebrate every world day event on the calendar! There’s a world day event for just about every topic under the Sun! Still it gives our civil servants and Ministers something to do. Can’t spend valuable government time working on our own internal problems! Heaven forbid!

Looks like the Elvis Puna roadshow has some gigs on the Chinese mainland chooks! Look out for some new renditions of some old favourites! “Memphis Tennessee” becomes “Hong Kong Welcomes Me.” “Teddy Bear” becomes “Shanghai Bear.” After the roadshow, CDs will be on sale at the Punanga Nui.

Isn’t the new Kiwi High Comm a breath of fresh air chooks! Instead of being holed up in his office, he’s out and about pressing palms and hongi-ing with the locals! One Hen who runs a local motel reports the Carter-man pulling up and hopping out to say “Kia Ora!”

Herald Issue 580

New Tsunami sign in Matavera points inland and interestingly, points people directly to the 2 storey home of the former MP for Matavera!

With the PM and three Ministers away at the Leaders pow wow in Kiwi-land, only two Ministers remain on the beach but which one is the acting PM and which one is the Deputy PM? Also, which Minister has which absent Minister’s portfolios? Once again chooks the nation is left in the dark to figure it out.

When are our Ministers going to learn to say a simple “no” to the numerous invitations to travel to overseas conferences and feel good chin wags? Surely, their presence is not crucial? Just say “No” and stay and fix the problems at home. And there’s plenty to fix. No-one’s going to miss them if they don’t show up in Brussels, London, New York or Geneva.

News our new Finsec is off to London and Korea for pow wows on the Paris Declaration. Why? It seems that highly virulent travel bug has leaped from his Minister onto him! His feet have hardly touched the ground following his arrival from the land of the Black Stump and already he’s packing his bags and he’s off! Pretty soon he will have clocked up as many air points as the Secretary for Health! They may even cross paths in Geneva, Frankfurt, Berlin or Paris-who knows!

Whatever happened to the four all expenses paid invites to the South Pacific Games that Nukutere College got from the New Caledonians as a thank you for hosting them so well during the 2009 Mini Games? Who ended up with the invites? Was a ballot held and were they given to three kids and a teacher? Or did someone on the School Board end up with them?

Who footed the travel and accommodation bill in Noumea for the CISNOC administrators and staff who went with the team? Who paid for Sir Jiff, Rosie, Odile and Robert G? How come the paid trip for the Weightlifting Referee Boney Hole was withdrawn? Who withdrew it and who went in his place and why? What did Coffa have to say?

Soon it will be compulsory for every bikie to wear a helmet regardless. An overseas consultant is helping to draft up the new laws. Why? Can’t someone in our own Crown Law outfit do this job? Aren’t our lawyers good enough? Where’s Tony? Rumour chooks is Crown law’s days of drafting legislation is coming to an end. A new division will be set up under parliament as in NZ where there is a Law Draftsman office as part of parliament services.

Word is chooks three countries have tendered for the job of removing the large rock in Mangaia harbour which is preventing Tapi’s boat from entering. Russia has offered to do the job with a container load of TNT equivalent to a small Hydrogen bomb. North Korea has offered to dispatch a missile tipped with a small nuclear warhead but cannot guarantee a direct hit. Iran has offered to solve the problem with a device known to be radioactive on condition we do not notify the Americans.

Atupa resident steeped in the art of matters agricultural testifies that 38 years ago, some 40 Tahitians descended on Rarotonga to learn about agriculture-the growing of pineapples, bananas, and other crops. He even went with them to Tahiti and spent several months showing them how it was done! Now here we are 38 years later sending 32 growers to Tahiti to learn how to grow the same crops from them!

Our politicians love attending flashy overseas pow wows and paying lip service to struggling folks back home. Evidence the PM’s praise at the Leader’s Forum of potential back home. That’s fine, now put the money up or shut up!

Herald Issue 579

Did we just miss something chooks? Prison officer passes course in Kiwiland and laments the shortage of local prison officers. Next up is the Prison Boss who announces he is sending two prison officers all the way to the Solomons for training!

In government for less than a year and our MPs are traveling all over the globe at a frantic pace it’s like the world’s going to end soon so they have to just pop off to places far afield! What’s in all these trips for the country? What are the benefits? When will we see results? When will we see reports?

The list of numbers going to the big Pacific Leaders pow wow in Auckland has been released but not the names of the actual people themselves. Why? Because that would cause some eyebrows to go up! For instance why is the Chair of the Ports Authority going? Are ports on the agenda? The Cook Islands contingent of hangers on looks like it might swamp the event with its officials outnumbering the leaders themselves!

Looks like the Deputy Leader of the Opposition has decided to drop out of the exodus to the Auckland pow wow. Why was he invited in the first place? To hold someone’s hand? It’s not too late chooks for government to review the team going and restore some decorum and public credibility to the contingent.

Our own Traveling Wilbury, our singing PM, is to release a CD of his favourite songs which include his latest hit, “I left my heart in San Francisco, Vienna, Apia, Noumea, Wellington, Tokyo.” He also has a new rendition of the Frank Sinatra hit, “Fly me to the Moon.” There’s also two other Sinatra hits on the CD, “New York, New York,” “Chicago,” and an old favourite “London Town.”

Evidence that the cash in the system is drying up is the latest incident where a retail store is now giving customers their change in the form of lollies. Apparently one lolly is the equivalent of 10 cents. Sure beats shell money! Can’t suck on shells!

Talk about disproportion chooks! Into the sports stadium came the Cookie team where it was announced the Cooks with a population of 15,000 had sent 148 athletes! Then later in came a team from a country which had a population of 60,000 and which had sent 40 athletes! Have you spotted the difference?

Pacific Games organizers are rumoured to be considering a proposal that Pacific Leaders attending the Games be seated according to the size of their countries population. Therefore, in the front row, would be the big nations of PNG, Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti, and so on. The Cook Islands would be to the rear with Tokelau and Niue.

Another change that may be made for future Games concerns the opening ceremony march into the stadium. Noticeable was that officials were marching at the head of the team. As the Games are about the athletes, not the officials, in future officials may have to march at the rear. So they should chooks! Fans come to see the athletes not some official. Officials should not be hogging the limelight.

Next Pacific Leaders meeting in 2012 in Rarotonga chooks? Remember, some 400 people will be attending. TSA Stadium for the venue and where to for the Leader’s retreat? Aitutaki? If Tepaki’s Fast Ferry is in operation, why not Atiu? Somewhere different. TSA Stadium would be better than the drafty old Auditorium chooks. At tea time, the Leader’s could engage in a game of five –a- side soccer!

Recently, Ministers have attended 3 conferences in Samoa, one in PNG and visits have been made to China and USA. Where are the reports chooks or the press releases from those Ministers? Again the taxpayer is in the dark as to what was said or done on our behalf. Government under darkness chooks. Someone switch on a light!

Herald Issue 578

When the time comes for the 26 sports federations to vote in new office bearers, will the same lot be voted back in? That question arises before every parliamentary general election and lo! The same lot are brought back into punish us again! Don’t worry, it will be the same at SillyNoc. Sir Jiff and the others will be back again! Reason? Because few others will be prepared to put their hands up to sort out the mess!

What’s more important chooks, parliament or the Pacific Games? The Games of course and how do we know? Because the Speaker Sir Jiff has gone off to the Games! Well they have a Deputy Speaker don’t they? Also hopping aboard the plane was the PM. That’s why parliament was adjourned early chooks. So the MPs could go to the airport to farewell the team and the PM.

The CIP Cabinet is seeking safety in numbers when traveling overseas chooks. 3 are off to the Leader’s Forum in NZ and more are off to China later in September! Will the PM take a crew with him to Brisbane for the historic meeting with the CI Community? Will the PM announce where the invitation came from and when? Is it an official meeting? What about the CI Community in Las Vegas?

Will the CEO for Tourism, Rupert’s mate, reveal how much was spent from the Tourism budget on taking a big party to the USA recently? How much of the marketing budget was spent? Where did the approval for this initiative come from? Would Rupert care to comment? Woof? Woof?

Is it time to revamp the Forum Leader’s pow wows chooks? A bunch of tired, old men bereft of any bright ideas about progress looking for a good time in some foreign port of call. Where on the agenda are the issues that impact on women? Women make up over half the Pacific population so where’s their voice? Will any women be at top table? It’s a man’s realm with manly issues up for debate, no sissy female stuff. Bring on the world rugby cup! Isn’t that what they are really there for? Defer all issues until the Rarotonga get together in 2012!

Is this the year chooks, the post colonial Forum nations old boys let Tahiti sit at top table? Don’t bank on it! Why else is Scaryzosky going to Noumea? To lobby the others of course to keep the Tahitians sitting on the sidelines! And what do the Wallabies and Kiwis say? They’re probably in bed with Scaryzosky! When will Tahiti get it’s independence? Probably never thanks to French dosh.

News just to hand chooks that India may be offering to remedy the situation affecting Mangaia harbour. A big, hard rock is blocking the entry of Tapi’s boat. Word is India has perfected a minor explosive device incorporating a small amount of plutonium. The proposal is that after the explosion, Indian fishing boats be allowed to move in a scoop up all the dazed and stunned fish. The European Union has kindly offered to provide the populace with wrap around dark glasses under a special grant which requires the island council to fill in an 87 page application form. The ADB has offered a low interest loan over 20 years to replace all plants and animals which may be affected by radiation.

When the Forum leaders pow wow gets under way in Rarotonga in 2012, obviously a fleet of VIP cars will be needed to ferry around the Leaders. Where will these cars be sourced from? China? Perhaps the PM can knock off two birds with one stone by talking cars with the Chinese. Then again, if Tepaki’s fast ferry is up and running, why not take the whole shebang across to Aitutaki? What better place to have a Leader’s meeting and showcase our tourism jewel in the crown at the same time?


Herald Issue 577

Chooks, tongues are wagging over the umpteenth plan to get a major fishing industry off the ground in Penrhyn and halt depopulation in the process. Many plans starting with the one by the two T’s, (Temu Okotai and Tap Pryor) have come and gone over the years. Even Penrhyn’s once big, multi-million dollar, pearl company came crashing down. So what is the problem up there? Can the local MP sort it out?

Why is CISNOC having financial problems? Surely, after the 2007 Pacific Games in Samoa, CISNOC should have started fund raising for 2011. Even if CISNOC ran just one $20 raffle in each year up to 2011 instead of one $50 raffle in 2011, and banked the money in an interest bearing term deposit, it would not be having such a problem now. In fact, every sporting code should have been putting some money away over the last four years to ease the pain now. With the next Pacific Games coming up four years from now, the message to CISNOC and the sports codes is, start putting something away now. It’s amazing how money builds up over time.

Poor old Tapi! He must have been gazing out his land based portholes and seen all that cargo heading north free of charge on that government sponsored Ferry! Wonder if Tapi had his calculator in his hand, working out the value of all that freight? $200,000 worth? One lot was even seen toting a large wardrobe on board! Wonder how that’ll go on the barge!

Is it true chooks that 70 who came from the north for Te Maeva Nui on the government sponsored Samoan Ferry are not heading home again? Where are they off to? Cairns? Brisbane? Mangere? Porirua?

Some local retail outlets must have enjoyed a cash bonanza or windfall as outer islanders bought up large, blowing a wad on various goodies to take home on the Ferry! Buying in bulk chooks because who knows when the next boat is going north? Government may have spent over 400 grand providing the Ferry service but local shops would have done well.

The voyage down from the north by the Samoan Ferry may have been rough as guts chooks due to bad weather but with calmer seas, will the trip home be quicker as first thought, seeing the Ferry will now be weighed down by all those goodies!

Only problem chooks with setting up a regular shipping service between Samoa and the north is a big beetle called the Rhinoceros Beetle! The challenge will be to prevent that bug from setting foot in the north! Perhaps the Raro based “Bug Lady” can go north to advise on the implementation of an effective defense system! Workshops can be run along with training courses and overseas experts brought in along with consultants! Of course all this may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars that government does not have!

Could our government follow the Kiwiland example by bringing in special traffic rules which apply only to teenagers? In Kiwiland no teenage driver can drink alcohol, full stop. That law could be adopted here along with a rule that all teenagers on motorbikes must wear helmets! Who knows, by the time they reach 20, they may have adopted the wearing of helmets as a habit!

Solve the Muri sewerage problem by doing this chooks-run a big underground pipe down the length of the main road, hook all buildings beachside and landside up to this pipe, pump the sewerage inland away from the coast and treat it then release the treated stuff onto fields or into pipes to run harmlessly out to sea. What could be simpler than this? Of course it’s too simple so no Cook Islands government would do it!

Herald Issue 576

Oh dear chooks! Outer islanders invited to hear all about the Deep Sea Mining proposals and no-one showed up! What does that indicate? Lack of interest? Too confusing? What now? Perhaps there should have been a better planned media or public relations strategy carried out first. Thinking caps on lads!

Hands up the local chappie invited to send an entry to the Copenhagen Film Festival? First time its happened but oops chooks, seems few in government want a bar of it just now. That will soon change if the Cook Islands entry happens to win a prize let alone recognition! Look for politicians to suddenly emerge from the bushes to claim credit! The PM may even go to Copenhagen, make a speech and sing a song!

Talk about local Cook Islanders doing it for themselves and that has to be good chooks. Why bludge and sponge off government all the time? Once politicians get involved, the process becomes murky. Congratulations Hugh Graham for the Moringa project, that chappie for the Copenhagen film project and Tim for the fast ferry.

What about this format for the next Te Maeva Nui chooks. Model the parade on the Rio Carnival (invite one of the famous Samba schools over to take part!). Throw in a parade of the 14 different churches, a Sydney like gay parade, a New Orleans like Mardi-Gras and any other entries and watch the tourists flock in from around the world! The parade to be preceded the night before by a huge downtown party (block off the main street) complete with invited Jamaican steel bands!

It’s time the country got a new name chooks. Some Russian map maker gave us the name Cook Islands after British naval Captain James Cook but he never landed here, he sailed through and off. Captain Cook would have given us his name if he wanted to but he did not. Clearly he did not think he deserved to name the place after him.

One way to cut back the thefts and bad behavior is to put more coppers on the roads at night especially late at night. Local residents can alert the coppers to the spots where speeding occurs. It makes no sense to put the majority of the coppers on duty during the day when little happens.

The wheels of government turn slowly chooks. That’s why the official announcement of Tiki’s appointment came out three days after the Radio Cook Islands announcement.

Wonderful performance chooks by the singing Prime Minister at the Auditorium knees up for the Constitution celebrations. Good thing the outer islanders were there otherwise the Auditorium would have looked a bit on the bare side. Where were all the public servants? Home in bed?

The Black Pearl brigade will be holding yet another workshop to once again define the “way forward.” Surely the way forward should have been clear by now? Chooks, the way forward must involve coming up with a brand name that is unique to the Cook Islands. Avaiki is not a name which is exclusive to the Cook Islands. It is a Polynesian term signifying “homeland.” Get your thinking caps on black pearl brigade!

Spooked resident on Suwarrow reports an alien spaceship landing and then chatting to the occupant, a little green man. Seems the little green man from Mars was flying in because he had heard the Cook Islands was “going green!”

Here are some more suggestions for the going green initiative. Matutu-green beer please! Green tooth paste! Green doughnuts! Green coffee! Green money-green backs, US dollars!

In Kiwiland, their politicians are used to the Maoris singing in parliament. Perhaps when our PM visits the NZ PM, he will be invited to the NZ parliament and be asked to sing a song! The Maori MPs could reply with a song and then the whole NZ parliament could burst into song!

Herald Issue 575

One way to kick off the going “green” initiative would be for all government premises including parliament, to be painted green (Lime green?). MPs should be decked out in green shirts and green paper and ink should be used in all government offices. In government offices at tea time, green tea - of course! From China!

With the CIP conference set to take place in the AOG Church Hall in Takuvaine, will Brown be seeking divine inspiration and angelic interjection for a way out of the corner he has painted himself into over that unpopular tax? Perhaps Brown will “axe the tax” and up VAT?

Another big nosh up after the Auditorium knees up for the Constitution! Seems 10 grand will be split between CISNOC and the Matavera CICC for the catering-finger food we hear!

Answer to Raro’s water problems-supply and pressure-create a giant lake in Avana valley. Stock it with mozzie eating fish and several aerating devices, the dam to produce hydro-electricity. Hey presto! Problems solved! So why hasn’t this been done?

Only one speaker at Wednesday’s opening at the Sir Jiff Auditorium for the Constitution Day celebrations chooks and that was the PM! Word was dispatched two days earlier that there would be only one speaker which meant, the old tradition of the QR, RAC and Traditional Leaders getting a chance to speak was ended! Seems the PM wants to also sing a song! While the populace may welcome this shortification of pontification time, will this changification put the QR in trouble with the Palace? What will Her indoors think? The Madam at the Palace.

Atiu community leader was dragged away from leading the Atiu float in last Friday’s big parade because someone had to translate the PM’s five page speech! Atiu leader had to race home, get changed then race back to translate the PM’s speech!

Cock up on the communication front chooks! Local arrives home from Kiwiland at 3am and at the international airport wants to ring up relies to get key for their accommodation! Could she find a phone book at the international airport? NO! Goodness! C’mon government, this local has come home- could you make it any harder?

An amazing medical breakthrough has been announced chooks! Our much traveled politicians have succumbed to a mystery virus! But not to worry, it’s treatable. World famed medical specialists flown in from Switzerland, have successfully isolated the culprit, a virulent virus which has been identified as “Travel-buga-risus” thought to lurk in and around air conditioning systems on aircraft. With our politicians traveling frequently mainly in business or economy class, two varieties have been discovered, Travel-buga-risus Class-Biz-ni-situs and Travel- buga-risus Class E-cono-meesus. However, the PM has been afflicted with a third and powerful strand, much more virulent than the other two, “Travel-buga-risis-777.” The cure? Avoid all air travel for at least one year.

Were not the Trade Days mainly for the outer islanders to showcase their fine crafts and delectable delicacies? They only come en masse once a year. It seems the “Go Local” Raro based outer islanders have muscled in pushing their fellow islanders into the back pews. How did these Raro based outer islanders do it? They simply put signs up saying they were from the outer islands! That’s not fair because the Raro based lot have the Punanga Nui Market every week to show case their stuff.

Whisper chooks is the men’s rugby sevens team pulled out of the Pacific Games because it had no money! The women’s team is going because it has money. The Rugby Union says the Noumea event is not a qualifying event for more important games but doesn’t our team need all the hard games it can get to condition the players? Also younger players need a chance to be bloodied. Bet is the other sevens teams will use the Pacific Games as a warm up for later games. We should be doing the same!

Herald Issue 574

Big Red hears that mug shots of local crims are making the rounds of businesses and hotels to alert them to be on the lookout for these high risk felon types! But what about the Mr Bigs roaming free, where are their mug shots chooks? Yes we are talking about the members of parliament who will soon spend over $170 million of our money! These Mr Bigs have just screwed us out of another 15 percent of our dosh! When will it end?

The miracle tree, the Moringa tree now being grown in Mauke in a big way, will feature at the upcoming Trade Days chooks. The leaves are said to be a powerful source of vitamins, minerals and other health boosting elements. In fact the whole tree is a source of health boosting chemical products. Forget the Nono tree chooks, the Moringa tree looks to have multi-million dollar signs attached to it. Watch for goats, pigs and people on Mauke to develop super goat, pig and human abilities. People on Mauke will grow 10 feet tall, have an IQ of 400 and live for 148 years.

Samoan Ferry sails up to Penrhyn to uplift passengers coming south for the Maeva Nui only to find, it’s Sunday and on Sunday, no-one on Penrhyn dare challenge the strict observance of religious rituals! The boat hence had to park up overnight! That changed the ETA at Rarotonga to Thursday-just one day before the float parade!

And on the topic of the float parade on Friday to open the Maeva Nui celebrations, where is the category for the religious organizations? There are prizes for various categories like government offices, NGO’s, Business houses, schools, but what about the Churches? With over 14 Churches of various denominations on Rarotonga alone, how come Churches have no category?

Hard word has gone on government to cough up details on overseas trips to the media! As it is near impossible for local media to accompany government officials on overseas trips to far flung places like China, Brussels, Japan, perhaps government officials should report on everything taxpayers funds were spent on, like what food and wine was consumed at dinner. This is so the taxpayer can determine if the meal was cost effective. It is also important for the taxpayer to know if fillet steak was consumed when the cheaper option of T bone steak was available!

Why did it take so long for the Chamber of Commerce to break its silence on the new 15 percent tax? Not so much as a public peep out of the Chair until Saturday!

Oh dear chooks! Popular eatery for us chooks seeking up-market crumbs has just become off limits! Just because some pesky human employee is alleged to have slipped up on some chook doo dah injuring her knees! The evidence was shaky chooks, a claim of skid marks and residue doo dah but where is the DNA evidence? Give the place a wide berth chooks until the heat dies down.

Why won’t government name the person in the IMF who they contacted for comment on the 15 per cent withholding tax? Big Red has heard a whisper that government will not reveal the name because that person no longer works for the IMF. Did officials know this before they contacted this person?

Russians heading north by catamaran to film a doco about Suwarrow which is named after a Russian, forced the boats Captain to turn the vessel back to Rarotonga after two of the three Russians in the group became sea sick! That explains why most of the world was discovered by the English, Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese!

Bravo tax lawyer Clarkie for butting in and chewing up government over its unpopular tax! Why didn’t government consult him? Now a new buzz word has made it into MFEM’s Manual of Public Excuses,-“Tweaking!”

Herald Issue 573

Oh dear chooks! Word reaching Big Red is that the restriction to 40 persons per island from the north on the Samoan Ferry is about to be blown sky high with numbers exceeding 60 in some cases! Will there be no-one left up there? Rumour is some innovative sorts from Tongareva are on a one way ticket-Tongareva-Rarotonga-Aussie!

Just as some local households are ankle deep in anxiety because there is no water, a local chook is having withdrawal symptoms because there has not been any “Sunday Star” newspapers for the last three weeks! Will the Bounty be innovative and fly in a Hercules to make an emergency drop?

Local eatery offering 9 and 12 inch dishes was mistaken for offering an innovative substance that increases the natural size of a particular organ!

Another cock up on the Cultural Ministry front chooks! Culture was supposed to organize the filming of the new Bishop’s swearing in but thought a pregnant woman at CITV was going to do it and in fact thought she was organizing the whole show! Pregnant woman was contacted the night before to film the next morning but why so late? Naturally the late confirmation was not acceptable!

What’s happened to MFEM? With an inexperienced Finance Minister, MFEM should be providing expert advice to prop him up. But MFEM itself has lost experienced staff and is stocked with people with little depth of experience advising a Minister who also has little depth of experience. Big Red has heard from within the bowels of MFEM itself that MFEM has no-one who is expert in tax matters. (Bring back Stoddie?) Hence the need to run off to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for advice! An organization we don’t even belong to! The IMF was not shown the banks’ figures so how valid is IMF’s advice? And just who in the IMF did our Finance officials contact? The office cleaner? Why not simply consult the NZ Inland Revenue? Now that would have been innovative! After all NZ has had this tax for quite a while.

Government could have saved $1 million by simply cutting the personnel budget by $1 million. It’s high time some of the deadwood was turfed out. Now there’s an innovative idea!

Why is it the Chamber of Commerce has not commented on the withholding tax? Is the Chamber firmly in the pocket of government?

Does the PSC know that one HOM had an underling write up his annual performance to contracted objectives for him? This is the report upon which the HOM’s next pay rise is dependent upon! Talk about delegation inaction! Full marks to that HOM for showing innovation! Now surely that’s worth a massive increase in pay?

At last week’s workshop for HOMs on identifying their core services, the HOMs were purposely not informed that the PM would be there. Some obedient HOMs arrived on time for the PM’s opening remarks but then 8 HOMs straggled in somewhat late and were surprised to see the PM there. The rest , about 12, who did not bother to show will now need to apply innovative thinking to conjure up water tight alibis for their non-appearance! As the PM said to those HOMs who were punctual, ”You get to keep your jobs!”

How innovative of parliament to complete the Budget debate and third reading in Formula 1 grand-prix like time! Such elevated thinking was necessary if Ministers were to refill the travel funds coffers in time for the great getaway to exotic, far flung destinations overseas. Samoa beckons this month as does China next month and other places!

Whisper reaching Big Red’s ears is that the colourful NZ based Chinese billionaire businessman Jack Chen will be back in Rarotonga next week to follow up promising, innovative, potential investment opportunities sniffed on his earlier visit. Perhaps he thought “Bamboo Jacks” was named after him and he wants it!

Herald Issue 572

Here’s a question chooks! Does the Mirage Group, wanting to develop the Vaimaanga site, know about the curse? Do they know there are two curses on that land? Do they know the lagoon in front goes brown when the rains come and muddy water flows down the two creeks on either side? And on the subject of the ring road and proposed hairpin bend, do they know how locals drive on a Friday night?

Who are the overseas investors that are willing to pour millions of dolleros into this new fangled marine park scheme? What are their names? Whose idea was it originally? With no sea life of any significance to protect, why a marine park? Why is a rugby league legend fronting this proposal? Who put him up to it? With many crooks around the world sniffing out legitimate funding pools to launder their ill gotten gains, what safety measures are in place to prevent dirty money from entering our marine park?

Oh dear chooks! Local man goes onto his facebook site to discover that a foreign hand has inserted a film clip that would make the Chief Censor’s grey hair turn white in a flash! As for the local man, his once curly hair is now dead straight! Such was the fright he got when he viewed his site! And what was on the site to cause such an uproar? Au naturel and a lot of stiffs moving about!

Rumour reaching Big Red is that famed Hollywood movie director Steven Spielberg is to make a blockbuster film in the Cook Islands called “Star Wars meets Star Trek on Rutaki Beach at low tide.” Locals are expected to reap thousands of dollars from the production by appearing as extras in the movie. Local thieves stand to make a fortune from petty thefts of equipment, wallets, etc. In the final scene, the script calls for an all out battle on the Sheraton site with all existing buildings blown up by high explosives leaving a crater 50 feet deep on the site! Another movie will then be made on the site, with Director Peter Jackson utilizing the deep hole, called “The attack of the giant red ants from the centre of the Earth.”

Chooks, should we tell our Aussie mates the Patrol Boat is now to be converted into a cargo vessel? It’s going that way! Sorry Tapi! It’s another round peg in a square hole!

And speaking of round pegs in square holes, only in the Cooks, would we welcome a cruise liner on a Sunday when most of the shops are shut! Amazing! This must be part of government’s secret plan for not making money from cruise passengers! Spend over $36 million NZ dollars upgrading the port so a cruise liner can call on a Sunday when shops are shut and few will make money! The tourist buses and the odd stall holder may scrape in a few dollars but nothing like the $750,000 we ought to get if a cruise liner calls on a week day and ties alongside the new wharf! When will all out Sunday trading come?

And on the size of the upgraded port, it will be impossible to accommodate a 120m container vessel, a 400m cruise liner and a 160m billionaire’s super yacht all at the same time! If our MPs had the intellectual brain power to adopt the plan by Gumbie, VC-Visionary Chairman, for a new port at Nikao, we might be able to do all that! Cruise liners are getting bigger not smaller. The Nikao port would cost $50 million NZ dollars but hey, our close buddies in China would just love to build it for us! It would be big enough to accommodate their new Aircraft carrier, navy submarine and the odd Chinese battle cruiser!

Herald Issue 571

Why has the Minita O Te Moni given his own support office more dosh that his comrades chooks? It’s because he needs to hire two finance experts at $60,000 a pop! But, why can’t the experts in MFEM do the job? Has he no confidence in his own Ministry? What about the staff he has in his office now? Are they not experts at something?

The arrival of the very vitamin rich Moringa Tree on Mauke signals the era of the Super Goat! Goat eats tree, develops super strength-goats leap 20 feet, run 100 mph. Goat meat goes into Mauke fritters turn out super human Maukeans! Every Maukean will hold a world record! Discus, shotput, javelin, 100 metres-you name it! Has Hughie struck gold or what?

The most overworked piece of government machinery has to be the “Cone of Silence!” Latest application has been to lower the infamous Cone down over the mystery Consultant hired to look at the renewable energy targets!

Why did parliament meet so early in July when government has until July 31 to table the Budget? Answer chooks is because Ministers will be traveling overseas later in July to parts far and wide! In fact there may be no Minister left on shore to be the acting PM!

Whispers reaching Big Red indicate the head of Te Aponga has some reservations about the energy project in Mitiaro and may be raising concerns. Word is there is not full agreement on the way forward!

Minor crisis for the PM just back from overseas and due to attend the ceremonial opening of parliament! Seems he flew in without his suitcase containing his best suits.

Here’s an idea for future ceremonial openings of parliament chooks! MPs and QR assemble outside parliament house in Nikao, QR to crack open a coconut and declare parliament open! QR to speak off the cuff for say 5 minutes then a cuppa tea and bickies inside for all MPs! Cost? Practically zero!

For future opening ceremonies of parliament, why not have an Air NZ 777 fly in all our favourite foods from Kiwiland! Crates of Big Macs and box loads of Kentucky Fried! The cost? Take it out of the $8 million Air NZ subsidy!

Remember that famous saying chooks? The Devil is in the detail? Well take the difference between the allocation for the support office of the Minita O Te Moni, Dark Frown, from the Demo time to the new budget and you will find the increase is 66.6 percent! That’s 666 chooks, the Devil’s number!

Spotted gazing at text messages on his cell phone while the Budget speech was being delivered, not once but several times, was the PM! Did Air NZ find his suitcase? Will the Speaker now take swift action to require all cell phones to be switched off while MPs are in the Chamber? After all, cell phones must be switched off when in a Court of law and Parliament is the highest court in the land! The PM was accidentally caught on camera but due to the convention of decorum deserving of members, the photo will not be reproduced!

Will the additional interest rate slapped on the ADB funds by government, during the on-loan to the Ports Authority, be passed on to Taio Shipping’s wharf fees? Will Taio Shipping be forced to raise freight charges to compensate?

Oh woe the people of Mitiaro! Woe! Woe! Woe! Their charges for power per unit have just been raised! Domestic rates are up from 55c to 75c and commercial rates are up from 58c to 98c. The increase in commercial rates will of course have to be passed on to the consumer! Seems an exercise is about to begin into what is the best, affordable energy option for Mitiaro!

Herald Issue 570

Will the new FinSec get here in time to help the Minita O Te Moni balance the ledgers? Will the Appropriation Bill (Budget document) get to the house on time? Is the Minister going to spring a surprise on Friday or the following Monday?

Will Atiu’s two MPs turn up to support the 3 young Atiu boxer warriors trained by Atiu Mayor Taoro Strickland, at the fight night at the Tupapa Centre on Thursday? Perhaps Nandi and Taoro will get in the ring? Get Norman in too for a three-way!

Big Red’s big ears have picked up on distant taro jungle tom toms which say government has broken down telecom’s door asking –for MORE! Not satisfied with having just picked up a bundle from the wireless lads, a desperate government has just been given, wait for it, another 400 “Gs.”

Big Red has picked up a whisper chooks that Telecom Directors from Kiwiland went to pow wow with the Minister O Te Moni over recommendations by the Economic Taskforce! Seems the Taskforce needs a gentle reminder who the major player is!

Big Red has heard strong whispers that Big Mac from the OPM is packing his bags and shifting to MOIP as that agencies new head sharang! There are equally strong whispers of denial! What happened to the letter?

Oh dear chooks! The new scribes at the daily had the Kiribas border matter wrong. Had they watched CITV News, they would have got it right!

Problem chooks! What to do about the massive, very solid, iron like rock still blocking the entrance to recently upgraded Mangaia harbour and preventing the inter-island boat from getting in along wharf side. Suggestions range from; an underwater Scout troop with hammers and chisels, 100 Chinese underwater swimmers with picks, several tonnes of TNT, a T&M Heather front loader equipped to operate underwater to a small nuclear device.

As confirmation that Cook Islanders love their food chooks, the ceremonial opening of parliament will host up to 1,000 people for lunch not including 300 local primary school kids, all of Tereora’s senior students and some NGOs at an unconfirmed cost of about zonks a head. Word is the chow bill is already up to $25,000! At least the kids will get a decent meal! 500 to be catered by T&M Heather and 500 by the Atiu people Big Red hears.

The ceremonial opening of parliament at the National Auditorium is approaching William and Kate wedding proportions chooks! The PM’s speech is just 10 minutes long while the QR’s speech from the throne is about one and a half hours long! All speeches to be translated! All we need now chooks, is the Chinese Navy band to march up and down and a 21 gun salute!

Government tere parties to the outer islands are causing outer islanders some grief! The visiting government dignitaries should at least take some food with them like some boxes of chicken or chops. In the outer islands, the poor folk have to host the visitors at some considerable cost for example, outer islanders pay over $100 for a box of chicken which costs just $37 on Rarotonga! Big Red’s recommendation? Just put on a cuppa tea and bickies for government visitors and let the people accommodating them, provide their meals!

A wide awake citizen in Kii Kii has pointed out that Telecom’s tall metallic mast in Tupapa probably needs some lights on top to alert incoming aircraft that it is there! What do the Civil Aviation Regs say?

Word is a Russian spy satellite has picked up the new telecom metallic mast in Tupapa and may be sending a submarine soon to confirm it is not an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).

Herald Issue 569

The piggy population has increased chooks. Perhaps it’s a sign of these hard times! When meat is expensive, $20 for two kilos of mince (blimey!), people will raise their own meat. More people are selling veges and fruit by the roadside, another sign of tricky times. Has anyone in government noticed?

That very slow driver is still out and about on the roads during the busy times of the day! C’mon boys in blue, have a chat to this bloke!

There’s a new 2012 calendar out chooks featuring young Cook Islands women at the beach, Big Red can’t say which shop sells it but it doesn’t leave much to the imagination. However, it still has a long way to go to equal those calendars from our near neighbours!

Lets hope solar power will do the job chooks as long as the sun is out. Only draw back is, in our part of the world, southern hemisphere, volcanic eruptions could be our downfall. There are massive volcanoes in NZ, Indonesia, PNG, Chile and if they all went kaput, the dust in the air would block out the sun! Not to mention ruin our tourism industry!

Who now for the job of CI High Commissioner to NZ? Will it be former PM Dr Joe Williams or Sporting Supremo Tiki Matapo JP? What about the QR job for Tiki when Sir Fredrick retires? Then Tiki will become Sir Tiki!

Familiar with those measuring devices chooks? The ones that you wheel along as you walk and it measures distance. Well our lads from one State agency have a new way to apply the device! They ride in a truck with the device out the window running along the ground! Does it have the same effect as if you were walking? Maybe.

Seen the TV clip of the amazing Bobby Brown strolling along the beach playing on his guitar the tune, “God Bless my Paradise again?” Amazing because he’s playing an electric guitar which doesn’t seem to be plugged into any electrical socket! He must have magic fingers to be able to produce such a sound! All that static electricity perhaps? And what about the great, legendary Tahitian entertainer Gabilou, he must be over 70, but there he is, prancing around poolside with a couple of young dancers! Wonders never cease!

Good to see our Police recruits pounding the streets carrying large wooden poles with them! Practicing for a stint with Te Aponga? Replacing power poles knocked over by drunks?

Here’s a test for our new Police recruits. London taxi drivers must pass an exam for what they call “The Knowledge.” It’s a test of their knowledge of streets and how to get to various destinations. Lets give our boys in blue the same training! How to find various places, since there are no street names or house numbers! And some recruits may be from the outer islands and won’t be familiar with where things and persons are on Rarotonga!

Lets keep that big, ocean going, Fijian barge here a while longer chooks! You see, it could be used to transport outer islanders here for the Constitution celebrations! At a ridiculously low price! Put in some chemical toilets, a portable shower or two, some mattresses, turf a few fish hooks over the side, toss in some gas cookers, throw some shrimps on the barbie and Bob’s your Uncle!

Only problem with the BCI stadium for the one off historic league test against the Kiwis, is that the field is not regulation size. Roll up the athletic track? Shift to Raemaru Park? Have T&M Heather erect temporary stands? What about the soccer field in Matavera? Hey maybe we can beat the Kiwis at soccer!

Herald Issue 568

Giant Israeli mangoes may soon be grown in the Cooks for export to Israel! In a new initiative, crops may be grown for a fee, for other nations who lack space in their countries or where countries are affected by climate change!

Steam trains down the middle of the main road chooks? The day may come sooner than you think as this new tourist attraction is being put together for government consideration! It is proposed to run the steam trains and carriages from Club Raro as far as the airport. Running down the centre of the main road is the easiest option and the accidents should be spectacular! The head on collisions with drunk drivers will greatly excite visitors!

New proposal to hand chooks! A Political Park where politicians will become a protected species for overseas visitors to view and admire! The park will be run by a Trust Board and overseas donors sought to fund research projects aimed at conserving politicians and also finding out what makes them tick, what sort of food they like and so on. Of course the costs involved are likely to be enormous.

The sale of state assets to local shareholders will enable the establishment of a local stock market where shares can be bought and sold. This sophisticated form of gambling should have many go broke in no time! A futures market can then be started along with junk bonds and hedging! Who needs a casino?

There’s a mistaken view that the multi-million dollar Avatiu harbour upgrade is to cater for large cruise liners! Not so. It’s so that giant, ocean going barges carrying tonnes of manganese nodules from the deep can tie up to unload! The outer shell of the nodules will be removed and shipped off shore for processing. The hard inner spheres will be returned to the deep so crusts can reform on them and we can make even more money in future!

World’s Oldest Greatest (WOG) Lover, a regular purchaser of cans of Irish Stew has almost single handedly created a run on the product. So much so the price, because of the market forces of supply and demand, has rocketed from just under $4 a can to over $5 a can! WOG has now switched to meat pies!

Chookie reporting from a village in Niue says to connect to the internet via wifi, he has to stand in the middle of the rugby field! Imagine if there was a game going on! Sorry, can’t put the scrum down until I send this e-mail!

Chinese takeaway once sitting opposite CITC Supermarket, is now sitting near the other Market! Question, will it be cooking up that traditional Cook Islands dish, Chop Suey?

In another mishap, of a minor kind, the PM at a local eatery on Saturday morning went to pour his cuppa only to discover there were no tea bags in the pot!

Whisper is chooks a certain fried chook outfit is upset with big government heavyweight CIIC and may be planning some action! Word is CIIC is considering upping the rent and that may just be contrary to the small print!

Boss of Foreign Affairs travelled to a pow pow in Brussels and it only cost $15,000. Seems whisper is government is contemplating an overseas post in either Brussels or China! China perhaps? What do we export to the European Community? Why would we have an office in Brussels? Why would a small non-independent, developing nation of less than 20,000 people establish at some cost, an overseas post?

Patrol boat zips up to Mitiaro to deliver more fuel to the island. Trouble is it cost more to ship the fuel up than it did for the fuel itself! Since patrol boat operations are funded by Australia, is this a good look as far as the Aussies are concerned?

Herald Issue 567

Oh dear chooks! High Chief held Minister for Health Nandi to his earlier promise to write a speech! Minister delegated the jobbie to his CEO Mann! He was puzzled, so he delegated the jobbie to NZ Consultant Fran McGrath! She too was confused so passed the ball to her off sider, the great Arthur! However, he too was stumped! Chooks, this matter has gone from Nan to Mann to Fran!

Slow driver from Tupapa infuriates other drivers trying to get to work on time on Monday. Driving at a leisurely 25kph in a 50kph zone, drivers piled up behind all the way back to well you know the story! Cops, keep this turkey off the road during rush hour!

What came first chooks, the chicken or the egg? Island Council runs short of dosh to pay its shipping bills so the boat won’t go! With no boat, the island runs out of fuel! With no dosh, the shipping company cannot pay for fuel to get the boat to the island! Why can’t the Council pay its bills? It turns out people are not paying their kaiou to the Council!

PM is trotting off soon to Japan and on his return he scoots off to Vienna! Word reaching Big Red is that in the next few months, Ministers will be beating a path north to the People’s Republic of China! Would a group booking be cheaper? Expect some Chinese help soon with crushing the budget deficit chooks!

Goodness me chooks! Whisper reaching Big Red about the moonlighting activities of the great Mita! Bruce that is! Seems he’s angling for a wee jobbie with the House of Chiefs! He wants to be their glorious advisor! On all matters financial, tribal, land wise and resources wise! Nodules? Seems the great Mita, like the Pied Piper, is to lead a group of dripping wealthy investors to the Chief’s door! To conduct what business you ask? That’s what we all ask chooks! Lets hope the Paramounts do not sign anything away!

The big Beattie is on Atiu with a squad of Tourism industry VIPs from afar. They are trying to sell Atiu as the next big thing but crikey chooks, Atiu had no fuel to power the generators! Seems the boat had not come! Oh dear! What to do? Roger to the rescue with enough fuel to last two days! The length of the visit!

Woopdeedoo chooks! What chance do we have of getting our mitts on donor dosh if we race ahead and set up our own fund for disasters? Surely we should be putting the squeeze on those rich turkeys overseas causing all the damage to the climate to fork out so we can afford some protection against the wild weather caused by their folly! What use is 200 Gs if every five years the fund gets knocked out because of a cyclone? We have to start the fund all over again!

The toilet block at the Nikao Social centre is under construction chooks! When it’s finished and you rush in to do your business, don’t be surprised if you see a hole in the floor! That’ll be the loo! The toilet block is being built with dosh from the government of India, where toilets are a hole in the ground to be crouched over! Indian design?

Herald Issue 566

Why would God be interested in one Pukapuka by-election candidate? What about the other candidates? Then again, Lazaro sounds remarkably like “Lazarus!”

Hang gliding is set to make it big in Rarotonga chooks! In fact hang gliders are looking to float right down from the mountains to the beach then hook up with a surf board and soar off kite surfing! From the mountain to the sea to the air!

Lagoon day publicity on pollution levels around the islands lagoons only confirmed what the public know anyway. That is, the lagoons are polluted! And they have been for years! Still the tourists keep coming! A little algae between the toes doesn’t seem to deter them!

Motorcyclist at high speed, tried to out run the boys in blue on Sunday. Stop and think for a moment, where does a person run to on an island 19 miles around? There’s nowhere to hide, at least for very long anyway so what’s the point in trying to outrun the fuzz?

Whisper is chooks all work has halted on the new beach volley ball site in Nikao while the beach volley ball bangers seek funds to dig a deeper trench for the big power cable running across the site! No joy from government Big Red hears! Throw some fritters on the Barbie Hughie! That’ll raise a buck or two!

With the Health Secretary out of the country and off to foreign parts, who did he leave in charge of his Ministry? Who is the Acting Secretary? Well none other than a consultant from NZ shortly to end her one year contract! Imagine that! Arrive in another country as a consultant and end up running one of that country’s largest government ministries! Oh joy!

Mobile coffee shop owners got a fright the other night when while driving along the unit got the wobblies! A check revealed some nut had loosened all the wheel nuts! Parked all night near the Cop Shop, did the boys in blue notice anything suspicious in the area?

Oh dear chooks, scribe at the daily is a little late! In Saturday’s papyrus it reported George Maggie’s appointment as Chief Whip had not been previously publicized. Hello? The Herald announced his appointment 3 months ago in issue 552 of 28 February. It follows the announcement in parliament on 18 February of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker. Take a leaf from the daily’s legendary Tara Carr and start reading the Herald!

Brilliant to see young Cook Islanders plucked up and complete leadership courses! The question now is will our current crop of leaders step aside for these promising newcomers? Nah! Can’t see it, can you?

Great to see the outer islands get some water tanks at long last! They’ve only waited six years! That must be a record of sorts! 6,000 litre tanks-marvelous! But chooks what happens if there’s a prolonged drought and all the water runs out? What then? De-salination plants? Visit to Israel?

“E-government?” Big deal! Go to the government’s website on line and you’ll see the last time any “news” was reported was back in 2008! Who’s job is it to update this site? The finger pointing is about to start chooks!

Legislation on line? You would think some of the main Acts would be on-line by now chooks! Like the Health Act and the Environment Act. Again, e-government? Phooey!

It’s not enough that we learn about the DPM’s trip to Korea from a Korean newspaper now a week later we learn of his chit chat with the new Honorary Consul! Chooks we will probably hear of the DPM’s return from Korea, a month after he gets back! And the whisper is the leader of the opposition has gone with him to Korea!

Herald Issue 565

Sad to see one of the best doctors we’ve had finish up and head overseas, yep, that’s Dr Carmen and he’ll be sorely missed. Who are they going to get now? Surely not a local from overseas on a pittance of a salary?

What happened on May 21 chooks? Where was the massive destructive world- wide earthquake that was predicted by American civil engineer Harold Camping? The answer is simple chooks! The Almighty simply changed his mind. As soon as he realized those pesky humans had discovered the date of disaster, he changed it to sometime in the future to keep the pundits guessing!

Oooppps chooks! Looks like the end of the world has been re-scheduled to 21 October 2011! If that’s the case, were the Mayans wrong about December 2012?

Whisper reaching Big Red chooks is that the DPM’s trip to Norway following his trip to Brussels and Korea, has been axed! Never-the –less chooks there is a sea bed minerals mining workshop coming up closer to home, in PNG!

Carton of chooks in the outer islands costs a wee fortune chooks! A $37 carton on Raro becomes rockets to over $100 in a southern group shop! Ministers visiting the outer islands would do well to take with them some cartons of chicken to give to the Ariki or Mayor to hand out! Would certainly go a long way, longer than a ride on a paata!

Former power player has been forced to confess that hard times has seen him resorting to roll your owns!

Seems one overseas attendee at a local conference had so much fun it’s a wonder she remembered to go home! And she turned out to be a most generous tipper to boot! Whisper is she saved the biggest tip till last before heading home to her ambassadorial duties!

Word chooks is the Israeli Ambassador was so taken with Rarotonga’s beauty he drove around the island about five times to make sure he took it all in! When it began to rain, he couldn’t help himself, with little to no rain in his homeland, he leapt from the car and danced in the rain!

Now that we have had the Israeli chappie here, the Palestinians may get a little nosey as to what he was doing here and send an ambassador of their own!

While our once great five star hotel crumbles away, undeveloped, the Samoans have thrown open the door to the Chinese to put up a 500 room flash hotel! Take your breath away? If we’re not careful the Samoans will zoom past us in the development and tourism stakes and we’ll be choking on the clouds of dust coming off their shoes as they run all the way to the bank! In the not too distant future we may become just a back water accommodating the dirt cheap tourists who can’t afford Samoa’s prices! Bring back Tim!

Wonder which rugby club the new Financial Secretary Dickie Neves is going to attach himself to when he gets here. The new NZ High Commissioner John Carter also is a rugby fanatic and golden oldie player. Now’s your chance you rugby clubs to sign up two name players.

Should tipping by tourists be allowed chooks? Unless wages in the tourism sector go up to match the rise in prices of goods and services then extra income from tips will become increasingly attractive. Why shouldn’t tourists be allowed to decide? Surely it’s better for them to part with a few dollars through tipping than lose their whole wallet to an unemployed, flat broke petty thief who can’t get a job or who does not earn enough to pay his bills!

Herald Issue 564

Are you ready for the end of the world on 21 May 2011 chooks? Actually while upheavals will occur the real end will come five months later on 21 October 2011. That’s the theory based on deciphering key numbers in the Bible which pin point the actual day of end time events! Repent now!

There’s a new theory about the star of Bethlehem chooks! Turns out it could have been Jupiter under the constellation Aries (the Ram). The Ram is an important Jewish symbol and Jupiter the planet which signifies important events. When Jupiter appeared in the night sky under the constellation Aries, to the Magi, it would have signified the birth of a Jewish King. When they arrived in Jerusalem, King Herod’s wise men directed them to Bethlehem which had been predicted by the prophets as the birthplace of the Messiah.

Pensioners on the NZ pension will have noticed they’ve just had an increase. To compensate for the increase in GST in NZ, their pensions have gone up by $37 or so a month! A truly handsome sum! The world’s oldest greatest (WOG) lover says it will buy him more meat pies and blocks of cheese from Rite Price!

Where are the Atiu warriors chooks? Where have they gone? With the women on Atiu outnumbering the men by three to one, perhaps the warriors could not take the imbalance any longer!

Talk about rapid promotion chooks! One minute he is a lowly inspector of the books, the next he’s running the joint! Who is he and what’s the deal? Before the Tata man bid ta ta and headed for Kiwiland, he elevated the great Narayan to the exalted position of General Manager! Maybe his past experience as a boxer in Fiji stood him in good stead!

Don’t you just look forward to a night at the flicks chooks! The other night, it was touch and go whether the big screen would start flickering! You see only four people turned up and at least ten are needed to turn a small profit! Not to worry. When it was realized a Minister of the Crown was in the theatre, the staff were overjoyed he had taken the time to attend and the projectors were switched on! Ice creams all round!

NZ Foreign Minister McCully is dropped off at the Punanga Nui Market on Saturday for a final look around before heading home and having done that began wondering where his driver had got to. Seems the fellow left the car and went for a wander and either lost track of time or forgot about the Minister.

A number of big dents in the government car GA1 chooks! How did they get there?

Oh dear chooks! When someone at the PM’s office contacted the QR’s residence to see if they could use the QR’s grounds for a function, they were flatly refused! QR office staff asked the PM office staff if they knew what they were doing.

Praise be to the BTIB! Now what about this surfie lot looking for the perfect wave? Is their professional click click artist registered with the BTIB? Or has he snuck in under the radar!

Thanks to local Fijians out west, a visiting dignitary with the USP party was able to overcome his ailing condition with a shot of Kava!

Despite the down grading from international rating gurus Standard and Poors and the warning to get our governance in order, there’s been a collapse of morals where the top echelon of civil servants is concerned. This does not look good chooks! Already departed are Tini, Sholan and now Short but there’s wait! There’s more to come! The next in line is a really big fish so Big Red hears.

Herald Issue 563

Way too many overseas commercial interests sneaking onshore chooks, conducting business then sneaking off! These turkeys, often one man bands, stroll ashore like they own the joint, do their business, then leave! Photographers for magazines, film makers, are among this lot. How do the locals benefit? They don’t.

Word is chooks, a new backside may soon be warming the high seat in one Board room! It’s down to three, who will it be?

Whisper reaching Big Red chooks is that a very high flying official may soon have his wings clipped. Keep your ears to the coconut wireless broadcasts chooks and also CNN-Coconut Network News!

Whisper is chooks the Minitar o der Moonei is struggling to add up the pennies! Try as hard as he might, somehow the ledger refuses to tally up! It keeps coming out a mil short! What to do? Where’s the abacus? Poke another notch in the belt and pull it in tighter! Garage sale? Some could be left gasping chooks!

A big group of Chinese Tourism Bigwigs are in town chooks but this group is keeping such a low profile, hardly anyone has seen it!

Notice the high tides lately chooks? Seems there has not been a low tide as such. What’s going on with the weather? Pity the tourists looking for sunshine and fair breezes!

Why is McCully’s visit programme a secret? Is the NZ Foreign Minister under threat from terrorists? Again, lack of transparency afflicts a government Ministry! Is Foreign Affairs trying to become a shadow MI6? Or MI5?

Rapid promotion chooks and the Party Conference was not even involved! The daily has announced Rasmussen as the Leader of the Opposition! As from 10 May!

Jobs for the boys chooks! Piltz is out, Ine is in! Was not Ine Tom Marsters campaign manager at election time? Chooks out there are asking what does a liquor merchant know about running a large power generation company? Time will tell! Yet the Numanga boy, a party stalwart blessed with some brains, who helped the party to victory in the last election, ends up with zilch! No job! No nothing! Zero! Is that a just reward? Two late offers came rushing in but where is he now? Back in Hawaii with his young family pondering the where with of it all!

The Chinese tractor supplied to Atiu lasted a week then it broke down. This must be a record of sorts chooks! The person minding it did not bother to inform anyone. A new part was needed but why did the fellow not advise anyone? Maybe he though he was going to be blamed for it. Good thing the Bishop and action man Heather went to Atiu! What else did the dynamic duo discover? What will they uncover when they visit other islands?

And speaking of appointments, the whisper is, the preferred candidate for the CEO job of CIIC was none other than former HOM Tupou Areiti! However, after weighing up the cost of transferring him and his household to Raro not to mention buying out the rest of his contract on his NZ job, it was cheaper to go for a local!

If Atiu is to become the next island for major tourism development then it needs one massive tidy up! Sections need to be cleaned and tidied up, abandoned homes need to be repaired and the roads need fixing. The pot holes are said to be dreadful! This all adds up to a lot of available work and dolleros for the locals! Less tumunu, more work!

Attention Raro bachelors! Report just in says the women on Atiu outnumber the men by three to one! Great odds for a betting man! So you single blokes, take a punt and head for Atiu, you could be a winner!

Herald Issue 562

Oh dear chooks! Foreign companies slipping up everywhere and no ice3 in sight! The latest casualty is the foreign lot contracted to do the work on the port! No local component in their midst and very little, in fact, crumbs where the local contractors are concerned chooks! Panic! What to do? Government has to let them do the work because of the big bucks involved!

Speaking of big bikes, not big bucks, high flying lawyer becomes high speeding bikie through Tupapa and with no helmet!

Reports of petrol running out last Tuesday were certainly kept quiet chooks. To avoid panic buying? Seems the Toa stockists ran out and on Monday some Triad stockists also ran out!

Where are the Prince and his bride going for their honeymoon? Why the secrecy? The fact is probably that they are going to Aitutaki! It’s the perfect place. Prince (Duke) baldie Willie would enjoy a bit of kite surfing followed by some bone fishing. Perhaps Aitutaki could rustle up some polo ponies for a chukka or two! The Duke loves rugby so what about a game of touch or sevens?

Globe stomping Minister Glassie is back from Moscow, Russia but he’s already getting his back pack ready to scoot off again in about two weeks from now. This time to Geneva, Switzerland for a World Health Organisation meeting! Will Tourism Corp give the good fellow a bundle full of “Visit the Cook Islands” pamphlets to hand out to the other 182 member countries attending? Seems like an opportunity too good to miss-captive audience!

Ear muffs chooks for all workers near the port! When the hammering of the steel piling takes place, the noise is going to be loud, very loud! Danger allowance? Where’s the Worker’s Association rep?

Tourist gawking at the new CITC store workings mutters “There’s nothing Polynesian about that building.” Well not yet.

Every year the Audit Office reports throw up incidents where public officials and MPs are caught out but do you ever see a Cook Islands public servant or Minister offer to resign or fall on their sword over an embarrassing matter? Nope! Not a chance! As long as there is no law against it, there’s no need to bow humbly and publicly apologize (like embarrassed Japanese officials do) or offer to resign (like English MPs do)! Who gives a toss about morals or ethics or doing the right “thing?” Not our lot, so don’t hold your breath!

Whisper chooks is the Chinese will be back in town at the end of the week with their cheque books and sniffing out potential investment opportunities. Big Red will reveal more as more comes to hand!

Whisper around the latte and flat white brigade is that “Rarowood” may soon become a reality. Remember Hollywood, Bollywood (Bombay, India) and Welliwood (Wellington, NZ)? Keep your eyes open for Director and Producer types hunched over their steaming cups and words like “story board, investors, timelines and scripts” rolling off their tongues! Words like “film festivals, Cannes, Academy Awards” are already being whispered.

Nassau may be a small island with only some 77 people but those people have not been sitting around waiting for government dosh to arrive. Not only is the island clean and neat, on Nassau you will now see some fine, modern homes and they even have a small hotel for visitors!

Hands up the budding young lawyer wannabe who took a corner too fast with her bike! Outcome? Bike slid on loose gravel and flipped presenting young legal eagle wannabe and passenger with a hard landing!

In June you may be eating an Asian delicacy surrounded by bamboo! Yes, that’s when the latest addition to local eateries opens! Bamboo Jacks! Don’t expect to see a Panda! Unless you’ve had one too many.

Herald Issue 561

Crikey chooks! The PM went overseas but who did he delegate the responsibilities for his portfolios to? No-one it appears because it seems his advisers overlooked the matter! Is this not in breach of the Constitution chooks? Does this mean the nation is leaderless chooks? What about the DPM?

Chooks the new Education Ministry HQ is to be run on renewable energy. Solar power? No. Bio-gas? No. Wind power? No. Chooks, the staff will all have cycle pedals under their desks and will be required to pedal during the day to turn dynamos that in turn generate electricity that will power their computers, lights and other appliances. As an incentive, the staff member who generates the most power each fortnight through pedaling, will be paid a bonus on payday.

Oh dear chooks! A few boo boos by the ring in emcee at the ANZAC Day parade at the Cenotaph! First he got the QR’s name wrong and had to repeat it. Then he called the NZ High Commissioner, the Acting High Commissioner and then chooks, welcomed Te Tika who wasn’t there!

Cock up on the wreath laying front at the Cenotaph on ANZAC Day chooks! Something went haywire! Now the DPM has laid a complaint it seems over the wreath laying! Whoops!

One old soldier marching down mainstreet from the Church to the Cenotaph on ANZAC Day, commiserated that the pace was too slow! Can’t see the old ones doing “double time” can you chooks?

Our government chooks is getting so stingy on Hospital salaries that we can forget anymore hospital personnel from Fiji and the Solomons! With the sort of pay rates we are now offering the only interest we are going to get for jobs at our hospital are likely to be from witch doctors in central Africa, Vodoo practitioners from Haiti and medicine men from the Amazon jungle!

Chooks here’s a way our cash strapped Health service can rustle up some dosh! Turn that staff gym at the Tupapa admin centre into a public gym and charge a fee! Better still, public health staff can run Zumba lessons for the overweight! For a fee!

Chooks, the only way forward is for the leadership to think outside the box! No radical idea is too stupid to ignore! Trouble is our MPs were never in the box to start with. They were all outside the box getting in the way of those in the box trying to get out!

High flying guest speaker at a recent talkfest on the economy was asked a question first put to him three years ago. That question was, “Do you see anything in the Cook Islands worth investing in or any business worth establishing?” The answer then was a resounding ”No.” So what was his answer now, three years later? He put his cup of coffee down and left without answering!

Now the talkfest is over and the pow wow over the aftermath has been completed, what happens now chooks? No announcement as yet from the taskforce chooks. Perhaps the members of the taskforce are in rehab suffering from after shock.

Word is chooks, nearly 300 recommendations came out of the economy talkfest. Sorting through these and the chances of getting any funding to implement any of them may be as successful as rearranging the deck chairs on Tapi’s boat drifting inside the lagoon at Mauke!

And speaking of that wayward boat, who knows what damage it is doing to the marine ecology and environment in the Mauke lagoon? Bashing against coral heads, the cliff sides and generally demolishing the homes of countless innocent fish life. Who pays for this cost? How about an EIA people?

A certain French speaking gentleman wishes everyone Bon appetite because his voice comes over the goggle box about dinner time! It has nothing to do with edible panties!

Herald Issue 560

Oh dear chooks! Spot of bother in Aitutaki with the power generator! Seems the system was about to crash and looked so when the power station’s engineer who was on Raro, could not get on the last flight to Aitutaki! But, the pilot to the rescue, engineer aboard, crisis diverted!

But chooks, the Aitutaki power people are not out of the woods yet! A little birdie chirps that no-one remembered to budget for the rise in oil prices hence an emergency pow wow with all concerned! Word is an increase in charges may be in the wind!

King tides have dislodged Tapi’s bucket from its coral trap in Mauke! The metal hulk is now banging against the cliffs along the shore line some 100 metres from the original spot of entrapment! What to do now? Here we have a hulk of steel playing dodgems with the Mauke environment! Where will the boat come to rest this time? Will it come up on some beach?

Public loos across the road from the cop shop now have a new paper dispenser so be assured chooks, softness will prevail-no need for the rough stuff! However, someone has gone in and redecorated the walls with a spray can load of messages! A budding trainee interior decorator no doubt!

Being stuck on dry land going nowhere is a nightmare for a boxer used to skipping about the ring! Two from Aitutaki here for the boxing extravaganza with legendary David Tua were promised by the Boxing camperseros their return air fares would be paid from the door takings from Saturday’s big event! However, no such funds were forthcoming leaving both stranded high and dry! What to do? Both made a bee line to their Aitutaki MP, the Bishop! But why him? Where were the Boxing bosses?

DPM Tom is off to pow wow with PFL shipping wallahs who want to axe the Cook Islands run due to it being unprofitable as there is only enough business for two and a half boats! Solution? Cut the boat in half! It must be serious chooks otherwise why would the DPM head off overseas?

Rakahanga MP wants his clothing allowance up front chooks! All 5 “gs.” He reckons the suit he had on in the House wasn’t even his! He cannot afford to receive his dosh by drip feed as the Finance Minister has decreed!

Didn’t this parliamentary session flash by chooks! Like at the speed of the Concorde! It’s the only time we’ve seen our MPs move at speed! Parliament started on Friday and ended on Monday! Big Norm was sworn in and the Supplementary Budget was whizzed through all three readings with such speed listeners to radio barely had time to blink! Had the debate proceeded, no doubt government would have faced some curly questions! Only one MP, the Bishop wanted the debate to go the full three days!

Break out the champagne chooks! Water tanks for every outer island household! Whoopee! Now what about guttering to collect the water? What about spouting to transfer the water from the guttering to the tank? What about a pump to transfer the water from the tank to the house? Who meets these costs? The householder? Where does the householder get the money to afford these extras? And, what use is a water tank if there is no rain? Then it’s back to square one!

Talk about operating a guillotine at rapid speed! The Supplementary Budget was tabled when Parliament opened at 10am on Friday. There was no debate. Parliament opened at 1pm on Monday and at 1.50pm a motion was moved to end the Supplementary Budget debate by the end of the day! Only one lone voice opposed this move! Democracy Cook Island style at work!

Herald Issue 559

Strong arm tactics chooks? Well known local was called upon by the power people to cough up some money to pay his bill. Said person gets the good wife to motor up the hill to put some dosh towards the bill. In the meantime, the powers to be send a technician flying down the hill to disconnect the power before the good wife reached the office! On arrival at the office the good wife was given the message that another $148 was due to reconnect the power! Result chooks? The customer decided not to reconnect but make his own arrangements for future power!

News to hand chooks that the Asia Development Bank are going to shell out millions to our government so it can hire an overseas technician to come here and tell us how to use diesel fuel more efficiently so it doesn’t put a strain on our economy! Phooey! Why don’t the ADB give us the millions we need to convert completely to other forms of energy like solar power and get us off diesel? Even if we are more careful and save on diesel costs the benefits from that will easily be cancelled out by the rise in prices due to the increase in all other costs! Let’s get real! C’mon ADB, get with the programme!

And speaking of banks and their outrageous charges chooks, when you want to convert US dollars to NZ dollars, go to Global Express. As their ad says they certainly have the best rates in town. On the same day two chooks went to convert their US$50 traveler’s cheques to NZ currency. The chook who went to Global Express came away with NZ$62. The chook who went to the overseas owned trading bank came away with $56. That’s after waiting 20 minutes and paying a $5 fee. Why the extra fee when banks already should be including that fee in the exchange rate they are offering.

Oh dear Chooks, President of CISNOC, Sir Jiff, objected strongly at the AGM to the Auditor being nominated for an executive position! But why? Is it because of the state of CISNOC’s finances?

And speaking of our august sporting body, who runs the show? The executive committee or the sporting codes?

World’s Oldest Greatest (WOG) Lover wants to know why many government ads specify that the person wanted must be “dynamic.” What is “dynamic” he asks? It means a person full of energy, ambition and new ideas! Where do you find such people? Not in the Cook Islands! Next thing you know says WOG they’ll want people who can walk on water and turn water into wine!

Whoops chooks! Did the Vatican and his Holiness do a flip flop? Word earlier was that the Pope was going to appoint an older Bishop to replace our even older Bishop! The word was the Cooks would become home to a Bishop near retirement. Instead, a younger looking Bishop has been appointed!

Speaker at the Summit told all that in the Cooks, some 28 per cent of the population lived below the poverty line with some 2 per cent struggling to find something to eat! Hard to believe said the next speaker who referred to the level of obesity that prevails!

Chooks, the price of oil is not going down! It’s sitting at US$112 a barrel and is predicted to climb to US$150 a barrel in the near future. What will this mean to our economy and cost of living especially since MFEM’s rosey forecasts were done when oil was still at US$88 a barrel? Given there is usually a two month delay before the effects kick in, government has some 8 weeks to come up with a cunning plan!

Herald Issue 558

Chooks what about those sky high poles put up by Vaka TV? Did they apply for a building permit? What about the EIA? If not, what is government doing about it? Is this a new trend? Just put up any structure and wait until someone asks about permits? Is the law there for gazing at or enforcing? Only in the Cook Islands chooks! Oh well, ho-hum, turn over and go back to sleep!

Great news about Bone Fishing chooks! Now here’s a question. Many keen bone fishermen are in the Florida Keyes area. To get to Aitutaki, they must first fly from Miami to Los Angeles then connect with a flight Los Angeles to Rarotonga. Then they connect with a flight from Rarotonga to Aitutaki. Imagine their surprise when they discover that the air fare for the Rarotonga to Aitutaki leg costs as much as their trip from Miami to Rarotonga! Or will it? Will the government step in and subsidize the local airline? And get this. Big Red hears bone fishermen prefer home stay rather than staying in an hotel. Many would even sleep on the beach after all fishing is their “life.”

Local just down from Manihiki said she paid $1,200 for the one way trip after paying $85 to catch the ferry across from Rakahanga! The Rakahanga ferry costs $500 one way so the cost is shared by the passengers. With fares like this, why can’t government provide a subsidy so fares can come right down? With fares like this, would bone fishermen go to Manihiki?

No sign of the new inter-island boat yet chooks. Didn’t someone in Government say recently “watch this space” with a hint something would happen within two weeks? Well that time has come and gone like a ship passing in the night. Lets hope government’s other bright ideas don’t suffer the same fate-pass by in the night!

Isn’t it great NZ money built some new single and two bedroom homes in Aitutaki? Trouble is the amount of money put up was not enough for home owners to open the doors to a fully finished home. They’ll probably have to go deeper into debt to finish off the homes. With banks charging high interest rates, who’s the winner in this scenario? By comparison the Chinese offer was to rebuild each home to the value of $75,000 with furniture and appliances thrown in for good measure. Government turned it down because it probably meant having to sign up to the $37 million Chinese loan to do the roads and water! Did government want to go into debt? Hell no! OK for the locals though.

If our government were a single person, it would have a few sheep missing in the top paddock. All outer islands should have a cheap desalination plant for emergencies. It had the opportunity a few years ago to put such a radical plan in place but plain stupidity got in the way. You see there was the Alan Wichman desalination device which ran on solar power or batteries and which could have been built big enough for a family, a village or a whole island. Senior government officials looked at the Wichman device then forgot about it. There was the William Powell device which was cheaper still. Both devices could be manufactured locally quite cheaply but oh no! Our government had to look at the expensive, diesel driven French device! The upcoming summit will look at assisting local entrepreneurs. Big Red guesses, that’s all government will do, look then ho-hum, roll over and go to sleep.

And speaking of the Summit, will it be one giant slumber-it? Lets hope the dynamic guest speaker , a multi award winning Cook Islander lined up, does not fall asleep!

Herald Issue 557

Rumours reaching Big Red on the coconut wireless and CNN -Coconut Network News, is that some 120 home owners and businesses are staring possible mortgagee sales in the face. If this rumour is so, government cannot stand by and do nothing. In March a local resident has calculated that some 70 people left the island for a better life overseas. The calculation was based on garage sales advertised, anecdotal evidence and word from friends.

When will we, the share holders in CI Telcom, get to see the annual profit and loss accounts? Government is the share holder but government is of the people by the people for the people so it is the people who are the actual share holders. What part about democracy does Telecom not understand?

Beach volley ball is coming soon chooks to the area next to the tennis courts in Nikao! It’s a popular spectator sport especially when the women are playing because of the skimpy bikini attire worn! Will spectators be allowed to take their cameras along to games? Will the media be allowed to take photos?

A tug of war has broken out chooks over a large mould used to construct concrete bridges! It has become a legal tug of opinion between Crown Law and a determined terrier like local lawyer once political aspirant! Who will come out on top chooks? Can Crown Law win one home game after a string of losses? Can the local legal eagle overcome the serious injury of a lost political cause to score between the posts, kick the conversion and kick Crown Law to touch?

Spot the new hut being built at Avatiu chooks? The Koko Hut? Why is it there? What is it? Is it a Chinese takeaway? Is it truly mobile? Seems set firmly to concrete foundations. How will it be lifted away in the event of a cyclone? By a crane? Did it get an EIA? What about Health Ministry regulations? Any regulations? Will this be the start of a whole new market area away from the main market? Why this area? Will the Chinese be working in this locale? Does Koko know something we don’t know?

And chooks what about those tall, wooden TV transmitter poles? Was an EIA applied for? If not, what now? What’s government doing? Sitting on its hands?

Big Red gazes into his large crystal balls and what vision appears as the mists part? Musical chairs at the OPM! The music starts! Then the music stops, and in the mad rush for chairs the Chief is floored and a Policy Hen ends up perched on the Chief’s pew!

Spot the two celebs on the “Rage” programme on TV chooks? Yes, on the dance floor in South Auckland and dancing and singing in front of the Pearly Stars band were none other than Pa Ariki and Chris Wong!

Rumours being carried on the throbbing tom toms out of the taro jungle to Big Red say that the Great Suspended One had very sticky fingers! Dipping into the cookie jar, those fingers had many “G’s” stuck to them. Seems the great suspended one was upset at having to warm his new seat for less coconuts than what he was getting for warming his old one. Where’s the justice in that?

Word is the PM is off to Mitiaro. To be carried on another paata? Will our PM follow the example set by President Obama and the Pope? Obama takes his own bullet proof Limo with him on trips and the Pope has his trusty bullet proof Pope-mobile. Our PM could take his own custom built paata with him! Imagine the three of them arriving at the same international conference!

Herald Issue 556

With just two weeks to go before contracts for government Board positions and other posts expire, the lolly scrambling has already begun! The jockeying for favoured positions is more frenetic than in that famous horse race, the Melbourne Cup! Watch for the outsider Noo Munger to pip the favourite mare New Ma right on the post!

It’s lights out for an hour this Saturday chooks but don’t worry, you will still be able to make your way down darkened streets by following the light from all the cigarettes! Pity the cinema goers though. Will they get a refund?
World water day has passed us by but chooks, do we actually have any water in our water pipes? There are still some homes that get no water even when it’s raining hard!

Good grief chooks! Has the Cabinet room become a circus? Word has reached the ears of Big Red of badly dressed officials in mufti gate crashing proceedings and the minute taker barging in to add his tuppence worth to high level discussions! Some decorum please!

My, my, chooks, hasn’t a feeding frenzy erupted over the presence in town of fishing big wigs from Asia! The prospect of big boats purse seine fishing-fishing with a large net that is, is causing near heart failure in some quarters! Where’s Greenpeace? Will they send motorized rubber boats to hound the purse seine fishers?

Has the time come chooks for the Ministry O Te Ika to have a Board? Seems odd such a vast resource of enormous potential and value should be administered by public servants. Has the time now come for oversight of the development of its potential to be guided by a Board of experts?

Chooks it won’t be long before the indoor sports stadium is under the control of SISSNOCK who will appoint a management committee made up of, former SISSNOCK committee members or friends of SISSNOCK! Look for a name change also when SISSNOCK takes over the stadium, the IOC Centre and the Athletics complex. How does “The Sir Jiff Sports Complex” sound?

Tourists flood off the big cruise boat on Saturday and into the Market with wads of yankee dollars which one vendor at the market refused to accept! Visitors lining up for waffles were told by the waffle maker that US dollars were not acceptable! Is a visitor to trot all the way into town and exchange the US dollars at the bank then trot all the way back just to buy a waffle? There’s money to be made from the simple “dollar for dollar” exchange because one yankee dollar is worth about one dollar thirty cents in Kiwi currency. It confirms the rumour that some local vendors are not interested in making money even in these tight times! The down side will be local banks missing out on high fees for exchanging US dollars.

And speaking of exchange rates charged by banks when converting US dolleros into Kiwi dosh, the World’s Oldest Greatest (WOG) Lover says when he went to change US$5 into Kiwi currency the bank wanted to charge him NZ$3.50. His response? No thanks and he walked out the door!

Word from a high profile Chinese visitor is that our Tourism Corp is marketing the Cooks in China the wrong way! Promote just two things he says. The beauty and the relaxing atmosphere. That’s all. They will come he says! Will our Tourism Corp take note? Hardly likely. First they will need to apply for aid money to bring in a costly overseas consultant to work for six months, research the matter in China then consult widely before concluding more research is needed. Then again what does the dog think?

Herald Issue 555

Apology from Big Red
Crikey chooks! Last week’s revelation that former keeper of the Royal Purse, Bolan Taviti, had flown the coop for the land of the Haka and Poi, was one little chook that should have been kept safely tucked under the Hen and should never have slipped out of the nest! Seems Big Red owes Bolan a major apology for not keeping an eye on the movement of the little one!

Oh dear chooks, slight hitch balancing the books! Big Red has heard MinFin Bark Brown has asked each of the State Owned businesses to drop 50 G’s each into the kitty to help balance the books! Maybe the MinFin should do what the cricketers did last Saturday and that is round up the drummers and run round the streets with plastic buckets asking for contributions!

High flying overseas consultant here on an ADB project commanding a fee of $900,000 or thereabouts has come up before the Beak on charges brought by police relating to various driving offences. An attempt to get name suppression was denied. What happens now?

If you are a high flying HOM and get out and about on a Sunday, don’t use the government vehicle, don’t try to hide the car by parking behind the office of an NGO and don’t leave important budget papers strewn all over the back seat for people to see!

It’s the strange case of the missing misty green water tank chooks! A large green water tank which had been sitting on Avatiu wharf, minding its own business, was in December last year considered a hazard in the event of a cyclone. It is thought the Ports Authority may have asked someone to remove the tank. MOIP it seems put out a tender for the tank. Then, mysteriously, the tank disappeared. Enquiries made of the top line security guards on the wharf gate revealed a truck had carried the tank away from the wharf and it could now be somewhere in Betela. MOIP still has the tank under tender.

It could turn out to be the biggest thing since sliced bread chooks! The World Kite Surfing event in Aitutaki chooks! Now that a Qatari Prince has been to Aitutaki to experience things for himself, will we see an entry from that corner of the world? What about kite surfers who are also bone fishermen? Bone fishurfing? That would be a world first! With the world’s media likely to be on hand, what about a lagoonful of events all at once? Kite surfing in and among the bone fishermen while yachties dodge between the two with the spectator Vakas in their own race through the lot!

It’s the great contradiction of our time chooks! Why is it women have no trouble dancing before tourists in skimpy dance costumes yet the same women when going to the beach for a swim with tourists present, cover up their bikinis with a pareu!

Why do we not yet have a large inland reservoir of water, a lake? Why are our water intakes so small and prone to blockages? It’s another contradiction of our time chooks! Who said we can’t have a large lake sized water reservoir? Why do we continue to think small? If there’s not enough water because the reservoirs are too small, is not the solution to build bigger reservoirs? Is it really true that all the bright Cook Islanders have migrated to NZ and we have been left with the – you figure it out chooks!

Look at the photo of the school principals at their chin wag last week. Did you spot all the papa’as? There’s a rumour all the papa’a teachers have a close connection to the Education HOM. Why was the advisory board abolished? Who abolished it? Should it be reinstated?

Herald Issue 554

Here’s a tip for our PM on how to put the country firmly on the world map! At the next meeting of world leaders, elbow French President Zarkosy aside and plant a big kiss on the lips of his wife aformer fashion model. The PM can say he was only trying to present her with a black pearl necklace when she grabbed him. Guest appearances on every major talk show in the USA are bound to follow! That’s if the PM survives the duel Zarkosy is bound to challenge him to!

Big Red has received a whisper from the Palace that the royal honeymooners may be Aitutaki bound for a spot of Kite Surfing and bone fishing. Seems a Prince from Qatar passed the word on. Great bloke the Prince who is said to have tipped handsomely with cash and gold watches!

The QR’s residence has been turned upside down in an apparent frantic search for that invitation. You know, the one from Buckingham Palace. You know, the wedding invite! Word is the residences of a number of high ranking MPs have also been turned upside down. People! Just the other day the Post Office turfed out a bunch of unclaimed envelopes each bearing a stamp with the words “ER” on them.

Six months free internet chooks! From Telecom? Doubt it. Sounds too good to be their doing. The beat from the throbbing taro jungle tom toms inform Big Red this great offer will be available when the green light is switched to the “on” position! Listen for the tom toms.

Who is the local businessman who was the subject of an audit over his application for a soft loan and who is now contemplating a career move to island secretary of, wait for it, you have to guess! Big Red heard on the western breeze the man was tapped on the shoulder, the arm, the hand and the foot by an incumbent MP to stick his paw in!

Crikey Chooks! Word reaching Big Red’s ears from the taro jungle bongos, coconut wireless and CNN-Coconut Network News- is that 25 people, mostly public servants, have applied for the job of CEO at CIIC! Even the former CEO Bon Jini has thrown his hat in the ring! Will the Gods pick him again and so avoid a costly court case presently in the wings!

Word is Bolan Fativi the former FinSec has trotted off to Kiwiland where three job interviews await. Word from the man himself is he is confident of landing one of those positions and in any case he won’t set foot back on the Rock for many phases of the full moon(12 months)!

Here’s a puzzle chooks. Chair Lon Fierney of the Ecotomic Bask Sorce in a special media release (to one press outlet) says in the daily the bask sorce plans to use the media like TV, radio and the press to get the message across! Before he utters this, should he not firstly contact the bosses at the TV, the radio and the other two newspapers? Perhaps Chair Fierney is to exercise a power of such miracular mystification as to be worthy of a Vatican investigation! Hail Mary!

The two Mirage Directors are indeed a “mirage!” How can you go into someone else’s country and start a mega project that is going to radically alter that country’s GDP and do all this without any public relations strategy? Where are the media conferences? The media releases? The meet the media functions? Perhaps they are taking their cue from Chair Fierney? At least the previous developer kept the public informed with media releases and invites to media conferences with a cuppa and a bikkie or two.

Herald Issue 553

Oh dear chooks! PM did not present the keynote speech at the climate change chin wag because of a fluff up with the 2 minutes silence plan for Christchurch! Seems someone in the DPM’s office put out a notice with the wrong day, wrong time. This was hurriedly fixed but the damage had been done.

And at the Climate Change gab fest, punters were muddled when the PM failed to front. The duty of delivering the keynote address then fell into the lap to a lowly policy person again marking another protocol oddity to add to the others coming out of the OPM!

Isn’t great chooks to see our Aussie mates here for the umpteenth time assisting our new members perfect the sacred mannerisms of the House! After all this time, you would think our mates would do us a huge favour by condemning the cramped and unsafe conditions our MPs have to endure. The conditions are simply outrageous and totally unacceptable in this modern age. The House is no better than the old “sweat houses” of northern England in the 1800s.

Here’s a question chooks. Why doesn’t the NZ government fork out a few dollars and shout their High Commission its own building? If it could see its way to getting its own building like its other counterparts overseas have done, maybe one of our own government agencies presently stuck out in the wops, could move into town.

The week long gab fest on climate change can only have one outcome, predetermined Big Red thinks and that is to appoint a Director of Climate change to head a new division to sort through the mountain of work arising from the gab fest! Yes another opportunity to crank up a job for the boys and probably on overseas aid!

$5 million up for grabs for Climate Change? Woop dee doo! What can we do with $5 million, spread over five years with 20 per cent deducted and sent off shore to the UNDP? Very little except pay for a new team of bureaucrats to push pencils around and hire consultants from the country which gave us the money! $5 million is pathetic! The Police Headquarters by comparison, cost $4 million. Again we may as well put our heads between our legs and kiss our butts goodbye!

Don’t try to contact any public servant this week chooks. No, they’re not at the19th tee! They are all at the climate change gab fest! And where are the little people chooks? Besides some private sector high flyers, it seems the gab fest is dominated by public servants leading one to think it’s to use up some unspent allocation on slap up teas and lunches before 30 June 2011!

And talking of 30 June, word to reach Big Red is the Ministry of Health has been told to cut $180,000 from their budget! It seems the cost of pills and ointment has skyrocketed and savings in other areas besides medication have to be made. Cut out a few vehicles perhaps?

Word from the commercial, dog eat dog commercial jungle is that a wholesaler out west has come a right cropper and will be closing. What a price to pay!

And isn’t it reassuring to note that the boat due on 22 February was delayed until 28 February then delayed again for another three days! Whatever will we do if the boat came on time?

The World’s Oldest, Greatest (WOG), Lover needs a mystery solved chooks. Every morning in Kii Kii for a few hours there is no water pressure and often no water at all even after a night of very heavy rain! His theory is the water is being intentionally diverted to a commercial operation! He’d bet a couple of beers on it!

Herald Issue 552

Oh dear chooks! The PSC is putting the screws on public servant’s travel and it may catch some of them out! Word is one high flyer has been winging it to parts overseas without her Minister knowing about it!

And speaking about the clamp down in public servants jaunts overseas, the notice put out by the PSC it is discovered, applies to all and sundry except himself!

Prime Minister Henry Puna has been granted a Knighthood not by the Queen it seems but by the daily. According to the Saturday edition of the daily, “Prime Minister Sir Henry Puna nominated Sir Geoffrey as Speaker!”

Head of Audit flew north with the PM to Manihiki and in flight took off his trousers due to the heat donning a pair of shorts. Trouble is on landing at Manihiki he walked off leaving his neatly folded trousers to fly back to Raro. The bare kneed Head of Audit made do with borrowed longs for the rest of his stay.

They get younger by the minute chooks! Spot the long winded announcement by PSC Savvy Eblati? Former FinSec Bolan Haviti seemed young enough so did Acting FinSec number 1 Darth Bendersom but along comes a real cradler, Acting FinSec number 2 Brizzilla! Perhaps the final choice of FinSec will fall to a teenager who is a whiz with numbers! Seems a rather young MinFin Bark Down does not want a FinSec older than him!

Seems there’s little depth among the CIP’s current crop of MPs. So much so they have to reach into the barrel for a Speaker and haul pensioner Sir Jiff out of retirement! What’s in it for Sir Jiff? Word is, Big Red hears, a tidy sum, a car and a batman!

The whisper chooks is that an ex-cop is soon to be elevated to the Godly high posie of Cabinet Secretary! No matter he is not numero uno on the short list! He has the grey hair!

Need any evidence the CIP are taking the nation backwards chooks? Whispers coming Big Red’s way say that government may be going ahead with reforming OMIA to look after the affairs of the outer islands. Word is MOIP will remain for Rarotonga but will assist OMIA in key areas such as power, water, roads.

Drum beats over Coconut Network News (CNN) pound out that the Energy Ministry will be split like the atom with Energy going to its Minister at PM’s office and the Inspectorate functions to either Te Aponga or MOIP.

When will someone in the new CIP Government tell all those Demo-appointed SOE board members that their services are no longer required? Do it now before these Demo-appointed boards make odd decisions not aligning to CIP policies and thinking.

Who is the SOE chief that denies anyone else particularly locals the chance to take on two senior technical positions in his organization? On top of his own boss hat, he has also been wearing these two additional hats for the last few years. Is he getting paid high duty allowances for acting in these positions? Did he convince his board that the organization will save almost $100k per year if they don’t recruit anyone but allow him to act in these positions at a much cheaper cost? It will be interesting to know if there was a deal struck, since these senior positions weren’t advertised. Hope this issue comes under the radar of the new CIIC board chairman. Time is ticking but not for very much longer.

Arorangi woman home alone while hubby jaunts around Kiwiland cannot get the TV to start up! Disaster! No Shortland Street! Hubby back from the land of the long white cloud is pressed into service-find the fault! Fix the goggle-box! Hubby discovers the problem! TV set is not plugged in!

Herald Issue 551

Word is chooks the contract to do the Mauke and Mitiaro harbours has gone to a Fijian company! Bula there yo bros! Question is will they bring over some Fiji-Indian labour? Those guys work from sun up to sun down and even on a Saturday! They’d even work Sundays if they could but that will not be possible.

How is it we have no official kennel for our top dog the Prime Minister? In fact the last known official residence of sorts was the house where the PM’s office is. Albert Henry sojourned there and so did Sir Tom Davis. Why do we have such low regard for institutions which overseas democracies value highly-such as a Parliament Building and an official residence for the PM? Have we become a nation of slackers? Perhaps “Pine tree” Colin Meads was right after all when he said in a speech a while back on Rarotonga how all the bright, intelligent people had left the country and we were left with the, well you figure it out.

It seems our national pastime has become “dithering.” Everyone is doing it, politicians, locals, papa’as. Take the Muri fish traps for instance. A classic case of dithering. Face facts. The traps were introduced by humans, a species well known for stuffing up mother nature. Who eats fish caught in Muri lagoon? Get the traps out and get back to nature the way it was before humans interfered with it. Stop dithering. Act.

Government agency paying $60,000 a year in Office space rent to the family of a former government Minister! Why can’t this agency be re-located into a government owned accommodation? There’s certainly plenty of government houses which can be converted into offices. Look at all those houses in Nikao by the golf course! Give local builders some work!

It’s time every boat owner on the island attended a “Safety at Sea” training course. Certification will be proof of attendance. Thereafter, if boat owners are found not to have the necessary safety gear, they should be charged the full costs of any rescue.

If there’s going to be no spare cash this financial year, why is government even bothering with an economic summit? Can’t borrow for fear of raising the debt level, can’t undertake any new project as cuts have to made to spending somewhere else, so what’s the point? It’ll just be a yak fest about some things we’d like to do sometime, somehow-ho hum!

Is Air NZ laughing all the way to the bank? They should be. Word is the number of flights a week has come down from around 13 to 8. But hey, the Cook Islands government subsidy prop up will see us right-eh?

When our PM meets his NZ counterpart John Key, what’s the bet Key never stops grinning and laughing? Key’s a self made millionaire worth about $50 million. Why would he be laughing? Because he’s dealing with the Cook Islands and we are worth a laugh a minute!

Hands up all those countries that would pour millions into an airline owned by a another government, pass up the offer from a billionaire to have all debts cleared, dither for so long would be investors in a manganese deal get cold feet, ignore the potential earnings from its fishery, ignore increasing the basic wage as hundreds leave for higher pay overseas. Only one hand up? When the laughter stops, if it ever stops, we’ll name the country!

A Marine Park covering the whole of the southern group? Miners might find conservationists protesting. What if some, only one of its kind in the world, tiny shrimp lives among the manganese nodules? Then we may as well put our heads between our legs and kiss our backsides and the nodule trillions goodbye!

Herald Issue 550

Separate out your rubbish? Bah humbug! First go through the tip and separate out the recyclables then make sure all new rubbish is separated!

Why suspend the Justice HOM over a shortfall in election funds? Why should he be the fall guy for a government that did not approve more funds in the first place? Whisper is there is another reason for the suspension! The Election overrun fiasco is just a smokescreen!

Bring back the $5,000 per MP clothing allowance that was dumped by the last Minita au de Koffers! How can MPs look their best on the golf course if the dosh has been cut off?

The reasoning put up by the Minita au de Koffers for scrapping the Budget Committee, that ferret-like bunch of private sector killjoys, doesn’t add up. We keep getting 1 plus 1 equals 3. When you go from frying fish n’ chips one day to Minita O Te Moni the next, your actions must stand up to scrutiny. The only interpretation from the Minita’s move is government does not want those pesky, nosy, nit picking, allowance busting private sector busy bodies ferreting around the ledgers!

Good to see a high level, high powered government mission to Manihiki! Great to see the Head of Audit go up to put the local public servants through the thresher! While such an audit would normally be a job for the office junior, good to see the boss keep his hand in! Why Pittman is on the trip is a mystery unless it’s to see if Manihiki can accommodate an 18 hole golf course!

If you have a gripe about our Post Office, consider this, they are not so bright in the USA at all. Local lady went off to holiday with Uncle Sam and while in the land of the free, sent a postcard to a pal back home. The pal back on the Rock finally received the postcard three days after the local lady returned from holiday! Close examination of the postcard revealed, the bright sparks at US Post had sent the postcard to India! How on earth can “India” be confused with the “Cook Islands?” The Indian Post Office sent the postcard to New Zealand, ah well, close enough. NZ Post sent it on to Rarotonga!

Hands up the Minister of the Crown who has his Mrs engaged as his PA!

CEO a tad worried about signing letters on behalf of his absent Minister popped the question to a colleague and was told it was OK as long as he did not approve a pay increase for himself!

Now there’s a move to remove the Muri fish traps all sorts of experts are emerging from the weeds to mutter their tuppence worth. Next thing you know chooks, a little green man from Mars will arrive to tell us what happened to the canals on Mars when some bright spark suggested a water tank for each Martian household.

In their manifesto the CIP hinted they would be walking the talk if they came in. What sort of walk? Word is CIP MPs are to sign up for Zumba lessons!

Word is State Owned Enterprise staff are being paid to attend keep fit classes! Imagine it chooks, State Owned Business accounts getting fatter while the staff get thinner! But should the taxpayer be footing the fitness fee? Will we walk into Te Aponga to see staff in tight leotards doing the Zumba?

Isn’t that a person with HIV? Run for the hills! Isn’t that the Sheik? Flee to the bushes! Isn’t that a loan manager from the ADB offering a loan at 8 per cent interest to boost our indebtedness? Welcome him in! Give him a cuppa and a bikkie!

Herald Issue 549

When the great Wilkie was holder of the Queen’s Purse, he slashed Mandarin travel by half and abolished the Mandarin’s $5,000 allowance for glad rags! Rumour now is the new governing Mandarins want these perks reinstated. Is that why no-one is explaining to the public why the hallowed Civil List is getting attention this March? Put an end to the rumours lads! Come clean!

To out or not to out? That is the question chooks! Fish traps went in yonks ago but now some locals want them out to improve the flow of water in Muri. Much talk about the old ones who put them in but wait! Who do we turn to when we want to know if the traps should be removed? Some papa’a dude who lives overseas! Stop this nonsense! Why is it, every time the actions of the old ones are questioned, we run to some modern day papa’a for advice. Get a grip! Next thing you know we’ll be running to some papa’a professor at a technical institute in Belgrade or Riga asking if we can pull out a taro patch! Come on people-have confidence in your own folk and their knowledge!

The noble art of drowsing is making a come back chooks! Media type in the House of Judgment the other day listening to the drone of legal speak soon entered phase one of drowsing. Phase two followed with note pad and pen crashing to the floor followed by phase three, the recovery. Seems even senior bureaucrats are at it as well with one top type committing a first class drowse right before his boss! Ten out of ten!

Razor gang strikes again chooks! After practicing their trunk slashing techniques on trees lining the main road at the Golf course, the Razor gang moved to Avana where in a lightning blitzkrieg, they brutally beheaded the trees lining the sea wall. Fear grips the populace as they brace themselves for the next attack of the Razor gang!

Anyone who tries to attack the agricultural credibility of the man from Matavera can only be an idiot because Matavera man knows agriculture inside out, upside down, in reverse, in forward and backwards! He is as familiar with agriculture as the back of his neck, the back of his hand and the back of his foot. He eats, sleeps, walks, talks and breathes agriculture. Matavera man is Agriculture Man!

Local chook has somber outlook for tourism. He says we can expect less visitors from Aussie not more because of the devastating floods and cyclone damage. He also predicts there will be less visitors from Kiwiland because of that place’s enormous debts. People have less to spend these days he says. What does the Aussie running our tourism corp say? What does her dog have to say?

And barking of the Aussie who heads our tourism corp, she was spotted the other day at a local eatery entertaining a visitor from an overseas government. Nothing wrong with that but why was the dog there? Perhaps he was talking to the overseas visitor.

Why does government count in the number of Cook Islanders coming home to see family? Because it takes the visitor figures over 100,000 that’s why.

Oh dear chooks! Sir Jiff is at it again! Does he not remember he is no longer PM? Sir Jiff, head honcho of SillyNOC, almost made the big move to new digs up the hill behind the halls of learning. Trouble is, someone else already had claims to that neck of the woods! Enter the Acting CEO of CIIC! Miles on Fire! His support of Sir Jiff was soon doused now SillyNOC’s transfer is on hold!

Herald Issue 548

Chairman of the PM’s little baby, the economic task force charged with organizing the economic summit, seems to have decided the outer islanders do not need to know who is on the task force and what the taskforce intends to do. His so called press release issued last Thursday never found its way to Radio Cook Islands so no-one in the outer islands got to know of it. Since the PM is from Manihiki, what does he think?

Odd how those brave faced MPs and officials who labeled the Sheik a scamster (not to his face, but from a distance) cannot find anything wrong with him after numerous international checks with other law authorities. The reaction? Quietly file the report away and hope the whole thing will go away. What about doing the decent thing? What about an apology to the fellow? Is this how we want the Islamic nations to view us? And all the talk of the fellow’s companies shutting down. Of course they shut down. When business is concluded, you shut the company down and move on. That is also a natural event in the world of developers as one local developer will tell you.

When the ballot boxes arrive on the Rock a recount is done but word is chooks one mayoral candidate who failed to regain his cosy chair in Council demanded an early re-count. The re-count merely confirmed the first result. His failure! What now for the desperate fellow?

Big clean out of staff at a key local company by its NZ managers. Many jobs now being advertised including that of local manager. Why? Whisper on the coconut wireless is that the NZ managers have suspected the staff and some of their relations may be connected to a series of questionable incidents. When will the truth be revealed chooks?

Word is chooks a couple of highflyers may soon be cut off at the knees as evidence piles up against one in particular. The natives are restless. Evidence of what? A clue to the wise. Watch for whispers to reach the ears of an overseas constabulary.

Why is the American Space Programme NASA practicing sending rockets to asteroids moving at high speed? Is there something we have not been told about the asteroid Apophis? Will there be a direct hit in 2036 after the close pass by in 2029?

Person researching numbers quoted in the Bible reckons something big will happen on 22 May 2011. Hey! That’s this year! Why is the Bible full of numbers anyway? In Noah’s time it rained for 40 days and nights. Moses was in the desert for 40 years. Christ was tempted by Satan for 40 days. What’s with this number 40? In John 21:11, it says 153 fish were in the net Peter dragged in. This is a specific number. Are you sure it wasn’t 152 or 154? Why was it considered important to record the actual number of fish caught?

Why hasn’t anyone built a replica of the Ark of the Covenant? The complete instructions are in the Bible. Imagine what the Cook Islands could achieve with one of these things. We could chat to his Lordship direct. Get the good oil. Get a heads up.

Talk about instructions and specific figures in the Holy Book, local physics whiz kid claims everything you need to know to build an anti-gravity machine can be found in a seventh form school textbook on Physics. If that is the case why are we not using these machines now?

When the next World War comes chooks with its “A bombs” where to go? Get to Egypt and go down those deep tunnels under the Pyramids and other underground tombs.

Herald Issue 547

Sino Ambassador and cheque book wielding Envoy fly in but where were the adoring, welcoming, flag waving, screaming hordes? Chooks, the public were ”ho hum” unaware they were arriving and what for. Whose jobbie then is it to keep the public informed? Where was the PM’s public relations or media relations person? What is the general public to think? They’re probably thinking, here we go again, doing things in secret. Chooks the reason for the visit is clear. The Chinese are getting in with their cheque book to sew up all the projects going before the American Ambassador gets here.

With the PM making so many gaffs lately one has to ask about the quality of advice he is receiving or whether he is receiving any helpful advice at all. Where are the PM’s advisers? Why are they not pro-active? Take the HIV/Aids issue. He should never have been involved. A PM must not get involved in individual cases. Then the Chinese meeting fluffs. Why didn’t the diplomacy experts present tell the PM not to stand up when addressing the Envoy and Ambassador? It makes us appear subservient. The Envoy must have been taken aback because he too stood up. Then came the Police parade fluffs. Why did the PM salute the march past? Also it is not the done thing to shake hands with officers on parade. It’s an “inspection” so by all means stop and talk to them and inspect them but do not shake hands. Didn’t anyone brief the PM on parade protocol?

Again more finger pointing at the PM’s helpers. The letter from the PM to his Aussie counterpart about the Queensland floods has the PM saying “my government” and people of the Cook Islands.” Why this reference to two separate groups? The expression of sympathy is from all of us. The nation. It’s like the politicians are reinforcing the colonial hang-over of “them” and “us.” That attitude has to go.

Sign that the honeymoon is well and truly over chooks. PM enters room for major chin wag which raised some eyebrows because that was the only thing raised. You see no-one stood up!

Alien lands his space ship on Muri beach and locals are alerted. However, no-one bothers to show up to this startling event, in fact locals would rather “ho hum” over their lattes and flat whites. Next day word is out that someone has HIV/Aids. “Yikes! Down coffees, run for the hills! Push the panic buttons! Sound the siren! Bring down the curtains! Flee!”

Local Professional Business Women held a function at a local eatery and a quiz was in order. Question was name five local MPs. And chooks, the winner of the quiz? A tourist from Germany! Now that’s Germanic prowess for you und well done that Frau from der Fatherland!

Oh dear chooks! Some grumbling following the re-spread of Ministerial Support Office allocations! Some offices did not get what they hoped for while some made hay! Seems the less portfolios you have the less you get in the re-spread!

And a double oh dear chooks! Manihiki man last week could not get aboard the flight home because it was cancelled with the next flight not until March the Manihiki man was worried he would not be able to get his pearl shells seeded this season and have to wait 18 months for the next opportunity! But help is near at hand with officials looking to charter a flight to Manihiki for official business! Will Manihiki man get aboard this time?

And speaking of flights, passengers’ cargo was offloaded from a flight north so a Mayoral candidate could load aboard 30 cartons of beer for a victory celebration! He did not win so what now?

Herald Issue 546

World’s Oldest Greatest (WOG) Lover claims QSM Awards are a dime a dozen and that it is the lowest ranked of the awards dished out of the UK. The other dodgy award he says is the OBE, better known in the UK during wartime for being given to non-military types for some purpose usually related to “Other Bastard’s Efforts.” For example where the crew of a ship accidentally sinks a German Sub, the Captain gets the OBE not the crew.

And WOG claims anyone expressing surprise at being awarded a “gong” from the Queen is a liar. Such persons are contacted three months in advance and asked if they will accept the award.

Question chooks. Why have most of the recent Knighthoods gone to political types? Like PMs and QRs? What about other prominent, hard working citizens? Or do the politicians think that Knighthoods are reserved for them?

How’s this for a new policy on government cars chooks. Don’t have any! Cars that is! No cars-no need for any policy! No more criticisms of public servants driving office cars! Simple! In future public servants walk everywhere or catch the bus or use their own vehicles and claim a mileage allowance. This will save the public thousands. There will also be a big saving on fuel bills.

MP for Tupapa can’t get the potholes fixed in Arai te Tonga because he has discovered that as an MP he cannot simply action matters. He’s discovered he must first fill in a form. Now there’s bureaucracy at work! Nothing moves in the public service unless a small piece of paper moves first. And we’re not just referring to that small piece of paper rolled up and hanging in the smallest room in the building!

Chooks expect applicants to be lining up four deep to apply for that recently advertised job on Muri beach managing the operation of the latest addition to the tourism activity portfolio. Tourists are bound to be rushing to Muri to experience the new thrill of skimming across the lagoon in the amazing pedal powered vaka invented by the whirly bird man.

Visiting Cookie from Melbourne says it’s so simple to fix pot holes in the road he cannot understand why our people are muckin’ about and not doing a proper jobbie. In Aussie he says concrete is poured in to hold the stones in place before being covered by fine gravel. Over here it seems we have a love affair with pot holes.

Action packed Minister Heather is to lead a team of Infrastructure muscle men to Kiwiland in a couple of weeks to get the good oil on infrastructure and bring home some good ideas. His band of experts will drop in on several centres and look into poop and solid waste management along with water worries. The only thing stumping the action man is what the Mayor of Aitutaki is doing packing his bags for the all expenses paid central government trip. Because there seems to be no good logical reason for the Mayor to be on the trip, the action packed Minister wants him off the plane! That may happen anyway if the Mayor fails to be re-elected!

Ooooppps chooks! Who left some very important, key people off the list of invitees for the PM’s upcoming economic summit? Some finger pointing done chooks! Someone high up not checking things properly! And where is the Tata man in all this? Seems he doesn’t figure yet he had some bright ideas with an earlier economic taskforce. Oh well, them’s the breaks if you jumped to a previous political master! Why is the PM chairing the summit? Isn’t the private sector supposed to lead the recovery? Oh well, where’s the Tata man?

Herald Issue 545

The whizz bang man Geoff “blow it up” Bergin has been thrilling crowds for years with his mega displays of gunpowder trickery but how many people have personally gone up to the man and thanked him for a tremendous display of money going up in smoke in record time? Very few it seems and after the New Year event, zilch! Makes a man wonder it it’s all worthwhile. If you want to mutter “thanks mate”, you’ll find “blow it up” at the market putting the whizz bang into fruit smoothies.

Speaking of New Year’s Day, it almost brought a new shocker to a couple of revelers on the beach at Muri. Yelling and screaming directed at the pair standing in front of a cannon about to fire a high explosive charge out over the lagoon were to no avail but the pair showed lightning reflexes when the cannon went off!

A local reports hearing that a large turtle that became stranded on the reef at Mitiaro ended up in the pot and being chewed up by locals. No word yet on what happened to the shell.

Papaaroa beach is popular among tourists because it’s clean. No empty bottles, trash, used nappies or empty beer cans. However, it is somewhat unclean in other aspects. It seems the beach is popular among northern hemisphere visitors as a place to conduct marine intercourse and not of a verbal kind! In broad daylight! Local kids have not been slow to cotton on and remain ever vigilant!

Spotted early the other morning strolling along the length of Muri beach, in full view of hotel occupants, a completely naked woman most likely from the northern hemisphere, possibly Scandinavia, where clothes seem to be optional in hot weather. An Australian tourist was struck speechless on witnessing this event.

Cook Islander who struck the $65,000 jackpot at Sky City in Auckland won’t be rushing home for a holiday! He left Sky City empty handed because when he went to claim the prize, the casino management discovered he was a “banned” person! Surely, he should have been stopped at the door?

Bob Sell (QSM-not queer sado-masochist) of Kii Kii at 93 not out reckons he’s the oldest surviving WWII veteran. The old salt served in the British Merchant Navy during WWII on oil tankers which sailed from the UK to fuel up in Sth America before sailing to Nth America to join the large convoys across the Atlantic to Britain. He also sailed in convoys to Russia and the Mediterranean and while many ships around his were sunk by U Boats his survived. Sell, who keeps refusing to join the local RSA, has been on a NZ pension since the age of 60 and has so far cost the NZ government more than $300,000.

Locals need their own queue at Police HQ when getting their driver’s licenses done. Local got frustrated when on going to the HQ to get the driver license up-dated because there was a long line of tourists at the counter! A special line for locals is needed so locals can get processed quickly and back to work before their bosses get upset!

What’s the sense in bringing out a key report on the state of the economy (Half Yearly Update) on 31 December, a time when everyone is gassed up and full bellied? What’s more it’s a time when officials disappear using the term “holiday” as an excuse. Seems like it’s a case of here’s the report now run for the hills!

Seen those workers on the beach in the early morning raking the finely grained white sand? Getting things smooth for the tourists to lie back on and relax? Nope! They’re removing the doggie doo dahs deposited by man’s best friend the night before!

Herald Issue 544

Israeli type considers Christmas and says bah-humbug! Christ wasn’t born in December he says. He was born in April. The shepherds were still out in the fields with their sheep so it could not have been a December winter. Also the Roman census did not occur at the end of the year. More bah-humbug he says over the manger. The birth happened in one of the hundreds of caves in the Bethlehem hillside and the manger is an area of cave wall hollowed out and in which the feed for the animals is placed.

Oh dear chooks! The gnomes at MFEM plan to issue the Economic Update report bang on 31 December! What use is that to the media when the next four days are public holidays? The law requires the update to be issued BY the 31 December not bang on the 31! If MFEM can’t read the provision properly what hope the actual report? It’s more likely the gnomes are struggling to put the update together.

What’s the priority chooks? More tourists or increased poop holding and containment capacity? The tourist dollars will help pay for the poop controls but can the controls stay ahead of the poop? Perhaps what is needed is a “poop” tax. This is justified on the grounds that the first poop performed by a tourist is of substances ingested prior to arrival.
One visitor that has certainly increased is the mozzie. The recent rains and hot weather has seen hordes of the little blighters arrive!

A chook asks why is that extensive rock fish trap still in Muri lagoon? Are people still using it to trap fish? Is anyone eating fish caught in that trap? If not, then get rid of the trap. It’s a man-made item not a naturally occurring structure so dismantle it and maybe the tidal flow will improve.


Odd how the festive season seems to bring out all the knockers and negative types who nit- pick and find fault with everything under the sun. These are the retro people who want to take the country backwards. Now they are coming out from under their rocks. Ohhh don’t want a new jetty! Ohhh don’t want a new sports building! Ohhh got a head ache!
The new Minister for Infrastructure has the right approach chooks. Why wait for a hurricane to just about hit and rush out to chop down dangerous trees? We are in the hurricane season now so it makes sense to be prepared. Look what happened to Aitutaki.

Well done the Aitu woman for the hospital make-over. Bravo that woman. Former patients need time to adjust to the new surroundings and décor! After many years of witnessing cockroaches scurrying across the floors and mokos feasting on large moths and mozzies at night there is now nothing so spectacular to marvel at. Thank goodness for the TV lounge and “Bananas in Pajamas.”

Are today’s kids lazy or what? Plastic toys are all the rage until they hit the rubbish tip. In the old days, kids made their own bows and arrows from hibiscus, made rafts out of banana trees, made trolleys to race down the hilly roads, made their own kites, made their own spinning tops, had stilt fights, played teka around the back road, made bamboo canons, made hand grenades out of hollowed out small green paw paws, made their own sling shots from old rubber tyres. Them were the days chooks.

In the old days, kids were never in the house. They were always outside and up to something. These days kids seem happier to stick indoors watching TV, watching DVDs, surfing the internet, playing with cell-phones, fiddling with I Pods, listening to walkmans, reading magazines, lazing about and sleeping.

Herald Issue 543

“Slip sliding away, slip sliding away,”- could these words from a well known song be echoing the state of affairs in a major (cough, cough) ministry now a former high flyer has departed? Would a more appropriate term be-“Back to the future?”

Aussie government spent $6 million getting Oprah to do some shows in Ockerland. Instead of forking out $12 million to the NZ government owned airline, why not get Oprah to do some shows in the Cook Islands? The resulting publicity would create such a demand for plane seats we wouldn’t need to give Air NZ any money! Would Oprah actually come to the Cooks? She will after we name a motu after her!

Great chooks! NZ Government is to give us $16 million in aid this year but we have to give $12 million back because we are to subsidize the NZ government owned airline, Air NZ! This makes NZ’s aid contribution a measly $4 million! No wonder John Key is roaring with laughter! He wasn’t born yesterday in fact he can’t wait for Henry to get over to Wellington so he can shake his hand!

So health and education don’t make money but tourism does so tourism gets all the lollies in the lolly scramble! Odd sort of logic that. One educated individual is capable of starting a business that not only employs people but earns money for government and the country through taxes. One educated individual can start a tourism business that goes on to earn more money for government. Money spent on prevention will cut health costs down stream putting more money back into government coffers. What does government want? A bunch of thickos greeting tourists?

Lets put more money into subsidizing airlines. What about Air China? Hawaiian Airlines? Go the whole hog. Congo Air must surely leap at the chance to fly here! Why stop at just Air NZ? Subsidize the local air line? Whooey!

Was there a mole in government leaking confidential information? Doubt it. It was probably a member of the tourism board. What is the logic behind a direct link with Fiji? Is it a political ploy to cow tow to Bananarama? Is it cow towing to local big wigs who want more cheap Fijian labour thus squeezing more locals out of jobs and over to Kiwiland? One thing is for sure, the flights to Samoa will be cheaper!

Seems these days everyone wants to sue somebody! We’re becoming like the USA. Slip on a slippery floor somewhere? Sue! Bad service in an eatery? Sue! Twist your ankle stepping into a pot hole? Sue! Great for the legal eagles! Don’t like their high fees? Sue!

Word on the throbbing taro jungle tom toms picked up on the ear drums of Big Red is that a major development will be announced soon. It will take everyone by surprise and the scale of it will knock your socks off according to Big Red.

The word “mate” is used quite loosely these days but in some instances too loosely. One outer island high flying council official using the term was reminded by the even higher flying State official, “I’m not your mate!”

There’s hope for the little people yet chooks thanks to the Judiciary! In one recent case not only was a novice granted his day in court against legally better equipped opposition but the Justice ensured justice was done and seen to be done.

Running out of diesel fuel in the north? Then pick some coconuts, make some coconut oil and run the generator on a diesel/coconut oil mix like they do elsewhere in the Pacific. Ten coconuts will make one litre of oil.

Those advocating breaking the law in respect of pirated films should heed what the Book says about sinners. Enjoy it now because what’s coming later will definitely be hotter.

Herald Issue 542

When visiting the QR the new Chinese Ambassador presented a gift of a vase. Our QR realizing our gift to the Ambassador was still wrapped in paper, proceeded to rip the paper off much to the surprise of the Ambassador. Our highly original gift was a book about the Cook Islands. The Embassy probably already has a copy. Why not a gift of pearls? Later that morning, the Ambassador and his party were in Paka’s Pearl shop buying up several items before enjoying a snack in the Salsa Café.

Confused about holiday pay chooks? With Christmas and New Year falling on a Saturday and Sunday, people who normally work that day get what? Double time? Because the holidays are transferred to Monday and Tuesday, most people who normally work that day will have a day off but what about those who actually work on that day, like hotel employees? Do they get double time? What about overseas workers on contracts?

Word is that PSC Navy Epati is in line for the Cabinet Secretary job replacing Harmon. Who will be in line for the PSC job? All eyes are also on who gets the Chairman of CIIC job and the CEO of CIIC job.

Rumour is all HOMs will soon be told, if they haven’t already, that their jobs will soon be history as government prepares to consolidate the public service into just 5 super ministries.

Has new infrastructure Minister Heather introduced new austerity measures in regard to Ministerial travel? Last week the Minister, his HOM and Support Office CEO arrived to inspect the Nikao seawall, on motor scooters! Normally he and his entourage would get about in a roomy office car but not the economy conscious Heather! If it’s good enough for him, will all other Ministers follow suit? The Prime Minister? He can have a Harley!

Big Red hears the NZ government is to increase its aid to a whopping $16 million! Whoo-pee! What can we do with this? Fact is the Cooks barely registers on NZ’s aid radar! By dishing out such piddly amounts, NZ has caused us to become dependent on “drip feed” aid that really develops nothing significant and retards our growth. Why can’t the NZ government give us say $30 million in one hit so we can build a deep water port and be a serious player in the cruise industry?

And talking about the cruise industry chooks, there’s a packet to be made if we develop a deep water port to take the big cruise ships. Cruise ships are getting bigger. There is no deep water port between Tahiti and Tonga so any big boat would sail right past us. A deep water port may cost us $30m but we could re-coup that in just 10 years. We already miss out on $3m a year and that is based on one third of the passengers coming ashore! What if all 2,000 passengers and 800 crew could come ashore? How much more could we earn? Not to mention berthage fees and earnings from supplying the boat with fresh fruit and veges!

From one extreme to another chooks. Staff member highly praised at the beginning of the week for superb customer service is sacked at the end of the week for pilfering!

Did the PM actually meet with the Chinese Ambassador? Did the DPM meet the Ambassador? Where are the photos to prove these meetings took place? Were gifts exchanged? Who else witnessed the meeting? How will the meetings be recorded for historic reasons? Did the PM offer the Ambassador some green tea and a bill for repairs to the courthouse? Did the DPM offer the Ambassador some green tea and a manganese nodule?

Herald Issue 541

Notice all the activity on the roads chooks? The works staff are sprucing up the road markings but did you notice it’s only in certain areas? Yes chooks, it’s all being done on those streets the visiting Foreign Minister from NZ Murray McCully’s car will be driving on! Got to impress Murray, he’s in charge of NZ Aid funds! But chooks, if the great Murray sees everything looking so posh and neat, he may think we don’t need so much aid money in future! Surely it would have been better to allow the roads to run down to the point where Murray will insist we accept more money-to do up the roads!

Did the CIP hierarchy pre-plan their appointments to the lucrative top jobs? It is rumoured one top job which went to an overseas Cookie was ear-marked for the Cookie some two years ago! Who else is waiting overseas ready for the call-up? Why is Finance Minister Mark Brown currently overseas? Head hunting?

Is the new Minister for Infrastructure setting up his own Radio station to broadcast Ministry affairs? Why else would Radio –man Ben Mose now be stationed there? Is he abandoning lawn Bowls and taking up Golf? Perhaps other Ministers will set up their own talk-back radio shows at their offices?

Will the new Minister for Infrastructure be taking up Golf and joining the team at the 19th tee? Will future Cabinet meetings take place on the front nine or the back nine? How about the sand trap? To get his views across will the Infrastructure Minister be forced to resort to the wood?

Talk about reviving the dead chooks. Word is out that Epati is being shunted sideways into the Cabinet Secretary’s job and former Justice long timer Terry Hagan is being eyed up for the PSC job. In the past Terry was viewed as an ideal PSC to whip public servants into line. If Hagan does not take up the job, it appears Isamaela may be a good stand by to come in off the bench. As Cabinet Secretary, Epati would attend all meetings of the Cabinet.

CIP coffers are still groaning chooks as to date only three MPs have deposited their $5,000. What about the rest?

News on Google that Fijian strongman Prime Minister Bananarama has sent Henry his congratulations on being elected and on being made PM.

Rumour is there may soon be a challenge to Wigmore’s leadership of the Demo Party. From whom you ask? Does not two and two equal four? It does up north.

And word the BTIB may lose a senior member of staff to the Office of the opposition. Because the office of the Opposition Netball team needs good players?

If an item is listed on the FAR-Fixed Assets Register, how can one Ministry swipe something from another Ministry? What would Audit have to say? Seems the CIP have been out of government so long some have forgotten the basics.

And word is the Agriculture HOM’s memory became somewhat hazy when the Ministry for Infrastructure asked for the new Chinese supplied JCBs. After much to and fro-ing it transpired the keys to operate the machines were in the machines. Staff from Infrastructure proceeded to up-lift the JCBs.

New PM has got off to a good start! Two motorcycle cops with lights flashing, whizzing him out to the QR’s. Previous PM used to just drive himself, in his own car and without a police escort. Once the previous PM walked by himself to a function. Certainly saved petrol that man!

Papa’a here on holiday, at the market selling food? What? How can this be? Who is in charge down there? Was not the market to sell the agricultural produce of small farmers? Again, get back to basics and why allow tourists to flog off locally grown produce!

Herald Issue 540

What’s up with MFEM chooks? Making laws on the hoof? All former support office CEOs have left their jobs but MFEM won’t pay out their final pay. Whiskers Henderson wants the pay -out held up until the exit audit is done but where is the legal justification for linking personnel payments to operational costs? How did this law suddenly appear and why?

Big question chooks, who will be the new Secretary of Finance? Will the new Minister reel in a former tax-man cum long distance runner or will the Minister consult his tea leaves and fish n’ chips and slot in the high profile Director of Audit? How soon can the Director of Audit acquire his Chartered Accountancy qualification? The former head Shodown, completed his Chartered Accountancy qualification while on the job through the Australian Institute! He has the stamp to prove it.

Forget the Cabinet Room chooks! If you want to meet and tongue waggle with the Cabinet, better to mosey on out to the golf club’s 19th tee! Make sure you register your interest by signing up as a member! You will need to enter a few tournaments to confirm your acceptance and entry to Cabinet meetings! A few rounds of the other sort wouldn’t go astray either!

Word is out chooks that party faithful are being approached to put their names in the hat for jobs on government ad hoc bodies and committees and Boards. And why not? Some Board members stand to be elevated into the stratosphere and highly rewarding jobbies in the feeding chain leaving the vacant spaces at lower levels to be filled by the loyal go-fers who did well election time!

Now the pushing, shoving and posturing has started for the top jobs opening up as the old lot pack their bags and move out as the new Mandarins move in. Party faithful can look forward to four years at the public trough and why not? The demos have had 10 years there already! With Edwin winning the PM support top job who will the other five be?

When you are astride a throbbing iron horse it pays to make sure all is honky dory before you gallop off. As one high heeled young filly with Mareko connections discovered when one end of her pareu dangling out of her hand bag, flapping in the breeze, got caught in the wheel and the other end caught on her arm causing her to topple from the galloping steed! Now said filly is sporting a cast on her limb!

It appears the humble Hermit Crab has become the latest avenue for conveying heavenly messages! Whatever happened to the plain old “Angel” who used to appear in shimmering robes, mutter the divine message then flit off? Were all the Angels on holiday leaving no-one else to deliver the messages? What next? Talking tea leaves? Moses did speak to a burning bush once. If the Almighty wants to impart a message he will do so in the clearest, most direct manner possible so there can be no misunderstanding.

Why are explorers searching Mt Ararat for Noah’s Ark? The good book clearly points out the Ark came to rest on the “mountains” of Ararat not Mt Ararat. And why do people keep referring to the Garden of Eden when the actual garden was not there? The good book clearly points out, Adam was in a garden “east” of Eden. And why do people say the animals went into Noah’s Ark two by two when the good book points out, of those animals allowed to be eaten, there were seven of each type not two.

Why don’t Cook Islanders want to get rich? Why let a done deal flop by not getting back to the client pronto? Client went elsewhere and happily got a massive discount and quick service!

Herald Issue 539

Great to see the Billy Goat industry being taken seriously chooks. While moolah can be made on the local market in the short term on the flesh, it’s the high value byproducts like cheese, yoghurt, milk and leather that will pull in the export moolah. Goat cheese is high in nutritional value and a possible high value export item for us. Imagine goat butter softened in Avocado oil, Passion fruit flavoured goat cheese and creamy Mango flavoured goat yoghurt! However, the biggest bucks could come from Asian buyers for powdered goat horns which are said to stiffen certain parts of one’s anatomy! There could even be a Mauke flag sporting a goat!

When are the Price Police going to subject outer island shops to a bit of scrutiny and check how their prices can be justified? Report in from a chook back from a visit to Mitiaro that a carton of chicken which costs $35 in a shop in Raro costs $117 in Mitiaro! A carton of beer which would set you back just under $40 in Raro costs $70 in Mitiaro. Why such high prices? Is it because of the air and sea freight charges? Is it because of the high electricity costs? No wonder people are fleeing to Kiwiland!

According to Demo sources, the CIP actually polled less votes on election night (before special votes were counted) this election than they did in 2006, illustrating that this election the turn- out on the day was low. In Avatiu which had the lowest turn -out, the election night turn -out was just 66.6%. In 2006 the election night turn- out in Avatiu was 66.04%. After special votes were counted, the turn out figure in 2006 rose to 76.8%. But why should the Demos be concerned?

Oh dear chooks the mud -slinging has begun! That’s politics! Big Norm, a fifth Dan Black Belt at the cut and thrust of political Tae Kwon Do, has responded to rumours with the pen! His words to paper march out to battle for him! In this modern era, Atiu warriors do battle on a higher plane with the pen replacing the club!

Lets hope history does not repeat itself! Lets hope the CIP don’t become bogged down in leadership issues and in-fighting and finger pointing like the Demos did after 2006 when the Demos won the election with 15 seats! The Demos then proceeded to split into two camps with 6 on one side and 9 on the other.

How to sort out the pushing and shoving among the top CIP MPs for the cushy top jobs? Simple! Have four deputy prime ministers! A senior deputy and three assistant deputies! Create two associate Minister positions and five positions of Ministers outside the Cabinet like they do in NZ and the UK. A Speaker of the House and a Deputy Speaker. A Leader of the House. That way everyone in the CIP caucus can have an important job!

When Monday’s Noah like biblical down pour from the heavens came, so did the thought that had every government building, every Hostel, every school, every hotel and every sports building been equipped with guttering, spouting and a giant water tank, we could have collected several year’s supply of water no problemo. And it would have been collected in a short time considering the amount of H2O that fell from the sky.

Even in the big down pour Monday, a chooks wonders how many homes still had no water coming through their pipes?

Where were the staff from Works during the down pour? They should be out to see where the flooding is worst and make plans for proper drainage. It is moments like that when Works staff should be out to see how the biblical deluge affects various areas.

Herald Issue 538

It’s a vicious circle chooks! High interest rates force up prices, keep wages low, jobs become unattractive to locals who leave for higher pay in NZ, in come foreigners from countries where the pay is even lower than in the Cooks! Unless interest rates come down and wages go up, foreigners will take over.

Ooopps! Seems some of the households in cyclone ravaged Aitutaki that were provided with water tanks were stymied because they had no spouting to get the water from the roof of their houses to the water tanks! Strange chooks that whenever water tanks are offered, no-one remembers the spouting!

Proof that it takes a sledge hammer to crack a nut chooks! The whole might and power of corporate giant Telecom Cook Islands came down on a client who owed the corporation just over $10. The phone was cut off until the client fronted with the moolah.

Giant water spout seen over Matavera late on Sunday afternoon was spectacular. Could it have been an omen of sorts? A great funnel extended down like a “finger” from the dark cloud overhead and lasted for a number of minutes. A rare sight.

Last week, the Head of Tourism decided to summon the Holy rollers to douse the Corporation building with sacred waters and bless the staff. While the walls echoed to chanting according to the Holy manuscripts no doubt those troublesome spirits still lingering in the corners and the shadows, fled. Was it a blessing chooks or an exorcism? Wait for it, the CEO’s puppy will yap once for “yes” and twice for “no.”

Now that Tourism Corp has set a raging precedent, we may see other Ministries apply their own blessing ceremonies. As time goes by these could become more elaborate and spectacular as Ministries try to outdo each other. There could be string bands, distinguished guests like the QR, Paris Hilton, a Kava ceremony (Samoan, Fijian, Cook Island style optional). One day even the CEOs may go the whole hog and be invested as Honorary Ariki! Then there’s the small matter of the expense. Who pays? The tax payer of course!

Another precedent set by our Tourism CEO is that of having a “pet” at work. Each Ministry CEO should now be encouraged to adopt a pet. Not permitted are as pets are Alligators, Snakes, Tarantulas, Gibbons, Chimps, Sharks, Pit Bull Terriers, Lions, Tigers, Polar Bears, Elephants or Rhinos. Talking parrots and Pet Rocks are acceptable. In fact the PSC is considering putting out a policy directive concerning the keeping and care of Pets at work.

Mucho fusso about the ring road around the Vaimaanga Hotel site. Fact is the road is already there and sealed. That was done after the Big “T” got the lease and an EIA stamp. With the Big T sidelined, a new EIA must be submitted. The pic featured in the daily was from the Big T’s plan.

To mark the official opening of the upgraded Mangaian harbour why not organize a “Round the Cook Islands” yacht race to start and finish at Mangaia with one stop-over allowed at Penrhyn.

Woe to the residents of Matavera and Kii Kii! Despite the very heavy rain last week which caused much flooding, residents turned their taps on and lo, where was the water? How can it rain so heavily and yet there be no water in the pipes to brew a cup of Earl Grey Lemon Scented Tea? How hard can it be to fix this problem? Workmen should go to the area, find the pipes and investigate what’s going on. Look at the actual problem instead of theorizing what may be wrong.

Herald Issue 537

A chook reports a land mark event in religious history chooks. An incident was recorded where a missionary’s wife provided local women with long dresses to cover their bare breasts when attending church. Trouble is the local women arrived at church wearing the long dresses but with holes cut out for their breasts to show through!

Question chooks! What do Karl Marx, Santa Clause, Moses and Nooroa Tupa all have in common? If you thought the answer is they all have great flowing beards, you’re wrong! In fact it’s the colour red! Marx-red for communist Russia-Red Square! Santa Clause-red suit! Moses-parted the Red Sea! Tupa-the red and blue colours of the Demo Party!

Did they or didn’t they? Who was responsible for reducing the Sheraton loan? Sir Terepai says it was him. The Demos say it was them. Chooks the fact is the whole reduction process began with the CIP. The initial negotiations were undertaken by the CIP and when the Demos came in they finished it off. Instrumental in gaining the reduction was the film footage of the damage caused by the 2005 cyclones shot by CITV. So lets just acknowledge that the reduction can be attributed to actions of many people all working together for the same outcome.

Brilliant move by the softly, softly CIP! Produce a manifesto, don’t tell the public and let the other political party go to the trouble of distributing it by e-mail! A political master stroke!

Independent hopeful Junior Areai who is contesting the Oneroa seat in Mangaia says his wife is to join him from Rarotonga and when she does, he says they will walk down main street so everyone can see he’s married. Areai also says before he began his campaign, the CIP candidate was ahead of the Demo candidate in the numbers game but now he has joined the race, the contest is between him and the Demo man.

Tim Tepaki who is Chairman of the Rarotonga Branch of the political movement “Te Kura O Te Au” said he did not want the role of leader in the election as he is a developer not a politician. He said he first approached Jon Jonassen but he declined the role. He then approached Sir Terepai Maoate to lead Te Kura but he declined. He then approached both Teariki Heather and Norman George but both declined coincidentally for the same reason. Both said they thought they had a good chance of one day becoming leader of the CIP.

More details are emerging about the CIP’s baby Bonus. Seems it may be in the form of vouchers and not straight out cash. From which stores will these vouchers be redeemable? CITC? Manea Foods? Supa Saver? Vonia’s? The Demos have had practice subsidizing Air NZ so it’s just a short step to subsidizing retailers. Next it could be health care by vouchers.

Is dredging up the Toa Petroleum fiasco so close to the election the right tactic for the CIP? What will raking up and going over old ground achieve? This is no time to become negative. The CIP fell into this trap last election and lost ground badly with the voters so why are they repeating history?

Several visitor chooks report confusing hand signals from Police at a check point the other night. The up and down hand waving had the chooks wondering if they should stop, carry on or wave back at the friendly cop!

Watch out for suggestions the next Queen’s Representative (QR) should be an Ariki. When the Ariki approached the British Government it was for protection not to surrender their authority or sovereignty. An Ariki is a King or Queen in their own right and should only bow to another Monarch out of respect not servitude.

Herald Issue 536

CIP’s Kiriau is starting to look really good in Matavera. Word is, after much hard yakka and foot slogging, he now has a majority of electors in his camp. Over 360 Big Red hears.

Old mama in Mitiaro had a curly question for the CIP leaders Puna and Brown when they visited the island. She wanted to know how she was to get the water into the water tank the CIP was going to supply each household. From the rain was the response. Trouble is her house had no spouting to get the water from the roof to the tank. Seems the response was the CIP would look into it. Many homes do not have gutters on their roofs so how will they collect water? What if they have a kikau roof? Now here’s a curly question for the CIP, how will people get water from the rain if there is a drought?

Two weeks to the election and the query is, have the CIP left their run to the ballot box a bit late or is this actually an ingenious tactic?

What were the two Atiu CIP candidates doing gate crashing the Demo rally in Atiu? The Demo tere party from Rarotonga complete with string band put on quite a show for 70 or so raging and roaring Atiuans and it must have given the CIP pair something to think about!

A Mangaian chook based in Rarotonga asks why didn’t the Demos take some prominent Mangaians from Rarotonga with them on their trip to Mangaia? Instead they took a band and some non-Mangaians.

Elderly ex-pat cannot understand all the fuss and public hoo hah over the launch of a treadle boat at Muri. He says these boats were quite common during the 1920’s in England. Hardly new technology says the crusty old timer who hails from England. Never-the-less it shows how fads come and go in cycles. Perhaps in another 90 years bicycles will be all the rage among the settlers on Mars.

Notice how the surface of the main road has been scraped clean right to the bushes on the sides? Does it mean that when the road is sealed, they will seal it right to the edges so pedestrians have something clean and level to walk on? Wouldn’t that be a bonus! Something resembling a footpath at last! Or maybe a bicycle path?

Just a point to note about the new TV company’s tall wooden poles. According to a visiting Samoan they were tried in Samoa but fell over in a hurricane and have been banned ever since. No guy wires to secure the pole in position? Well it seems the set up was designed by people who don’t live in the country.

Hands up all those political candidates who advocate raising the minimum wage from $5 an hour? According to the “Chamber de Horreurs,” most employees are getting $7 an hour so if that’s the case, why not put up the minimum wage anyway? If we are to believe government’s own reports about the economy doing just fine, what’s the problem?

Pushing our visitor numbers up by another 50,000 to about 150,000 per year will bring us close to Tahiti where their visitor numbers are expected to be about 160,000. Tahiti with all its great attractions is staying virtually at a standstill while we, with virtually nothing great by comparison are expecting our visitor numbers to rise.

How’s this for a touristy gimmick? Most visitors to Rarotonga are repeat jobs. People who have been here several times already. What if after their fifth visit they get to become a “five star” visitor and entitled to special privileges and discounts. Take a gander at that you Tourist Corp wallahs.

Herald Issue 535

Sometimes lightning can strike twice chooks! Especially when it comes to CISNOC backsides! Red faces all round when Minister for Sport Apii Piho turned up in New Delhi India for the Commonwealth games! Seems he could not get anywhere because he was not accredited! Poor Piho could not get into the Games village to see the Team! Brings back memories of the last Games when then Minister for Sport Aunty Mau found her movements severely restricted because she had no accreditation either! Will CISNOC make it three out of three when the London Olympics come round in 2012?

When will the Audit Office report into the Mangaian harbour upgrade job be released? After the election? Seems the jobbie was not completed and the funds were depleted! Where did the money go? Where will the money come from now to complete the upgrade? When will the job be completed? There are a lot of unanswered questions chooks.

Talking of Audit Office reports, when will the report on the case involving fishing licenses for the northern group venture be released? After the election?

“Sir” is not giving up! The latest news is that last weekend “Sir” had a chin wag with PM in waiting Wigmore about the DPM position. Sir wants the job but like Raro Idol, will Sir have to audition for this position? He has to win the seat first. What about Rasmussen, the Demo’s current Deputy Leader? Does he not get a say or get to sing in front of the Judges?

As Mitiaro MP Tangata Vavia discovered last week, when you’re trying to talk above singing by northerners you have to have a loud voice! The more Vavia tried to make himself heard over Radio, the louder the singing got! In the end it was all too much, no-one got to hear what Vavia had to say but the singing was enjoyable!

Word is the Cook Islands first ever medal at a Commonwealth Games may come in Lawn Bowls. So lets prepare the team for Glasgow Scotland in 2014. Put an offer on the table of $5,000 for Gold, $2,500 for Silver and $1,250 for Bronze and that’s per member! The only other likely-hood of a medal could be a Bronze in the Boxing Super Heavyweight Division. Lets do what the Samoans have been doing-offer some incentive for the team members to try hard. Forget stupid ideas like putting on a party. That just doesn’t cut it anymore.

The two T’s. In the wrestling ring, they could be a formidable political tag team. Tim and Tim!

Now the election campaign has become a bickering match chooks. CIP seized on the potential staff cut backs only to come under a barrage of counter bickering from Demo heavyweights, then the CIP countered with the Chinese tractors to wit the Demos started one up and ran over the CIP arguments now they are bickering over who is the best bickerer! This negativity is not what the voters want to put up with and it could be a big turn off especially for the CIP camp because it appears they have no positive spin of their own.

CIP’s election ads dig deep into the distant past to dredge up their doyen Party founder. Their “A” bomb. Albert! Put that together with their “H” bomb and you get Albert Henry! A nuclear combination to fry all opposition.

Here’s an idea for political reform chooks! Reduce the number of MPs by process of elimination over a period of five weeks by running a “Political Idol” competition! Each week, after counting up text messages, the two lowest scoring MPs can be eliminated. Each week they will be required to perform a different type of act. Three Judges can offer comment each week.

Herald Issue 534

You can tell chooks how desperate both political parties are to get in again! They are afraid of the gains that might be made by the independents! How can you tell? Well there are finally some incentives for ordinary people-more like vote snatchers! There’s the baby bonus and other monetary offers!

When the Times went to print, Independent candidate Teariki Unuka’s name was not on the first Official candidates list that was released. After the Times was printed, a second list arrived with Unuka’s name on it! Talk about ghosting in!

Word from the news interview the day after the official campaign launch with the sole candidate for the Party Tumu, Peto, is that a wall of water fell on him as he was seated under a tarpaulin. Onlookers do not yet know how the incident is to be interpreted! Was it a blessing from above or a sign of displeasure? After the election results come in, we will know!

Atupa’s master carver is looking to raise $50,000 to fund his new movie but help could be close at hand! Stepping forward to run in the election for the political movement Te Kura O Te Au, all his problems will be solved if he gets voted in. You see, he needs $50,000 which is the salary for an ordinary MP! Problem solved chooks!

Murienua candidate for the Demos, James Beer, is hoping someone will throw something at his enormous billboards (How could anyone miss?) because as he says there’s nothing worse for a budding politician than no-one taking a blind bit of notice of his billboards!

And on the topic of billboards chooks, the message to politicians is; keep the messages simple! There’s nothing like driving past at speed and attempting to read a small novel when BANG you crash into a tree!

The private sector just loves the CIP’s plan to provide water tanks to some 2,000 households! When a drought comes, how do the tanks get filled if there’s no water in the pipes? That’s where the private companies with water trucks come in! Households wanting a full tank each month will have to shell out some $300. With 2,000 homes that’s well over $1 million to the private sector! Not to mention government’s VAT! Why not just fix the pipes and dam up Avana valley to create a big lake? Well that’s too hard! Imagine all the overseas consultants we would have to hire to tell us what we already know!

93 year old voter in Kii Kii says he will most likely vote for John Tangi again because he was the only candidate to bother to come and visit him! The only other visitors he’s had are Jehovah Witnesses who of course do not vote.

Now that the price of Scott’s eggs have plummeted to just $4 a dozen, one bright spark suggests people buy up large and toss the eggs at the billboards around the island! A new twist to the old saying; “ending up with egg on your face!”

One draw -back to living by the sea is the salt air. This week a local reports the failure of several electrical appliances one after the other. First the electric stove packed up then the micro-wave oven conked out followed by the TV set! All that followed the car electrics controlling the windows fizzing out!

Independent candidate for Tupapa, Tim Arnold has taken election campaigning on television to new heights! First it was the tractor ride to nowhere followed by car kicking then cool store comparisons with boxes of chicken cleaned up by a shower scene to rival the famous shower scene in the movie “Physco.” Next will be the mini-series to replace Shortland Street!

Herald Issue 533

Women on their conference are looking forward to the big nosh up hosted by the NZ High Commission but the trouble is no-one informed the NZ High Commissioner!

Big craft show at the number one art gallery in town in conjunction with the big women’s conference supposedly with great prizes galore for the winners but chooks, the only trouble is only two prizes have been organized so far!

Presumably, in a desperate bid to halt de-population, the Party once led by Papa Albert has conjured up a sweet election lolly whereby mothers pick up $1,000 for each baby born! But what does it all mean chooks? Girls rushing out to have babies so they can get some moolah? Will they use the dosh to get an air ticket to NZ? And where is the moolah coming from to pay for this new policy? From some other programme?

Confession corner! Candidates are being asked to fess up as to their stance on various issues but will they play ball? Not likely!

Clearly the biggest event to occur in Mauke’s history is the grounding of Taio ‘s boat on the reef. So traumatic has this event been that daily reports from the island feature in the local media and one has to wonder why the local candidates for the election have been slow to get in on the act. Will there be trauma counseling for the islanders?

Things move slowly in the outer islands chooks, almost slow motion like. Last week two visitors to an outer island in the southern group which shall remain nameless, had to wait a week for telecom to connect their phone. Then they had to wait a further week to have an international connection hooked up. Some persons on the island were amazed that the job was done so fast. There you are!

Demo heavyweight from the Exec Division are winging it to an outer island as the candidate a sitting MP is having a panic attack! It seems there’s been an “Independent Alert!” Yes chooks, from under the coral has emerged an independent who dares to challenge the sitting member!

Te Aponga has donated a pile of moolah to EMCI to purchase sirens which will be used in the event of a dire emergency. That’s to say a tsunami, hurricane, flood, fire, earthquake and party political meeting! With such powerful speakers MPs need not leave the comforts of home to speak to their people! They could even place orders over the system with the local store! $20 fish and chips and half a dozen steinies!

Motorists watch out! Outer island Hostel dweller walking a short distance from their Hostelry, in desperation flagged down a passing motorist to seek a light for her cigarette! She could not walk the short distance left to the Hostel for a light!

It’s manifesto madness chooks! The Demos are not going down the same baby boom road as the CIP. That’s because as Aunty has pointed out, there’s already a mechanism in place for increasing the payment so why not just use it! Bravo Aunty! How come no-one else thought of that?

Word is the young lads engaged on planting are learning something about market gardening! Is that why they were seen on the goggle-box news throwing tomatoes through the air. Have not seen that technique before. And what were these young fellows paid? Nothing? Is that not exploitation of child labour? What about all the older men out of work and looking to earn a crust?

Them Indians sure know how to streamline the system. Their vehicles have no warrants of fitness! That system could go down well here! If your car is safe, well and good. If not, well you crash. At the speeds many are driving it’s a wonder there aren’t more crashes.

Herald Issue 532

Oh dear chooks! Those Aussies are at it again! Can’t they get anything right? In the late night broadcast on Radio Australia of the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, the female commentator referred to our population as being 13,000 people and the male commentator referred to our country as a tax haven in which to put your money!

It’s looking more and more like a coalition government chooks! How’s this for a possible Cabinet line up? PM-Sir Terepai Maoate, DPM-Norman George, Cabinet Ministers-Teina Bishop, Nandie Glassie, Tangata Vavia and James Beer!

The prospect of having too many independents contest the election may have one adverse effect. That is, the great silent majority of conservative voters out there may become alarmed that there may be too many radical changes likely and opt to keep the status quo. That is, keep the “devil” they know.

What happens if there are too many independents in parliament? Without any leader, they could support whomever they want and not being bound by the anti-party hopping law, they could change government at anytime they are not happy with something! We could have several different governments in just one sitting of parliament!

Who is the preferred leader? At least the Demos have a clear leader! Who and where are the other leaders?

The result of the referendum will most certainly be in favour of reducing the number of MPs because the majority of voters on Rarotonga will ensure a two thirds vote in favour. However, it will be a different story in parliament when the MPs come to vote. This is because the outer island MPs (14 of them) are in the majority, so a two thirds majority vote by MPs in favour of changing the Constitution, is looking most unlikely!

Some imports chooks may be cheaper than the local product but that is not the point. When local produce is purchased, there’s a good chance most of the money made by the grower, supplier and seller will remain in the country and perhaps create jobs for locals.

Why can we not get crayfish from Rakahanga into the restaurants on Raro? Tourists would pay big money for half a crayfish tail maybe $30 or more! Surely a passing fishing boat can bring supplies down in water tanks so the crayfish arrive fresh. The people on Rakahanga can make some big bucks for a change so what’s stopping the venture from getting off the ground?
Why begrudge “Hot Mix” for landing a fat contract to fix the Queen’s highway? Hey! Local labour and contractors will all get a wack and the moolah gets to stay in- country! And it’s going to cost less!

When former Acting Secretary O Te Moolah Kevin Carr finishes up at the end of the month, he’s off to the south of Lamb Land to do a lot of tramping up and down hillsides. The ups and downs should remind him of his time in the hot seat! So hot it was not possible to sit down for too long!

Chooks, why bother tossing millions of dollars across fields to revive agriculture if importers continue to bring in cheap produce from overseas? What factors will attract local buyers to the home grown product? Will it be freshness, quality, nutritional value? Will local hotels and restaurants support the home grown product? How will buying locally affect their profit margin? Should we focus on high quality, value added products for exclusive markets overseas? Will agriculture resemble a revived “Lazarus” or a reconstructed “Frankenstein!”

Will somebody be getting those containers off the wharf before the hurricane season starts? The ones with the disassembled tractors from China still in them! Last thing we want is for the waves to carry them off!

Herald Issue 531

If any politician tries to tell you chooks it’s too costly to up pensions and other welfare payments, ask them to firstly curb MPs spending and other frivolous costs like propping up private companies. The mean spirited NZ government gives us a paltry $12 million a year in aid. What good is that? It’s a bit here, a bit there, not enough for any significant improvement. Let’s find someone else with deeper pockets. Maybe a friendly Arab or two!

Anyway chooks no politician is going to even hint at chopping back pensions as that would be political suicide!

And on the topic of overseas aid, a chook says cancel all overseas aid money! Let’s live within our means! Become self sufficient! Cut out unnecessary imports! Get back to basics!

One chook asks why toot toot Tim kicks an old car and says like government it’s going nowhere? Can toot toot Tim say the same about himself? You see his two steam trains are going nowhere fast. And by the way, if you were to put a new wheel on that car, top up the tank and hook up a new battery it would probably go!

With so many independents standing for parliament maybe Nov 17th should be renamed “Independence Day!”

So Garth is the man to fill in for Carr until a replacement is found for the Bureau au te Moolah! But chooks, isn’t Garth the Sea Captain they bypassed for the Police Commissar jobbie and then the Finance jobbie? After languishing in Aid Management for a season, Garth landed a mucho moolah job overseas! Now, the panic is on and who do they scurry to? The very person they did not want in the first place!

A 93 year old rooster, the World’s Oldest Greatest (WOG) Lover, reckons Father Jim will return as PM! This will happen he predicts because all other contenders will either fall over or be knocked off their perches in the Parliamentary Handicap Race on November 17th! The same rooster also reckons Pastor John should now complete the dinner set he started out to provide his loyal followers! In the last four years, Pastor John has handed out a cup, a plate and a set of glasses!

A former Police Inspector must be grinning from ear to ear now his chances of apprehending the Titikaveka seat for the CIP have skyrocketed with the news the Iro man now plans to stand as an Independent along with the Matenga man! With the DPM’s progress likely to be arrested and the Demo vote being split three ways, The Inspector looks to be a shoe in! A size 10 Police shoe!

It could only happen in the Cooks chooks! The day after the Water Division Boss goes on the goggle-box to announce drought like conditions, it pours down with rain!

Ever tried to get hold of a HOM on a Tuesday morning? Not when Cabinets on you won’t!

Herald Issue 530

Oh dear chooks! Word has come Big Red’s way that during the fuel crisis some fuel retailers upped their prices from the lower Triad setting to the higher Toa setting! Word is a certain government agency is investigating several of these outlets!

Now to a crisis of another sought chooks! Seems the big fight night recently at the Chinese indoor sporting stadium is being re-classified from “fundraiser” to “bill payer!” It seems while the CISA half of the partnership did their best to conserve costs, involving parents and boys in much of the laborious chores, the boxing fraternity were spending up! After the mighty show, unpaid bills began creeping out of the woodwork at the boxing end! And one concerned parent asks where were the boxing fraternity when the time came to clean up? Another parent is said to be demanding a break down of costs to see where the moolah went!

Chooks, here’s how a conversation overheard recently went;
Man: “A woman’s place is in the House!”
Woman: “Then a man’s place must be in the Dog House!”

Chooks a local elderly, deeply conservative male reckons the women calling for political reform should remember that throughout human history it’s the woman who has been at the centre of all major controversies, beginning with Adam and Eve. If Eve had not bitten that apple, things may have turned out differently. If Helen of Troy had not run off with another man, 1,000 ships need not have been launched and a major war could have been averted. If the English King had not married that American Simpson woman, English royalty may have turned out differently.

One likely candidate’s suggestion to arrest the population drain chooks is to bring in 1,000 young Chinese women and marry them off to locals! Big Norm’s plan to fill vacant houses on Atiu left empty because of the flight of economic refugees to greener pastures is to bring in the “Grey Hairs” from overseas! The Grey Hairs would bring in their hefty pensions to get the tills of local shops jingling not to mention filling the pockets of the owners of all those empty homes!

A certain Indie candidate may have triggered off a trend of sorts with a commitment to donate up to 90 per cent of his MP’s salary to his electorate! Toss in the $8,000 community fund and heck, that’s quite a bundle of moolah for the constituents to ante up the pool! After making the announcement at a gathering of the candidate herd, sitting MPs looked aghast at the possibility of being upstaged by an upstart!

The committee raising funds for the massive, multi-storied construction project known simply as “The Atiu Hostel” are now so desperate for funds they are to resort to harvesting the riches at Takutea island for sale! Treasured and highly protected for its abundant natural resources Takutea should not have to undergo such plundering for a human folly fallen short! Can Atiu’s two MPs dig deeper? Toa got a packet so what about the Hostel?

Our Cabinet members are wriggling in their seats over an Arabic offer to assist the economy and are crying foul! But chooks, it was not that long ago that Cabinet members and others winged their way to Korea to attend a peace conference organized by none other than Dr Moon himself, the self proclaimed Messiah! Some even accepted gifts of a gold watch and other goodies! It seems the Bishop was the only person to throw his gifts into the rubbish bin at the airport in Korea!

Now here’s a poser for you chooks. When you put a short sleeved shirt into the washing machine, why does the shirt nearly always come out with the sleeves inside out?

Herald Issue 529

Imagine you are a tourist sipping your hot, foamy latte on the outer deck of an up-market café, lapping up the sun’s rays, enjoying the fragrance of the local flora when suddenly an up-market pedigree dog appears on the scene, cocks his hind limb and piddles against a post near you! Your protestations fall upon the deaf ears of the giggling up-market owner nearby employed in an up-market position in an up-market government agency! What is the dog doing in an eatery in the first place? Does this not contravene hygiene regulations? Word is the pedigree yapper accompanies its owner into work where it probably advises on matters of State!

And on the topic of man’s best friend, a dogspokesmutt for the yappers out West barks that if owners did not pack up and flee to Kiwi-Land the yappers would not be left to their own devices! The sad fact is barked Doggie Tailwagger, many of these mutts have been abandoned so it’s no wonder they have a low opinion of humans.

An inquisitive chooks asks what were the results of the tests done at the Toa depot to determine the extent of damage to the soil from leaking fuel? When will madam tester produce a report? It seems madam tester had no trouble locating the start of the leaks as she only had to follow the stain marks on the side of the tanks!

One chook has woken up to the fact wind power is not all it’s cracked up to be. A certain weekly paper has been saying this for over a year but who has been listening? It was reported years ago by the weekly that five years of research by the great Wichman showed the required air speed of 5m per second was not sustainable. Also Rarotonga did not meet the universal benchmark as it was within 22 degrees of the Equator! Anyone out there listening? No? Well carry on!

So the Nippons are putting up millions of moolah so we can install desalination plants! Has our government suffered amnesia or simply forgotten about the Wichman device that operates on very low solar power or a car battery? He only demonstrated it about two years ago. The Wichman device was invented specifically for use in the outer islands and can be made big enough for a family or large enough for a village or bigger for a whole island. So why do we need a Nippon device? Get Nippon to give us the funds and lets pay Wichman manufacture the devices-one per household! Oh, that would be far too easy! Support a local? Can’t have that! No sir!

Grumpy tourist asks what use is an electric push bike that only gets you half way around the island? Perhaps rental company should have a depot at the half way spot with spare batteries!

Local chook moans it did not take long for the papa’a to come out barking at the moon! Not satisfied with dominating local commerce, industry, banking, tourism and local jobs, the papa’a now want to take over parliament! Next they’ll want a new flag! Well wake up you cookies! Wake up and put yourselves forward! Don’t hide in the dark or sit in the back seats, come into the light! Sit in the front seats! Speak up! If your country slips away from you it will be your own fault!

Big Norm has a major point chooks. The reformists are not in touch with the grassroots. The great silent majority. People who work the taro patches and plantations do not identify with those pushing for reform. Unless the reformists make some sort of connection soon, the very conservative silent majority will not vote for change.

Herald Issue 528

With all the kerfuffle over SillyNOC’s moolah, everyone seems to have forgotten about the proposed two storey sports administration building to be funded by the Chinese and to be built behind the indoor sports stadium! Remember the big soil turning ceremony before the Mini-Games? When will construction start?

Oh dear chooks! Some MPs are now backtracking, backpedalling and promoting a suggestion floated in a previous Herald which was to increase not decrease the number of MPs. Reducing the number of MPs would be defeatist and therefore negative. It accepts the notion all is lost and we cannot reverse depopulation. Do we want to become a nation of losers? No! So why not increase the number of MPs and take action to increase the population. Only one MP proposed this in parliament, -Peto of Atupa! And look where he is today!

So Atiu is to become the Florida of the South Pacific! A sunny retirement haven for the aged! The aged with plenty of moolah! Imagine the changes on Atiu! New hospital! Larger shops! More restaurants! Electric shopping carts for the elderly to move about! Traffic lights!

Having a swag of elderly residing and pottering around on Atiu would create a whole new set of money making enterprises for the locals! Meals on wheels! Taxi services! Keep fit classes! Hair salons! Laundries! Home help! To mention a few!

Ooopps chooks! Report out Saturday that abodes in Aitutaki are to each get a 100 litre water tank! Was that meant to read 1,000 litres? A quick check with the donors reveals most of the water tanks will be between 3,000-6,000 litres!

There was a recent report that Kiwiland fruit and vege importer Peter Turner’s family has been dealing with the Cook Islands for 400 years! A hundred years before Captain Cook! Are they Portuguese?

What’s to become of the Chinese built indoor sports stadium chooks? It’s been used for dine and dance boxing, unisex netball and soon a big wedding! Maybe it could double as the new parliament! That’s not so silly chooks as in the old days before self government, the Legislative Assembly used to do their business in the old Empire Theatre while the public watched on from the stalls!

After depositing some of the country’s finest minds into a committee of intellectual powerhouses, the committee concluded it may be another ten years before the technology to mine the manganese nodules on our seabed will be invented! What should have followed next was a recommendation from the committee for the committee to adjourn for ten years!

A chook asks how did the committee of powerhouse intellectuals know it would be ten years before the technology to mine the manganese nodules would be available when no-one on the committee is an expert in the field of mining of sea bed minerals? Simple chooks! Through their superior intellectual grunt they were able to deduce this employing superior logic and brilliant reasoning! There is no truth to the rumour that following the meeting the committee could not agree on what their sitting fee, lunch money and incidentals allowance should be!

Chooks, what if after the next election, so many Independents win seats they decide to form a political party? Would they be guilty of party hopping? If they did not belong to a party in the first place, is it really hopping? What about a hop, step and a jump?

Expect the new Chinese Ambassador to visit any day soon chooks! What’s the bet he will pile the pressure on our government to unfreeze then take up the $37.5 million Chinese loan offered for the roads and water upgrade! If this government does not take it up maybe the next government will.

Herald Issue 527

Chooks it appears a Fijian Indian has been working in MFEM’s Treasury section for a month but without a work permit. It seems his former employer in the tourism industry, won’t agree to his job transfer. What now? Will Immigration take action?

The CISNOC sports leadership seminar opened on Monday chooks with Sir Jiff pulling out his concealed cell-phone and on showing it to the masses assembled, asked if he looked like a terrorist. The outer islanders were a tad confused chooks because they were not aware of what had transpired in Auckland!

Political reform chooks or political re-structuring? In Kiwi land the expression was “Re-engineering.” If the PM was elected by popular vote of the whole nation then you could end up with some surprising results! For example, what if all the women were to vote for a female PM? What if all members of the biggest Church, the CICC were to vote for a Priest or Minister of religion? Maybe alcohol would be banned, no Sunday flights, religion taught in schools!

What if the PM were to pick his own Cabinet? If a Minister of religion became PM who would he pick? Members of the Priesthood of course! We could become like Iran-ruled by the religious elite!
You heard it first from Big Red chooks. A new, locally owned fishing vessel is on the horizon! Look out for it.

Did you get a load of the Tourism CEO on the goggle-box chooks? Red dress! Fancy necklace! Black hair with green streaks in the front! Other CEO’s take note! And talking at a hundred miles an hour! Her best suggestion? Having tourists make time for all the kissing and cuddling! It’s an old fashioned Woodstock style love-in!

Leader of the Opposition gallops to praise Pukapuka’s MP Vai Peua! A chook asks if the Leader of the “Opposition” is paid over $87,000 to “oppose” why is he supporting an MP who fled the CIP for the welcoming, embracing arms of the Demos?

An outer island has paid a private accountant $700 a month for over 2 years to check its accounts but this expenditure does not appear anywhere in the Budget document under the particular island’s allocation! Surely the aim should be to train up the island’s staff to be competent? When is that going to happen?

Two major sporting events on the same Saturday chooks! However, it was the pugilists who scored over the bodies beautiful judging by the attendance ringside of the elite brigade! Spotted around ringside lapping up the action were the QR, PM, Minister of Finance (a former pugilist) and other notables. The sporting fraternity appeared split between the two events with neither venue at bursting point!

Two whales seen on Sunday being pursued by a runabout with half a dozen or so tourists from the Land of the Rising Sun! Is this what our humpbacked friends really need chooks? Let’s hope those tourists impress upon their blubber chewing counterparts back in Nippon that the big mammals are better off alive!

The departure to Pukapuka of the sailing boat with the tall sails became the scene of a political row between the sitting Pukapuka MP and the new boy who will be challenging him for the seat come November. It seems the new boy was not going to get aboard! After much shouting and political jousting and jabbing and tongue flapping, the new boy finally scrambled aboard ship! Wonder what the voyage will be like? Peaceful?

There’s got to be something going on chooks! Seven complaints to Audit Office about one individual is a bit far gone! The shipping magnate could soon be dubbed the Teflon Don! Nothing’s sticking to him!

Herald Issue 526

News Flash chooks! Big Red has just heard that the QR is driverless! Seems after numerous driving tasks not related to official business, the hapless captain of the motor decided on Monday, enough was enough! Written notice of resignation was lodged!

Only one problem with the upgrade of the children’s playground chooks is that now the politicians might want to use it! Imagine Big Norm on the swings-swinging one way of course! Peto on the merry-go-round, going around in circles and getting dizzy! Vai Peua on the slide sliding down! Tangi on the boat sailing nowhere! Nandi on the see-saw going up and down, alone!

Oh dear chooks! Big Red has heard on coconut wireless and CNN-Coconut Network News that Cookies manning the benches at the big expo up north have been diving into their own pockets for loose change to purchase much needed items! Such is the dedication to duty!

Loose lips sink ships chooks and as a former PM, now sporting high flyer, has discovered, loose lips flip flights! A few ill timed remarks about explosives saw the high flyer marched off by the boys in blue! Big Red has heard the high flyer could not afford the extra $600 to upgrade to business on the next flight so he has had to return to base! The incident will probably prompt lengthy reports from the sporting body, government, Audit Office, the Kiwi High Commission, the Kiwi Foreign Affairs, the Airport Police, Airport Security, the Airline, the Airline Employee’s Union, the Pilot’s Union, the high flyer’s political party and others.

Chooks the Aussie election was all hung up when no party had a majority and the Independents held the balance of power! Could that happen here come November? Judging by the number of disgruntled candidates failing to gain their party’s nomination, it’s a real possibility!

You heard it first from Big Red chooks! A large Asian nation is poised to make a move on our marine resource of the finned type! With the vessel license quota not filled and our EEZ under fished, the resource is ripe for the picking!

Big boat entering Avatiu harbor backwards almost collided with an American yacht already berthed. Several attempts by the female helmswoman of the big boat ended in narrowly missing hitting the American boat which had its owner on deck, furious and screaming obscenities in the direction of the larger boat! Goodness! Where was the Harbor-master?

Great flurry to the port with the arrival of the big boat powered by big sails! Big yawn to locals who have seen it all before. The floating castle has only been here four times! So why the fuss?

Ooopps! Daily reported on Monday the Bureaucrats paid out nearly $900,000 to Toa as a profit top up but how can this be when the terms governing such top ups are still to be agreed by the magnificent six?

One of the higher ups in the media field has taken to crashing through holes in upper level floors, in the dark, cigarette and all, into strange bedrooms below and putting his private parts in peril when narrowly missing the sharp teeth of a chain saw!

Ex- military type has offered the old soldiers 30 G’s for the newly built bit on the end of their watering hole opposite the airport for reasons not clear however seeing it cost over 100 G’s to build that bit, is the offer a fair one?

Here’s a unique way to clean up Muri lagoon in just two short weeks chooks! Everyone in Muri stop using the loo for two weeks! Do your business out of the district!

Herald Issue 525

Cheques from a local watering hole have been bouncing like a rubber ball! So much so, one wholesaler has cried enough! The curtain could be coming down-soon!

Local gas man could turn out to be a hero albeit unwittingly! Trying desperately to retrieve his full bottles from a supplier on the warpath over unpaid bills, the gas man’s consignment has found its way to a distant northern out post desperate for gas!

Oh dear chooks! Oh dear oh dear! Now all the dirty washing is coming out! Talk of the failed coup to oust Father Jim and his congregation at the last sitting of the House has been hung out! What was not said was the deal which would have seen Doctor “Sir” becoming PM, The Leader of the Opposition becoming Consul General in Auckland and Big Norm stepping up to become Leader of the Opposition! Now get that one down ya!

Oh dear chooks! A trio of Demos wants a run off in the East because they are not happy with Doctor Sir! Not happy with the current committee, they’ve set up their own! Of the trio, one, a man of laws, looks capable of performing credibly in the House. The other two are village level political wannabees. But why are they in the hunt? A ploy to split the vote?

Talk about Demos not happy with their committees and forming their own, what if the Demos are not happy with the next Demo government? They’ll simply form their own!

Doctor Sir is the only applicant for a job which reads-Wanted: A Prime Minister, must hold a Knighthood and have held the position previously.

It may be a tight vote in Mitiaro chooks! Why else would the sitting member spend so much time there in order to qualify to vote? Never bothered him before. This time round it could be just the one vote that decides the winner-his!

Making up their own rules! Hey some Ministries are good at that! Take the playground by the Market for instance. CIIC are responsible for maintaining it but don’t want to! So Rotary and once the Police stepped in. Does the CIIC Minister know what his agency is up to? What if the child of a tourist gets hurt? Not only would the parent sue government but it would look bad for us-or would it? CIIC don’t think child safety is a priority.

Car conked out of gas late at night? No worries! Just flag down a passing cop car and the lads in blue will be only too happy to oblige with a quick trip to the nearest bowser and back to refill your tank! How’s that for community service! However, don’t expect them to drive you home if you’ve had a few!

Local chooks wants to know how the parrot fish get here from Palmeston Island? The answer is simple chooks! Swim!

A local chook asks, how did the papa’a-rization of our Education Ministry come about chooks? Seems there are eight or so papa’a heading the major divisions in the Ministry! All consultants it seems! On NZAid?

Request just in from a local elderly chook for immigration staff to be at a desk in their Minister’s office at ground level next to the Courthouse, say twice a week-Tuesdays and Thursdays, to receive payments for permit renewals. Seems some of the frail and elderly have trouble climbing the stairs to the Immigration Office on the third floor of the building in town!

Seen the Whales chooks? Ever wondered how the big ones seem to know just where to stop so the people can view their antics? Simple! Underwater traffic signs in Whale squeak have been installed at various sites along the reef to direct the Whales to stop, jump and flap their tails!

Herald Issue 524

Seen at a local supermarket, a NZ cabbage for $2 and a local one for $4.95! How can this be chooks? Why the price differential? Were the price tags in the right place chooks?

An election on October 27th? So the Daily reports. What nonsense is this asks a chook. With October 26th a public holiday, why hold an election the very next day? Sums up the way this country is run says the chook.

MPs get just 10 minutes to say their piece in the House but after saying Kia Orana to everyone in the country, they have just 5 minutes of speaking time left to make a point! Noticeable chooks that those who are guests of Her Majesty’s fine establishment in Arorangi, have not had a mention at all!

With the QR’s ticket not renewed we’ve had an acting QR, the Chief Justice but! Because the Chief Justice is away, we’ve got another Justice acting as the Chief Justice who is acting for the QR! But wait! Because the PM is away, we have a Minister acting as the PM! Then lo! At the opening of Te Maeva Nui, we have another Minister acting for the Minister who is acting for the PM! Remember what that Englishman penned a few hundred years ago? “All the world’s a stage and we are merely actors!” And there are some who claim that “Wil” was merely acting for the real Bard!

Aunty sure knows how to slash and slice through the red tape! Frustrated at all the blame laying and finger pointing over Toa, she pipes up and says,” Let’s move on!” She’s right chooks! After all, Aunty has survived the rigors of shopping in the capital of Rwanda!

RSA fans were a tad upset with the entertainer known as the one who loves himself because he was a no show without explanation. Seems one of the boys in the band had taken ill but that does not explain why the great one was warbling in the back bar of the Banana Court complex!

Great smoothies at the recent Trade Day chooks! Great flavours! Great prices! $7! Whizz-em up! Tip the ice in! Up to half way! Just a minute! A $7 fruit smoothie in a plastic cup half filled with ice? Great!

Chooks, our NZ Maori cousie bros attending the opening of the 45th Constitutional celebrations at the National Auditorium were mystified that there was no message from the NZ PM or the local NZ High Commissioner! Not even any acknowledgement of the presence of the NZ groups attending!

A supremo in the national sporting cabal showered praises upon the bowling fraternity lauding their chances at the next games in the new Caledonian isles. Somewhat surprised, the bowling brotherhood reminded the supremo that their sport was not entered!

Good to see man’s best friend make the front page for some good news. Too often man’s best friend is much maligned for causing road carnage but who bothers to mention the injuries were caused by human errors such as-speeding, not wearing a helmet and not watching the road.

Listening to the MP’s chin wagging in the House, the translator’s efforts are actually more exciting!

What next for parliament’s career altering Pastor? Once an ordinary MP, he was elevated to the exalted position of Leader of the House before upsetting the PM and being downgraded and relegated to the wilderness of the back benches then miraculously plucked from the desert of obscurity to be Deputy Speaker! Interesting to hear the Deputy Speaker refer to himself as the Acting Speaker! The Lord works in mysterious ways!

Oh dear chooks! The OPM Chief of Staff and EMCI take issue with some of Audit’s recommendations following the review of the tsunami response!

Herald Issue 523

If the Minister for Culture wants to step up and into the ranks of the traditional chiefs, she has to learn to do things without referring to notes! That worked for Marlon Brando but he was a big Hollywood star.

Oops chooks! Boo boo in the QR’s camp! Seems government has not renewed his warrant which has expired! So High Court Justice Fisher has been roped in as acting QR! Does this leave father Jim and his gang of five exposed?

Chook has been looking everywhere for that team from “Slovakia” who came for the celebrations according to the Daily! Despite numerous pics of them in the Daily, where are they? Spotted a team from SLOVENIA though! They were great!

Any time a chooks wants to know what the Ombudsman, Police Commissioner, PSC, Solicitor General and the Director of Audit are getting paid, a chooks can go down to parliament and look up the Executive Order. But what about the other highly paid State jobbies like Tourism CEO and Secretary of Finance? Why are these salaries secret? Both get over $100,000 per year from the taxpayer! And what about the HOMs? What are they on? Again, why the secrecy? Now here’s a heads up for you secretive lot from Big Red. Don’t be surprised if one day you pick up the paper and see your salaries plastered all over the page!

Get behind the handball team to Singapore folks! Handball is the second most popular sport in Europe where it generates a lot of moolar! Smart move locals made to get into handball because soon the molar might just start flowing this way! Our team will put us on the map! The money map!

A private company entrusts a highly paid public figure with its set of wheels because it does not trust any of its employees to drive about without collecting dents in the body work! Into this private arrangement barges a host of do gooders claiming conflicts of all sorts! So what? What law was broken? Seems this sort of thing is just not a good look and leads to tongue flapping and wagging and rumours! Now that we can do without!

Using the system always got someone somewhere especially if that someone is a politician! With government dishing out soft business loans left right and centre, why wouldn’t an innovative politician leap onto the bandwagon? Ah but who should come along but that bunch of do gooders again! What law was broken? None it seems. It’s just that the whole set up smells fishy and again tongues could start flapping and wagging and the next thing you know, the pointed hats come out and rumours begin and fingers start pointing! Now we can’t have that can we!

How does a chook get paid for doing nothing? Simple, just hold an important traditional title! It’s a doorway to riches! The moolah just flows in! Holding down several jobs? No worries! Even if you lie in bed, you still get paid!

Although the country’s most expensive, exclusive club has opened its doors again and members have trooped in for the usual pampering and nosh up, the member for Mitiaro is yet to appear! Does he intend to appear?

Day two at the expensive club and a certain quarter is yet to voice any opinions. One of their number was spotted eyeing up and flicking through a magazine then nodding off! Others just kept their seats warm until the nosh up. As usual the same members did all the chin wagging and finger waving!

Muri beach will soon see its first manually operated, amphibious helicopter! That will excite the tourists! Local engineering inventor has moved from perfecting manually operated sea going vessels to perfecting airborne devices capable of low speed, low altitude flight!

Herald Issue 522

Pity the smiling Minister in Ruaau! Just when everything’s looking honky dory near election time, his chances are ruined by none other than pesky, dirty, annoying Mister Fly! Yes! Those pesky little buggers are back! Breeding by the million at the waste tip they are zooming in all directions but when food’s on the local tables at private homes and the Resorts, along buzzes Mr Fly, uninvited, for a feed! Experts in public health should try eating with one hand while brushing flies with the other!

Another damaging blow to the smiling Minister’s re-election chances has been the failure of the new water pipes to deliver a constant flow of water to Ruaau homes! The question on householder’s lips is, “Where’s the water?” Some frustrated home owners have reverted to the old pipes and guess what? There’s water in them there pipes!

Reports are filtering in to Big Red of outer islanders suffering from skin rashes and the trots! Seems the culprit is the common household water tank which is not clean and not bug proof!

Chooks there are whispers that the recent eight strong, DPM led government delegation to one outer island took along a variety of goodies with them for the locals. Some citrus trees for planting and about 1,000 milk fish for the lake! Did anyone consult the current inhabitants of the lake about this arrival of these foreign immigrants? Whisper is most of the fish did not survive the flight!

Local from Australia attending a big birthday bash in the outer islands, was shocked to find out how well over expired a jar of Best Food was from the only shop on the island. It was dated on the 1st January 2010 –yep, that’s Best Food! This is the end of July. They didn’t realize this but it was only after the birthday when they wanted to recycle the jar for coconut oil that they noticed this. It’s too late now as the dish of mayonnaise was well enjoyed by those who attended the birthday.

A couple on holiday on one outer island wanted a change of menu after eating local delicacies everyday. They sought after a dish of spaghetti bolognaise. They went to the ‘only’ shop on the island for a packet of mince. A well cooked meal for the family to enjoy including the in-laws ended in the loo in use the whole night. They had to stand in line for the toilets so long some had to use the loo next door. The next morning, the visitors checked the use by label on the packet and found it was well over-due. Ouch!

A chook reports a carton of VB in the outer islands costs about $69.00. The price has doubled! Could it be due to freight costs?

The ‘maroro-tu’ is an annual event especially in the Nga-pu-toru islands whereby the island community gets to share the flying fish that comes in abundant numbers at the jetty. It is a traditional view of the island community that it’s a blessing from God. The King of the island narrowly missed out this annual blessing when it happened 2 days before he was to step on the island with a Government delegation. Rumour is when they departed to come back that he ordered the whole island to contribute at least 2 maroro for the visitor’s luggage as a pakau aroa. Good to be King these days especially when you are in the outer islands.

Did you know, on one outer island, there are thirty plus welfare pensioners but the real beneficiary has to be the one shop on the island that sells basic commodities! Don’t they deserve a discount voucher? The boat calls here to cart cargo only for this one shop.

Herald Issue 521

Chooks, why is the Mayor of Aitutaki not letting anyone know except for the builders, which category 4 houses are being built? Word is not even Aitutaki’s three MPs or Deputy Mayor know who is on the list! Is this transparency at work? Why the secret?

Why is no financial help going to the small businesses on Aitutaki? These are the businesses that cater for the little village people and they are struggling with debt. To fix their damaged shops they have to take out loans at commercial rates and get this-if their houses were damaged they still get no help because they happen to run a business! Visitors just back from Aitutaki say the situation is bad. There is little foodstuffs in stores and prices are through the roof! $8 for a can of corned beef! $10 for a stubby of beer! $15 for a glass of wine! $85 for a meal at the resorts!

Woe people! Rumour is Aitutaki’s population has shrunk from 1700 to just 1200. Aitutaki has lost 500 people. What now government? What’s the Mayor doing about it?

The wide gap between Aitutaki’s wealthy and poor is just getting larger! Where are all the jobs promised by a booming tourism sector? Just who is making the money? Why isn’t the money from tourism filtering down to the little people?

Maoate faction bombed out in Tupapa chooks. That will take the faction down from 9 to 8. Both Tangi and Framhein are said to back Maoate but Tupa cleaned up. Lack of a run- off between Tupa and Tangi meant Tangi did not get to pick up any of Framhein’s 78 voters. Word is it was Tangi who agreed to a straight run off between the three. Oh woe! Not good political nous there!

Some of these “indy” types look quite strong chooks. Watch out if they ever decide to team up on policies. They have no leverage on their own but together they could force issues through especially if the ruling mob wants support! The indys need only hold four seats to be able to influence voting in the House.

Big Red says forget the roads chooks and forget infrastructure issues that benefit no-one. Go for policies like increasing the age for child benefit from 12 to 15. Support an increase to pensions. The ADB bank in 2008 said the benefit was not a true pension but an “income supplement” because the cost of living was too high. Support lower interest rates in the banks. Support more employment for locals. These are the things that benefit people.

Hands up all those business people in the private sector who bank their money in overseas banks instead of investing it in the local economy?

Visit by the outgoing Chinese Ambassador can’t be much cop since no-one in Foreign Affairs bothered to alert the weekly paper! Maybe no-one in that Ministry is awake for long enough to realize the weekly paper has only been around for 10 years. As one public servant was heard to mutter, “Who cares a rat’s arse unless he’s brought a cheque with him!” Just as well someone in Foreign Affairs knew he was coming since the daily paper somehow got wind of the visit. Keep up the good work Foreign Affairs! Bonus payments all round!

With half the voting public being women, how come few women want to run for parliament? If enough women get into parliament imagine the changes they can force through. No VAT on nappies and infant food! More pre-schools! Free school lunches! Special allowance for full time housewives!

A French hen (la poule) clucks that Bastille Day has become as commercialized as Christmas. An important date in the French calendar, Bastille Day marks a crucial event in the course of the French Revolution, which saw the good citizens of France divest themselves of the twin yokes of monarchist rule and organized religion, resulting in a nation of free thinkers. Asked for their opinion, trois roosters from Gay Paree told Big Red they felt marking Bastille Day by consuming pastries and café au lait was, in fact, tres magnifique.


Herald Issue 520

A chook notes that the next eclipse set for Nov 2012 will occur just before what the Mayan calendar predicts will be the end of the world as we know it!

A chook notes that the NZ Media who once referred to Commissar Bananarama as the interim PM, are now calling him the Dictator! All because he turfed out an Aussie diplomat! If the Commissar does not cow tow to the former colonial master class, what are they going to call him then? What is the next step up from Dictator?

Senseless EU bureaucrats have dreamt up another colonial bashing disaster of a plan and we seem to just sit back and go along with it! The so called regional economic savior known as PACER Plus must be the product of mind more focused on a Hollywood fantasy than reality! Why would the Cook Islands want to partake in work schemes where workers went overseas to pick another country’s fruit and veges on a short term contract for measly pay? We want our workers who left the country to come back here and grow and pick their own fruit and veges! Do you think the EU would see the sense in that and hand over some funds? You must be joking!

What country in the world would build a port and airport in such positions that when planes come in to land ships and boats with tall masts or super structures have to move out to sea? The Cook Islands! Who was the engineering mastermind who dreamt up this arrangement? Brilliant!

With the elections approaching fundraising by candidates committees are now as common as the flu! But one chooks says while food sales are good, everyone is selling the same thing and nearly always for $10! Hence a refreshing change by the Independent for Nikao who was selling plates of food for $5 and with Octopus thrown in!

Tupapa’s candidates need to smarten themselves up says one chook. They need a make -over! One prospective candidate looks like Father Christmas, one parades about on a scooter wearing a hat and leather jacket, another flits up and down main road Tupapa on a scooter with a flower in one ear and a rugby jersey on! The only presentable candidate is the Pastor! He wears a smart suit and tie and most importantly, has God on his side.

Guess who is riding around on an iron horse lately pronouncing down back streets that certain former colleagues are about to “go down!”

What impact will the release of the Audit report on Toa so close to the election, have on voting patterns? Will “Sir,” “Aunty,” Vavia, Wiggie and Kete lose votes over it? Plainly opposed to Sunday flights to his homeland, Kete will retain his seat. And why isn’t the CIP hammering the other lot over the report? Why isn’t the CIP taking them to task? Don’t the CIP want votes?

Here’s a prediction from Big Red chooks, John Henry (CIP) will win Avatiu, Phillip Nicholas (Ind) will win Nikao and Father Jim (Demo) will win Ivirua.

BTIB seminar on the review of the foreign investment code struck a snag and was cancelled and rescheduled when numbers from the private sector failed to show up! Aren’t these the very same people whose tongues flap at high speed moaning about foreigners taking over?

Word reaching Big Red is that our Lord High Masters in Beijing are unhappy with we, the lower classes giving the thumbs down to their offer of many millions to fix our infrastructure! Do not be surprised if as a sign of lest you lower classes forget, a man o war appears on the other side of the reef and some men in white troop up to place some vegetation on the cenotaph!


Herald Issue 519

Big Red has heard the Minister has appointed a separate group to handle the applicants for the CIIC CEO jobbie! The Carr man and the PSC are two of the trio! The job has been taken away from the Board! Why the delay chooks? Seems the powers to be had to wait until the contract of the former CEO expired! And word is the former CEO is still pursuing his legal action against the Mandarins at the top!

Word on coconut FM wireless and Coconut Network News (CNN) chooks is that a top policy pontificator in the higher echelons in the Palace of the Lord High Mandarin has been offered the Product Development jobbie with the elite high flying Tourism wallahs! Name your price is the cry! Seems the Tourism wallahs want someone familiar with the inside workings of the machinery in the Lord High Mandarin’s Palace and knowledge of how to access the Aid abundant treasure chests!

The Barbarians cometh! The Barbarians are at the gate! The gate of the BTIB that is! Genghis Tam and his Budgie army are about to invade, ransack and put to flight the comfy aristocracy lounging behind the lofty walls of BTIB city! Woe to the city dwellers living in false hope as the rampaging horde nears!

Aussie tourist boards local bus and asks perplexed driver if he will accept a credit card! Well hello! What bus company in the world accepts credit cards?

Tourist boards bus and tells driver she must get to Takitumu School on the other side of the island, tout suit (French for quickly)! Well hello! Is the local bus a personal taxi? She ought to try that in her home town! What would her local bus driver say?

Tourist comes all the way from the US of A to watch the solar eclipse in Mangaia and wants a cheap fare on the local bus! Tourist asks driver for a bus pass! Only discount available is by buying a concession ticket! Well hello! If the tourist can afford the airfare to travel all the way here to spend three minutes watching an eclipse, surely another $35 for a multi-trip concession ticket should be affordable?

CIP hierarchy attempting a reconciliation chooks? Why else would Tom Tom and his policy adviser Namdi Flashie be sitting on Peto’s front porch Monday lunchtime chin wagging with Peto and Tupui?

A chook says it’s not surprising to see Big Norm back pedaling on being found out he’s been talking to “Sir” about linking up with Tumu to form a government with him as PM! Rumour has it, Norm, Tom, Nandi and several others planned to link up with Peto and the Maoate faction. But there’s another rumour chooks! Father Jim has a letter already prepared for dissolving parliament and it’s sitting with the QR ready to be whipped out the moment “Sir” and his band of merry men drive through the gate!

How is it chooks, we have a system where three MPs on an outer island representing no more than 300 people can out vote an MP from say Tupapa who represents 1,000 people? Where’s the equity in that? Either chop out those three MPs or create two more for Tupapa!

With practically all the economic activity based on Rarotonga producing nearly all the tax take keeping civil servants in a job, most of the parliamentary seats-14 out of 24- are warmed by outer islands which contribute practically nothing to the economy! This lop sidedness must be addressed. Some balance must be restored!

Only nine freebees on the first flight from Aussie Sunday morning? Phooey says a chook on the beach at Muri! How come Cap Tama’s two boats were packed full later that Sunday? Who paid?

Herald Issue 518

Talk about sports administration by bureaucrats gone mad! Local squash outfit was told by government mandarins running the new indoor stadium that to use the new squash courts there would require tenders to be called from at least three squash clubs! Hello-there’s only one squash club! Squash club has done the sensible thing by renewing its lease with the Catholic Church to use the current squash courts for another year! Does this now mean all other sports will need three tenders to use the facility?

12 single ladies in their 50’s who were staying at the Muri Beachcomber rang the Tourism office Friday morning to enquire how much to go on a pub-crawl nite life tour and were told it would cost an individual a whopping $275.00. This includes their return transfer to the hotel and the tour itself. It was confirmed this was per individual! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong chooks! A pub-crawl tour costs only $50.00 per person and includes return transfer to the hotel and the tour itself. The ladies worked out 12 of them times $275.00 came to massive $3,300.00. Phew! They gave up and went dining instead at the Crown Beach.

A chook reports a Head Chief is on ‘referral’ in Auckland complaining of back-pain. With the Chief being a constant mover back and forth to the city of sails, the Chief could have admitted herself into Auckland Hospital rather than going through the ‘referral’ system. And, her digs in Auckland are right opposite a main Hospital, in walking distance, across the road! She could have booked herself in.

Oh woe is the agricultural revitalization plan for the outer islands chooks! Seems before plans were drawn up someone should have done detailed and thorough soil tests for chemical residues from previous years when heaps of dangerous chemicals were dumped on the soil! Now it’s back to square one to be on the safe side!

Hundreds of people are heading for Mangaia to see the total eclipse of the sun but before they have even got there, the island is experiencing water problems! And there’s not much food on the shelves in the shops! Many of the visitors will be staying for 6 days! Imagine all those showers! All that flushing of the loo! Imagine the increased carbon footprint on Mangaia! More people-more body heat!

And talking about carbon footprints and global warming chooks, last Sunday saw some global warming action when a neighbour set fire to a pile of rubbish sending thick, polluting, life degrading smoke into a neighbouring house! The inflamed situation resulted in the arrival of the boys in blue! There’s a simple rule to observe. Don’t light fires on a Sunday. Don’t send smoke into your neighbour’s house!

Woe the landlords suffering from revolving tenants syndrome! Out west, one landlord turns up to collect the rent only to discover his bula tenants have scarpered and another lot have moved in! When this new lot are due to pay the rent, they hightail it and another lot move in! Revolving tenants! All tenants work for the same outfit but the boss and the immigration authorities can’t keep up with all the changes of address!

Whispers drifting towards Big Red are that there’s very little fuel on the Rock! Gas supplies are running low! Soon it may be back to outdoor cooking fires and umus chooks! Ah well, more smoke in the atmosphere!

Young chook bowls up to a game of handball the other night at the indoor sports arena, makes all the right moves and lo, ends up being selected for the team for an all expenses paid trip to the Singapore Youth Olympics! You never know your luck!

Foreign chooks critical of our roads suffer two consecutive puntures to their rental push bike tyres ending up getting fitter not by cycling but walking a lot of miles to their accomodation! That’s paradise!

Herald Issue 517

Interesting how Air NZ’s top brass traveled on different flights when hopping over to Raro! It’s a deliberate strategy because it would be a disaster if all traveled on the same plane and it crashed! Take the Aussie mining company which recently lost all board members when the plane they were on crashed in the Congo. Then again that airline had a poor safety record!

A chook reminds us how poor Tom put his foot in it when commenting on the CIP candidate selection process at Murienua. He said if the process was opened up, “every Tom, Dick and Harry” would be nominated! Well one “Tom” certainly was!

Chooks there’s a group so desperate to hold onto their spot at the public trough and some so desperate to climb on the gravy train they are doing all they can to keep competition out by nominating themselves for parliament! The general public is not stupid and can see what’s going on. The smart money will back the Independents and where will that leave the major parties? Up the creek without a paddle!

A chook asks who will lead the opposition if after the election the Independents turn out to hold more seats than the losing party? With $195,000 up for grabs for occupying the Office of the Opposition, look for some alliances to quickly form! Then of course, there’s the salary for being Leader of the Opposition!

So the Finance Commissar is to do away with MP’s $5,000 clothing allowance? One chook calculates a basic good business suit may cost around $600. An MP would need at least two. Good quality white business shirts probably cost $60 upwards each and an MP will need five. A good pair of Italian made smart, long lasting shoes will set an MP back more than $600 and at least two pair would be needed. A smart silk neck tie will cost around $170 and at least three will be needed. For a woman MP, take the male MP’s total and multiply by five. Don’t forget the vital accessories, Rolex gold watch, gold tie pin, gold cuff links, jewellery by Tiffany, silk hankies, Ducci Crocodile skin hand bag, Versace overcoat, cosmetics by Chanel. An MP needs to maintain a good appearance so hair needs to be blow waved and styled using hair products and a hard working MP needs scented body products, perfumes.

One chook has a radical solution to all the taxation problems! Simply scrub all taxes except for VAT and levies on imports. Boost VAT and levies up. No more PAYE or company tax! With the focus on VAT, who needs all that staff in MFEM? Cut staff numbers back, get rid of all the vehicles, rent out the office space.

Here’s an even more radical idea chooks! All local pensioners to receive the NZ pension! Why not? We import $100 million worth of products from NZ each year! So they owe us! There are less than 4,000 pensions anyway so NZ can afford it! Most of our people are already on the NZ pension so what’s another 4,000? It’s peanuts.

Alert chook reveals $10,000 of duty free liquor from the airport made its way to the French Patrol Boat in Avatiu. Odd that the Patrol Boat resembles an aircraft! No duty free liquor at the Port? What does the French Navy intend to do with all that grog between here and Tahiti?

To save on money government should get rid of all cars. A government car has to be replaced every few years. If just 50 cars were scrapped, with each car valued at about $25,000 and costing $10,000 a year to run, that’s saving of $1,750,000.

Herald Issue 516

When we build our new parliament chooks it should be set out like the new Te Vara Nui Cultural Village in Muri! Just like Te Vara Nui, there could be the “History Hut” giving the history of parliament with its infighting, party hopping and sackings. Then there’s the “Carving Hut” where politicians demonstrate how they carve out a place at the public trough to get their snouts in. Then there’s the “Umu Hut” where masses of food and doughnuts are prepared. Then there’s the “Traditional Medicine Hut” where politicians demonstrate how they dish out the medicine to their political enemies. Not to mention “Centre Stage” where the entertainment takes place, that is the fighting, back biting, back stabbing, songs of woe about missing out on promotion to Cabinet and songs of woe about being sacked from Cabinet!

Best kept secret in the Cook Islands chooks? The date parliament will be called for the Budget! Only the PM knows the date. Much like the second coming! Only the Father knows when! Perhaps the PM should be called Father Jim!

Next best kept secret? The date of the election! Again it all rests with Father Jim! Father Jim is in no hurry!

Some Matavera chooks are asking what their local MP, now a Minister in Cabinet, has done since being elected. They went through the MP’s list of 100 items to be done and discovered none of the items had been completed. The Tupapa MP also had a list of sorts. His main item, the roads, is still to be completed. The road by Ariana Bungalows is a case in point. It’s in a shocking state!

Which Mangaian MP has asked his campaign committee to return to him after said committee had moved to another prospective candidate-a person all gassed up and ready to go? It’s the very same MP who told the committee he was only going to be an MP for one term! Why has he changed his mind?

And speaking of Mangaia, word is some overseas magazines have referred to a secret mixture of plants and herbs that when partaken by Mangaian men, gives them incredible staying power! All night they say!

Should Tangee capture the Nikao seat for the CIP this election, he may become known as the “Singing MP.” He could sing his maiden speech-a task for the translator! Imagine Tangee introducing a new Bill into the House! It would be arranged in verse form not by Crown Law but by a local poet! It would be introduced with a song then possibly a duet with the opposition! Of course opposition members will have to respond in song!

This election will see the rise and rise of the Independent! In fact the Independent could become the biggest party! Miss out on selection? Unhappy with the Party? No worries! Become an Independent! Do your own thing! If you don’t win, what the heck? No use crying over $500!

Talking about sore losers chooks, two who failed to make the cut recently, stomped off to commiserate! It shows winning is not about being flashy and always in the public eye!

Who is the airwaves personality who has been asked rather Rosily if he can bowl along and put his name up in a Jiff for nomination for the CIP in Avatiu to run off against the sitting member? Hang on, what about the electorate putting the names up? What about Henry?

We need more of these food expos chooks! With the food expo now on at CITC, expect wives to be telling their husbands to make a bee line for the free food and drinks because who wants to slave over a stove when some fine dishes are available and free at that! Why not make it a family outing?

Herald Issue 515

A local motorist traveling along the main road on Monday adhering faithfully to the legal speed limit got a surprise when the former Leader of the House overtook him at speed, whizzing past by at about 90kph only to be followed soon after by the former DPM who also overtook at speed, zooming past at about 100kph. Seems both were running late for a function at the QRs!

And it was at the Queen’s Honours awards at the QR’s on Monday that politics was put aside for the moment as parliamentary colleagues honoured one of their own receiving an OBE. In the group photo with Aunty Mau were Sir Terepai and Robert Wigmore standing side by side with Sean Willis directly behind the two!

Power station hires a 30 year old papa’a consultant for three months but he repays the opportunity to work in paradise by crashing the work vehicle near Avatiu Port at 2.30am one morning! Question, who pays for the damage-him or the taxpayer? Further question, why is the vehicle out at that hour of the morning a chook asks-urgent consulting being done?

Less than 100 people bothered to show up for the Kumete Sports day on Monday. Why? There were at least three other big sports events held on that same day! Why not bring back the traditional stuff like stilt fighting, boxing, tug o war, teka, wrestling, spinning tops, horse racing, coconut husking races? Better still, organise a secondary school sports event to be held on Kumete sports day. Get sponsors to put up good prizes for winning schools-like a computer, library books. This village based event used to be attended by thousands but these days there are so many other things to do.

Expect the budget chooks to announce an increase in some government fees and costs. For instance expect an increase in the levy on alcohol! Already consumers have noticed an increase in the price for many goods in shops. One local chook who regularly buys cans of Irish Stew has noticed the price has increased. This is probably because of the increase in demand which he himself created! Where are our Price Police? Surely they should be out monitoring prices and questioning the reasons for increases!

And speaking of stellar rising prices chooks, the cost of one small tube of flea treatment for dogs has risen from $20 last year to $27 this year then, a few months later to $30! How is this increase justified?

Air NZ’s green team is here clearing trails up the bush so tourists don’t get lost! Wonderful that such dedicated people come all the way here to do what we have failed to do! Let’s hope the Air NZ team also finds time to clean up the litter on our beaches, in our streams and in fact does all the cleaning up a Vaka Council team would do but hey, did not our brilliant government disband the Vaka Councils? Who did government think was going to do the job? Contractors? Phooey! Bring on the volunteer teams from abroad! They cost our taxpayer’s zilch! Wasn’t that government’s secret plan all along?

Will the new developers complete the proposed five star hotel at Vaimaanga chooks? Will the steam train get to chuff chuff around the hotel’s perimeter? Will an 18 hole international golf course get built behind the hotel? Will both curses be lifted?

Will a new tourist resort be built at Black Rock? Will ghosts pass through the hotel late at night putting the willies and the wind up tourists? Will the ghosts become a tourist attraction? Will the hotel be peppered by stray golf balls?

Herald Issue 514

Spotted exiting the bowels of big bird in the weekend was the Minister of Environmentally Friendly High Fashion, back from Uruguay, in a wheel chair, with one foot bandaged up!

The lateness of the Vakas in arriving at and entering Avana on Saturday saw several noticeable departures from Avana! The PM skedaddled early-ish. The QR also went early but for good reason, he was playing in a lawn bowls quarter final!

2010 could turn out to be the year of the new political parties! Consider the possibilities-“The Smiles for Democracy Party” (Leader: Smiley Heather), The Embrace Me Party”-(Leader: Sir Terepai Maoate), “The Building New Futures Party” (Leader: George Magee), “The Hot Political Donuts Party” (Joint Leaders: Aunty Mau & Mama Ngai).

Question chooks, will the new papa’a employee of Te Aponga Uira be charged for the power pole near Avatiu port which he damaged when he ran into it in the early hours of the morning with a Te Aponga vehicle?

When government jobs are advertised chooks, it may be just to go through the proper motions! Word is chooks, the civil engineer job recently advertised by MOIP was just to formalise the appointment of a returned local! So why bother to apply?

How lucky is a former DPM staffer who back then drove and took home a GA vehicle. Now his
mate gave him a top job (I scratch your back, you scratch mine) and also a GA vehicle to take home as well. How lucky is that? But chooks, consider this, what will happen if his former boss gets back into power after the election? Will he leave his current job or will he stay? Maybe he’ll get more from the old man!

As Tuna fishing grounds around the world shut down because of dwindling stocks, more and more foreign eyes will be looking this way chooks! In the western Pacific, quotas are coming into play but here in the Cooks 2 million square miles fishery, we are exempt from quotas because our grounds are under-fished! Soon, foreign fishing giants will form a line to pow wow with our government over access! What say we set the (non-refundable) yearly application license fee at US$1 million per boat! That’s cheap considering those distant foreigners make $2 billion a year from the Pacific fishery.

All jolly well for NES to be showing all the edible goodies from the lagoon on the goggle-box. But one chook asks, should not we be encouraging people not to chew up the sea food but let it recover? And the chook asks what about the pollution in the lagoon- is the sea food really that safe to chow down?

Great now the Climate change conference is all over and nations are committed to spending billions of dolleros on cutting back on their carbon emissions! But chooks, did anyone tell mother nature? No! Seems all man’s noble intentions and efforts and dosh have gone up in smoke! The ash clouds from the volcano in Iceland! Does anyone know how much carbon that natural feature has pumped into the atmosphere? Mother nature doesn’t give a damn or a hoot about we humans! We can die for all she cares and she’ll do her best to bring that about!

The Fijian Vaka crew not only had 30 foot waves to contend with on their voyage across the Pacific but the female members had other just as challenging events to contend with on land in the form of the two legged Cookie variety! As the Fijian women were to find out, the local airwaves vibrate to another frequency -FM- female mad? - when the local kava comes out. Forget paddling! These women were running!

Herald Issue 513

What was Forrest Gump doing at the annual sports award on Tuesday night chooks? Shouldn’t he have been back in Louisiana protecting his shrimp fishing grounds from the BP oil leak?

Chook says top table guests at the annual sports awards were supposed to be hosted by CISNOC personnel and asks why the great Kron was hosted by the President’s son?

Odd sometimes the things photos will reveal! One photo snapped by a chook during the Baton fever at the Market, of a police bike, clearly shows one of the two headlamps not working! Get that fixed Officers!

Slight snag with the arrival of the Vakas chooks! Seems the winds are fair blowing the crews along they will arrive a day early on a Sunday! Yikes! What now chooks? Seems the organizers are going to see if the Vakas can stop off at Mauke for a day. Why not get them to sail up to Manuae and check if any shipwrecked crew needs saving!

The whisper from a certain outer island chooks is that the recent TV programme, Turama, featuring the disabled man who was injured, will not be screened on that island’s TV. Seems someone from the island asked for a copy but the screening has been blocked.

And here’s a message from a local chook frustrated at some of the locals who are trying to pass themselves off as consultants. You’ll never reach the big time if you don’t answer your phone calls! If you are in business for yourself, then answer your phone when it rings or risk losing customers! If your business goes down the toilet, don’t complain because you only have yourself to blame! Ninety per cent of a consultant’s business begins with a phone call! Then again says the chooks, if you don’t know that, you have no business being a consultant!

A chook asks, why do some people have cell phones when they never bother to answer them?

A local chook wanders down to the local post office to mail an envelope to a certain box number in Australia. Our local postie checks the address then promptly puts the envelope into the same box number of another local! That local on finding the envelope in his box, was confused because the envelope was clearly addressed to go to Australia!

Bato-mania! In a country with little in the way of any good news, a highlight has to be the arrival of the Queen’s Baton! Perhaps government should market the Cooks as a “Good News Baton destination!” We have all the requisites for catering for international Batons! For a start we have a population that is into Baton worship. Batons are free to go to some churches where they take pride of place as people sing to them. Batons are welcome at major tourist resorts. Batons have freedom of the streets. Even motor vehicles will pull over to allow a Baton to pass. Yes, Batons are welcome. Bring them on! Just imagine the possibilities-the Japanese Emperor’s Baton, The Vatican Baton, The Al Qaeda Baton, The Moonie Baton!

Queen: (during breakfast at Buckingham Palace) Oh Phillip.
Prince Phillip: Yes dear?
Queen: Am I not the Head of the Church of England?
Phillip: Yes dear.
Queen: Then what was my Baton doing in the Catholic Cathedral in the Cooks?
Phillip: No idea dear.
Queen: And my representative, Sir, what’s his name?
Phillip: Sir Bread.
Queen: Sir what?
Phillip: (reaching for the butter and marmalade) Serve the bread dear.
Queen: He gave that Papal lot some money!
Phillip: It wasn’t your money dear.
Queen: Thanks heavens for that. I thought I was going to have to account for it.

Herald Issue 512

Seems the Niueans have slippery fingers chooks! The Queen’s Baton fell to the floor and was cracked! Luckily there’s a spare!

CISNOC head Sir Jiff has made it all the way to the International Handball Conference in Greece only to be stranded because of the Iceland volcano ash! He may not be back in time for the arrival of the Queen’s baton on Friday!

A rattled chook posed the question in the Daily about how Sean Willis got the title of Assistant President of the Demos! Had said chook read the Weekly, he would have learnt that it was Sir Terepai who nominated Sean for the position after Sean narrowly missed out being elected to one of the 3 Vice President positions. The Demo Constitution makes provision for an Assistant President to be appointed!

Big question chooks- in the upgrade of Mangaia harbor, will the depth at the centre of the passage be taken down another metre? The whisper is at this spot the depth is just 4m which is not deep enough to allow the new, smaller inter island boat safe passage right in to tie up alongside! Another question which arises is who will get to finish the job?

Solution chooks to the Arorangi jetty dilemma! Build the $2 million jetty near the school and church then borrow $20 million and shift the church, the palace and the school 300 metres down the road! Problem solved!

Confusion at the PM’s digs chooks! Rumour is “Sir” rang to discuss a secret deal with Jimbo, but it was the PM’s son who answered the phone and heard everything “Sir” had to say!

Wonder why the roof of the new airport terminal is so high making the place look like a chook coop! It’s all due to the international security requirements. In the event of a bomb explosion, the force of the blast will go through the roof and dissipate quickly. If the roof were lower, the force of the blast would be deflected downwards along with debris causing more injuries!

The Tuck Shop tantrums continue at Tereora College as hungry students on restricted funds continue to be banned from doing business with shops across the road! Prices at the school food bank are such students cannot get a stomach filling portion! Why not allow the kiddies freedom of choice? Is the fracas political chooks? One shop owner is aligned to the “Sir” faction and the school committee head is aligned to the Smiling Minister’s faction!

It’s a good thing chooks tourists don’t come by container ship these days. Take the one that arrived Saturday but could not dock until Sunday due to choppy seas. It was originally due on 26 April then delayed until 8 May then delayed again until 10 May then delayed once more until 12 May then hello, delayed yet again until 15 May and docked 16 May! What if we had a similarly performing air service?

Big Red has rubbed his balls furiously chooks! His big crystal balls that is! The mists of time have parted revealing the future Budget and who will get what! All HOMs will get less in their treasure chests but one will get a windfall! The fact is all HOMs depend on the one HOM that has tourism tucked under his arm! In this case, her arm!

Ever wondered what Telecom does with the bond money put up by its customers? Where is that money banked? Does it attract interest? One chook has had his bond money with Telecom for 8 years. Has Telecom been earning interest on that money? After 8 years, should not the bond money be returned?

Herald Issue 511

A chook points out, that recently on the goggle-box all were introduced to the new staff at the office of Business affairs. All the new staff that is, except for one -Matu Rato. Perhaps it was because his appointment came soon after his chop from “Sir’s” office and hard on the heels of his boss getting the top chair from “Sir.”

A politically leaning chook is asking why the Fijian Indians (FIs) laid off from their jobs at the Crown Fetch have not been sent home. Surely it is over to the employer to repatriate the said labourers once their contracts are terminated? Reports are coming in on coconut wireless of at least two local FIs seeking jobbies for this lot. By staying on these FIs will take up jobbies locals should be doing. They may even start up businesses. Perhaps they’ll end up employing locals! The political chook asks what is Immigration doing?

Hot from the Altar chooks is news some Houses of religion have refused to accept the Queen’s baton within their hallowed halls because it is viewed as idolatrous! Indeed so much hoo hah is raised over this baton, one would think it was human! But all is not lost chooks! The left footers are to celebrate the baton followed by a huge nosh up courtesy the QR at the park!

News flash from a chook to the South. He has heard over coconut wireless tattle that the new boss-in-waiting for the top perch at the Port happens to be a grower from Titikaveka! A man in sync with the DPM!

And speaking of the QR, a chook reports while out for a genteel cycle the other day, he was passed by the QR’s car, flag fluttering and the Mrs behind the wheel wearing a large hat! And according to the chook, she was motoring!

At this stage chooks, bookings for the direct flight from Sydney are a tad slow and a big effort will be needed when the promos begin in June. The inside whisper from Aussie is bookings for July are about 20 per cent, August about 10 per cent and September about 25 per cent. But things are changing daily chooks so fingers, toes and eyes crossed we don’t have to cough up too much of that $2.4 mill.

Concerned chook reports 4860 doing a wobbly one recent Friday night and was amazed no incident ensued!

Also heard on coconut wireless chooks is news the Kiwi government is dragging the chain somewhat in confirming the Acting High Comm as the new High Comm! We all know it will be done so why the delay? We all thought the announcement would come when Kiwi Minister for Foreign Forays, Grunny McGully was on the beach.

What’s happened to the SPCA’s new residence chooks? Big Red hears the site in Vaimaanga became so overgrown with weeds they threatened to invade the structures when charging to the rescue came the Mongoose cavalry hacking, slicing, chopping, thrusting and clearing the encroaching jungle vines and foliage!

The war of words has begun between the Demo factions clashing for the front benches! Also started is the Tuck Shop wars with the College banning the kiddies from buying tasty nosh at the two local shops! All because the school shop is losing money! The local shop keepers are packing a sad!

The PM has been in pow wow mode with CIP’s Leader in the House! They were spotted sitting next to each other at the air base. Jimbo was looking up at the ceiling and Tom Tom was looking the other way! Odd way to communicate chooks but then again, maybe not!


Herald Issue 510

Big pow wow of the six pack at Wiggies last Friday chooks! What were the super six cooking up? Certainly not veggies! They did not count on a surprise ten minutes with the Bishop when he turned up to gas! Any inspiration for a new party monoker? How about the Christian Cabbage Party? The Pumpkin Party? The BLT Party-Banana, Lettuce, Tomato? The Carrot Cartel?

Chooks, seems the whirly bird has shifted perch from the Airport to the waterfront! What sort of deal have the chopper lot struck with the landowners? Only in the Cooks could you operate a helicopter from such a position! What regard has there been for public safety? Very little it seems to non existent!

Chooks there is a proliferation of job ads calling for people who are “dynamic!” The World’s Oldest Greatest (WOG) Lover, asks what is “dynamic?” According to the book of words, it means a person who is full of energy, ambition or new ideas. According to the Cook Islands version of the Oxford Dictionary, The Coconut Dictionary, a dynamic person is “A highly qualified local who is fed up at not being able to get a job and who is now employed overseas on a much higher salary!

WOG also wonders why the vaka builders did not call on the immense expertise of the Professori of Paddling, an expert well versed in the flow dynamics of sea craft and with great depth of experience in the ergonomics of the transfer of manual energy from mobile to fixed structures to achieve fluid motion! Picture it now chooks, the world’s first vaka with giant paddle wheels either side powered by solar panels!

No use educators moaning about high numbers at the College chooks! What are the census figures supposed to be used for? With the figures for the 2006 census only now available four years too late, of course planners were not able to calculate how many school kids were advancing through to the 7th! What other cock ups are likely because of the lateness of the full report?

Talk about wonky forecasting chooks! MFEM must be full of witch doctors reading tea leaves and chicken bones! How can you show tax figures declining at the same time as predicting tourist expenditure will be on the increase? Does not make sense chooks unless of course there’s truth in the rumour that the laws of physics do not apply to the Cooks!

Seems a few South Pacific leaders have become quite bolshey lately. The Samoan PM is refusing to release documents, the Tongan lot are treading on civil liberty toes, Fiji has trampled on Media freedoms and the Cooks is run by the Six Pack! How did this all happen? Well the rest of the Pacific looked at the way our Jimbo (the Iron Coconut) was running the Cooks with an iron fist and they have decided they want to be imitation Jimbos!

New gimmick in the wind out west chooks! All foreign boat people landing at the new Jetty will require a visa to enter the Commonwealth of Puaikura! Cost? Landing fee US$50. Departure fee US$50. All Foreign Boat people will be given a survival pack consisting of one ripe paw paw, one nu, two ripe bananas, two slices of cooked taro and half a cooked kumara.

Brilliant solution to all our economic woes chooks! The roadside stall strategy! Turn the whole of the Rock into one giant road side stall. Stalls end to end! Anything sold! The tourists will love it! 19 miles of stalls!

Here’s another brilliant idea chooks! The Tahiti strategy! No more income tax on wages or salaries! Raise VAT to 25 per cent!


Herald Issue 509

There’s some bad news and some good news chooks! The bad news is, if you’re unemployed, you get nothing! The good news is, if you are a Goat, you’re going to get $1 million! Remember that old saying, ”The country’s going to the dogs?” The new term is “The country’s going to the Goats!”

Spotted at Muri in the weekend chooks, the Professori of Paddling scouring the golden sand inviting tourists to try out his latest ingenious, manually powered, scientifically designed contraption which uniquely combines the laws of motion to achieve almost effortless movement. A bevy of bikini clad beauties were later spotted paddling across the blue lagoon no doubt amazed and entranced by the experience.

Dazed and confused by the current political set up? “Sir” and Mac say the four Ministering at the Altar are history after being self expulsed and defrocked but they have just been re-confirmed by the grass roots. The other two Ministering are definitely out sight but not out of the minds of their backers! The grass roots want a pow wow to decide who will lead the group to the ballot box but the top nobs are in no mood for the peace pipe. They want the pow wow after the ballot count. That’s because whoever is leader at the time will automatically become the Prime Nob. And that’s what “Sir” wants. What does the country want? That’s irrelevant! You can’t have the general public making decisions! Who knows where that will lead!

Well done that hotel out west for pushing students through an important USA Hotel type qualification! Interesting to note chooks that only five of the 30 students were Cook Islanders. The rest were said to be Fijian Indians! Were they in the photo?

The people have spoken chooks! There’s an old saying, “Little people speak with big voice.” While cruise ship Capitanos want the jetty at the Arorangi School site because of calm waters, the land lubbers have stirred up rough waters and want the jetty further down the beach at Rutaki! What say ye Rutaki residents? Are you ready for the foreign invasion?

Who is the top nob threatening to pop the lid on government’s bent dealings? Watch this space chooks for word of a new Book of Revelations and it’s not written by a Saint!

It was a proud moment when the new fibre glass built Cook Islands Vaka set sail from the land of the long white cloud! But chooks where were our proud Cook Islands captains? Who was at the helm? None other than a papa’a! And here’s a mystery for you chooks out there! One local chook has asked why was it necessary for the crew to pay $400 each per day to sail the Vaka over? The chook also wonders if the papa’a captain was being paid?

Chooks, jolly nice of these foreigners to wander over here and run workshops for our benefit! It’s become a new form of dependency! We get the shakes and the heebie jeebies and display withdrawal symptoms if no workshops are held! Subject matter is of no consequence. Any workshop will do chooks! As long as people have somewhere to go, listen politely to some overseas speaker, have a cuppa and a doughnut, ask a few intelligent questions, write something down, say a prayer or two, shake hands and then leave.

Who has the contract to seal the roads chooks? Worth a cool $10 mill we hear. Was the jobbie put to tender?


Herald Issue 508

Chooks how much does it cost a pensioner to take a taxi from Tupapa to OTC in Arorangi to drop off a lawn mower for repair? $140 chooks that’s how much! Is that pricey or what? Who sets the rates for taxis? Who checks on taxis? What has Internal Affairs to say about this?

The old soldiers have had their application for a liquor license for ANZAC Day turned down! Shame! Shame! This means on Sunday, the veterans will be denied their traditional swill session following the Church service and march past! Sacrilege! Talk is some vets may boycott the service! Sacre bleu!

Who is the high profile candidate who failed to gain the CIP nomination for Tupapa and now has resigned from the party in order to stand as an Indie?

Why is the CIP President still uneasy about magic Maggie’s selection for Tupapa? When will the CIP sort out Matavera?

Well known eatery out east has been advertising for staff saying stuff like “competitive pay rate, staff benefits and great tips!” Hang on, great tips? Does not Tourism Corp advertise that in this country tipping is a no no? When did tipping begin? When did tipping become part of an employee’s pay packet? What do Internal Affairs say?

Probationers doing jobs for private citizens on Saturdays chooks? They are normally spotted performing worthy community or social tasks like helping the old folks but last week were spotted working on someone’s private taro patch! That is a commercial activity chooks which the owner (who is not an elderly person) should take responsibility for not the State. How did this happen? Through a friend of a friend?

It’s all very well chooks to expose details of secret arrangements at the top level but the question missed is why would such knowledgeable people enter into questionable arrangements knowing such would be questionable? Without question, the whole set up smells badly!

And isn’t it good to see a spiel by the nation’s chief bookkeeper on how he plans to correct an anomaly in the local monetary system! Only trouble is, what do the Lord High Mandarins think? Big Red thinks they would be thinking no-one thinks for us least of all the hired help!

When will the bloodletting in the tourism industry stop chooks? Another day goes by and there’s more blood on the floor with yet another high profile resignation! Big Red has rubbed his big crystal balls and the mist within has cleared revealing a new horn arising from a split in the head of the beast!

Rumour is the local inventor and Professor of Paddle Boats is on the verge of a scientific breakthrough in paddle boat technology that will revolutionize the paddle boat industry! The American Space Agency NASA is rumoured to be showing an interest in paddle techniques as a solution to achieving vehicular propulsion on the difficult, sandy surfaces of Mars. According to NASA scientists, our local paddle boat boffin has solved most of the complex problems associated with fluid motion on and through dense mediums.

Visit St Peters at the Vatican in Rome chooks and you will see the gold dripping off the walls! It is there that you will bear witness to the sheer wealth of the Church of left footers! Back here on the Rock, it’s no cost spared in order to ordain one of our own into the Order! Getting one of our own onto the first rung of Jacob’s ladder after seven years in the wilderness will, it is rumoured, cost $40,000. That will be spent on the ordination not to mention the extras being spent on food and entertainment. Even the supply and quantity of communal wine will need to be increased!

Herald Issue 507

Jimbo moves cunningly fast chooks! Striking suddenly and swiftly when least expected! Although he may look like he’s snoozing like a seal on a hot rock, Jimbo strikes like a Cobra! No sooner had Magic Maggie scored the nomination in the Tupapa primaries, did Jimbo have him sequested in the front passenger seat of his car last Saturday near the Market! What was Jimbo saying?

Maggie alert chooks! Maggie alert! CIP Execs seen porch bound in deep chin wag pow wow in Parekura over what to do about George! Seems three written complaints have been filed against the George boy and another is on the way! Rubbing his hands with glee is said to be the Pastor! Will the CIP self destruct over Tupapa if the CIP High Wizards pull the vanishing act on Magic Maggie? One minute you see him, the next you don’t!

What will the Magic Maggie mutterings mean for the Eastern State of Matavera? Will there be muttering over Matavera?

How long does it take chooks to take the kinks out of a local stream? Kinks which have built up over many years. A once straight stream in Tupapa has become kinked with bends hither and dither built up over the years. Several politicians have been alerted to the problem and they have visited the site along with so called experts and then chooks, nothing! No action! Removing the kinks and widening the stream will slow the flow down and prevent damage from erosion and also prevent overflowing. Why no action from the powers to be? Maybe they’re the ones who are kinky!

You’ve heard of the demolition derby chooks, that car race where cars race round and round a track at high speed smashing into each other until one car is left the winner! Now apply those same principles to the political track chooks! The demolition Demos are racing round and round smashing into each other! Eventually one Demo will be left! Who will it be?

Who needs an expensive atom smasher chooks? You know that device where atoms are sent racing around a big tube and then smash into each other to produce new elements! We have the Demo Smasher where MPs race round then collide or smash into each other to produce new political parties or alliances! Take for instance the Peri Vae Vae Parium atomic particle which smashed at high speed in the Matavera Atom Smasher to produce the new particle the United Cook Islands Partium

Chooks, the World’s Oldest Greatest (WOG) Lover, has this query over all those ads on the goggle-box that say, “Only $6 or only $5!” The big question is “Only $6 compared to what?”

Word is chooks some people turning up to the CIP voting fest in Tupapa last week, thought it was the real thing! The actual general election! Oh dear chooks!

Government has received a petition chooks from 1,900 people calling for more activities of the World Health Day type where roads are closed off, people spend all day playing games and everyone has a jolly time getting healthy! Seems the 1,900 signatures are all from public servants!

Tourism Corp has come up with a new type of tour chooks! Trash Tours! Where visitors spend time picking up our trash! Seems the Canadian Rugby Team did so and enjoyed the experience immensely! Just imagine the variety for tourists to choose from! The Pick up Nappies off the Beach Tour! The Pick up Beer Cans in the Recreation Area Tour! The Pick up Dead Pig Heads in the Creek Tour! The Pick up Disemboweled Animals off the Lagoon Rocks Tour!

There’s the famous Madam thingees Wax Museum in London where famous people are recreated in wax. We have our own wax museum here chooks! It’s called the Office of the Prime Minister!

Herald Issue 506

When is an ultimatum an ultimatum? When it is given by one party to another through an intermediary! That’s what Mack the Demo is saying chooks! He gave an ultimatum through the media! Never mind that he did not sit down and pen a letter to the parties involved, no sir! They should have read the media article! And having delivered the Demo version of an ultimatum, the four affected, have disqualified themselves from membership of the Demo Party!

What now for the smiling Minister, now that he has disqualified himself from the Demo Party? Just days before, he had been officially selected as the Demo candidate for the waterless district! Just ask any of the 15 people who turned up to his meeting! Now where is he? Party-less! The question now is will he sign up to the new, recently formed political party?

And speaking of this new political group chooks, word is it was officially registered last Thursday by 2, 2, what’s his name! Snuck that one through didn’t they! It’s rumoured Jimbo’s not in! What’s more, it’s rumoured Jimbo’s waiting to see what the other four self-disqualified Demos are going to do and perhaps they’ll join up!

Woe to the Demos out east chooks! Word from the outreaches of Matavera and the vast plains of Tupapa is that the CIP have footslogged over much ground and signed on heaps of new members! Money in the Party coffers chooks! But the worrying thing is the numbers! Over 500 it is rumoured in Matavera! And a whopping 600 plus, it is rumoured, in Tupapa!

At first chooks, the Kiwi High Comm was playing dodge-ems with the fifth estate and trying to spirit Mully McCurry through the Cook Islands as if he were a ghost! Then there was the QR’s minders telling the fifth estate to check with the NZ High Comm. Why? Our QR is in charge of Government House not the Lamb Landers! Then a breakthrough chooks! Word came down from the palace that the fifth estate was welcome to shadow McCurry everywhere except of course to that small place!

And spotting the official programme chooks we note McCurry down to call on the smiling Minister who will have a rep from the House of Ariki present! Why did not the smiling Minister say his mate, his shadow, traveling Tou would be by his side!

And chooks, how does former PM and CIP chief Sir Jiff get to chin wag with McCurry for a couple of hours then the CIP opposition gets another two hour session? Perhaps the Lamb Land Mandarins sense that the CIP could be the next government?

What’s up with Jimbo chooks? At the slap up nosh at a posh eatery on Tuesday night, Jimbo was hosting Mully McCurry only to flee the scene at 8.30pm! Rushing home to watch Shortland Street? Nope! That’s on at 8. Maybe Jimbo had just run out of things to say!

If it ever comes off, it should be an interesting media conference at the DPM’s office with Wiggy and McCurry! The DPM has taken to conducting all his media fire side chats in the local lingo which McCurry will find bemusing as he probably won’t understand any of it!

More banks chooks! That’s what we need right now! More avenues to credit! More credit cards! More spending! More debts! More mortgagee sales! More businesses going under! More takeovers of bankrupt businesses by foreigners! More locals leaving for overseas! More foreign labour to do the work! Cheaper wages! More profits for foreigners! More banks needed to bank the giant profits! More promotions to attract banks! More banking fees to government coffers! Banking, it’s our new growth industry after debt!

Herald Issue 505

Who is the woman seen taking the minutes at a meeting for the smiling Minister, then announcing the next day, her nomination for a major political party?

When the new Minister’s top aide accidentally toppled over outside the offices of the DPM, it revived for old-timers, memories of the “Silent One.” The Silent One being a ghost said to haunt the precincts of the old building now housing the DPM. Old –timers speak of hearing a voice late at night, the voice of the Silent One!

What was the Culture HOM thinking when he decided to swoop into the nest vacated by the former Minister and set up shop? When the incoming Minister advised she was moving in, he did not want to get out-at least, not in a hurry! Oi! It’s a Ministerial Office not a HOM Office!

At least three Aitutaki families have packed their bags and headed off to Kiwiland chooks. If things do not get a move on, more will follow.

What was it chooks that delayed the progress on the fancy new $10 million inter-island passenger boat that was to be built by the Chinese? Big Red has heard the smiling Minister called for the file and upon checking this along with consulting his HOM, he was, it was said, not impressed and duly signed the papers authorizing the next steps in the process.

And Big Red has heard the smiling Minister had little to smile about in regard to delays on the part of the previous incumbent, in granting the operating license for the new airline! Again the file was called for along with an explanation from the HOM. It seems the smiling Minister, after processing the granting of said license, was compelled to send a short, polite letter of reply to a letter from a concerned citizen.

Audit Office is to investigate a top government official who was spotted driving a car. The investigation was mounted because the official does not normally drive a car. Audit office is suspicious because a photo taken by an anonymous source proves the vehicle is actually a car. What’s more it has four wheels.

An Aitutaki woman who was in her family home when the cyclone struck and wrecked it, has been told the home will not be rebuilt under the government’s scheme because during the year, it is not occupied. The family lives in Kiwiland but travels to Aitutaki during the year for holidays. Needless to say, the woman is furious.

And speaking of Aitutaki, how come the wages of the local builders working on the re-construction, were dropped from around $20 per hour to $12 per hour? Who’s idea was this chooks?

Chook after a consultation at the House of Pills in the hills was told to skeddale to the outpatients in Tupapa as there was no penicillin in the House! But when the Chook fronted up at Tupapa the message was there was plenty of the “Pen” at the House of Pills in the hills! Oh dear!

Chooks the tight five have had a name change since a sixth player has come off the bench to join the starting line up. The team now is; Smiling Feather-loose head prop, Flashy Heggelton-hooker, Bobbing Figmore-tight head prop, Silkie Flashmansun-lock, Arty Pistoll-lock and Slim Marubyebye-last man down.

Chook wonders if the new Minister made the right decision in installing herself at the Ministerial Office at Culture! Residing there will require her to deal with the stairway at least four times a day!

With health staff getting their own gym at work, will the MPs follow suit and install a gym at Parliament? Better still, relocate parliament to the indoor sports stadium and kill two birds with one loan!

Herald Issue 504

Stumped chooks! That was our PM when asked an all important question at the signing on for the new Minister! “What will he do next?” The PM assumed the gaze of a stunned mullet! Got him! Hook, line and stinker!

From now on chooks the three Ministers who walked will be back on backbencher’s pay. The big pay is gone! Gone is the vehicle and back is possibly the push bike!

The Minister of Smiles and his Travel-ling shadow were supposed to be boarding a plane for Nippon on Tuesday but were spotted at the swearing in do for the sixth Minister! Several Demos were invited to the bash but failed to show-party poopers!

And speaking of the sixth Minister, the former Deputy Speaker now has Culture and Environment but what about Fashion and Hairstyles? Regulations are needed to deal to those with bad hairstyles and poor sense of dress! But chooks, what about Aunty and Mama Ngai? Will they join the new Minister? Rumour is three Associate Ministerships will soon be on offer and will Vava get one of these?

It is said chooks that at the Demo talkfest at Aunty’s, all the Demo reps from around Raro were in favor of the Demos coming together except for Makiuti, Tangi and Terepai! Word is chooks there’s to be another meeting of minds in the next day or so to bring this trio into line-or else!

The Quarra-tini are flexing their biceps, triceps, pecs and abs over fresh fruit and veggies going to Aitutaki. Seems they want the dreaded, cunning fruit fly kept out of the island! Any fruit and veges going north must be checked and passed by the Quarra-tini! But chooks, what about checking people’s finger nails, toe nails, hair, ears, nose, mouth, armpits, shoes, pants, shirts, pockets not to forget their underwear!

Last weekend the water in Matavera back road was turned off until 8pm. According to one resident there was no notice or warning! If this keeps up it will be back to the long drop!

Has anyone seen the former high flying Minister Kete? He has parachuted right out of sight and soon he may drop out of mind! Calling Kete! Where are you Kete? Come in Kete!

Chooks the soon to be announced new third political party is picked to take at least 9 seats! The CIP 9 and the Demos 6. The time has come for fresh faces with new ideas. Old faces and old ideas have not worked. More youth and vigor is required to get the mojo going not to mention more women!

Expect a tight, conservative budget chooks! Government Ministries will have to learn to function off the smell of an oily rag! Resources will be so thin, HOMs will have to fly by the seat of their pants! And flying is something a few of us will be doing if the axe drops. Flying by Air NZ that is!

Chooks, in the last monetary crisis, the USA Bubble burst and we are only just now feeling the effects! Right now word from the land of the great wall is that the China Super Bubble is near bursting and when that happens, the effects may plummet the globe into a depression!

Just as the Queen’s Baton will be passed from one runner to another in the upcoming relay, likewise the Queen’s Crown will pass from one runner to another.

What date the election chooks? Here’s a clue! Budget tabled June, Budget passed June. Then parliament dissolved for campaigning for the election. Election September? No need for government to continue after Budget passed chooks. Better to adjourn parliament before a vote of no confidence can take place!

Herald Issue 503

Amazing chooks how a bit of stick called a “baton” can cause more excitement nationally than a blockbusting Hollywood movie at Empire 3. Exciting because this stick hails from the Queen of England herself! It’s as though that bit of twig was her royal self! So get ready folks for the arrival of the royal twig on May 22. It’s even going to Aitutaki!

Whisper is chooks, Radio Rani will be tossing his mocker into the ring for Mitiaro! Word is he will be standing for the new political party! While Vavy Tang has no option but to hoof it around the Mit, Radio Rani can transmit his soothing campaigning messages over the air waves!

There’s been a swag of late entries for the composer’s competition chooks! Among the them are, The Jimboggling Quintet with “No coins in the fountain,” The Rolling Stongias with “I can’t get no House in action,” The Sir Premes with “Demo don’t leave me” a song which goes, “Demo, demo, demo don’t leave me. Ooo, please don’t leave me, all by myself!”

What’s the bet chooks the Chinese will wipe our debts clean off the slate! If they do not, the economy may go down the toilet and the Chinese will not want to be labeled Economy Busters! They would lose face and we can’t allow that! Let’s accept with humble humility their gracious offer, when it comes, to wipe the debt and let’s heap grateful praise upon the strong shoulders of our valiant comrades from the East for their excellent consideration of the pain we are suffering!

Government is to form a committee of officials to investigate why it is taking so long to get certain jobbies done in Aitutaki! The findings will be forwarded to another committee of private sector experts to decide what action to take and another committee of island councilors will oversee the work then a committee of MPs will report on the outcome to a special steering committee of HOMs which will report to a government select committee which will then report to the Cabinet sitting as a committee.

Listen up chooks, word is USA President Barack Obama is to hold discussions in the Cook Islands with other Pacific Leaders due to the secure nature of the country. The Cook Islands is under no threat from anyone not even extraterrestrials! Inside word is the meeting will take place at the RSA on karaoke night in full view of all patrons and Obama himself may even shout a round.

Hot, Norwegian babes seen flaunting themselves topless on the beach at Muri the other day. Locals had to rush into the water to cool off. How long chooks before Muri becomes a fully nude beach?

The World’s Oldest Greatest (WOG) Lover has reportedly swung back into action. Apparently the old body has been tuned up, oiled, re-registered, given a new warrant of fitness and undergone an arduous test drive. Except for some minor damage to the left flank and rear superstructure, all parts are in working order!

It’s now odds on there will be an early election chooks. Jimbo’s been keeping the majors guessing with the aim of catching them on the hop! With 90 days to hold an election, the majors will be forced to spend up to 30 days sorting out their candidates not to mention the squabbles between candidates!

Word chooks is Jimbo must be a Chess Master! So far like a rampant King on the board, he’s knocked over anything and any Knight, Pawn, Castle or Bishop who has posed a threat to him. He’s knocked over “Sir,” Mactongia, Colan and forced Aunty, Kete and Vavla off the board. While his opponents have been screaming foul moves, all Jimbo’s been heard to say is, ”Check mate!”

Herald Issue 502

Now here chooks are the results of our own “Oscars!” Best movie film of the year went to “Five hurt, locker us all.” Best Director was awarded to, Carefree Jimbilo. Best Actor went to Makifruiti Toglia. The best special effects was won by Wetca-binet whose five Directors were on hand to pick up their Oscars for the film “Ava coup de tat.”

Watch out chooks! A tsunami generated by an earthquake and one generated by volcanic activity or a volcano crashing into the sea, like Kiwi land’s White Island or Hawaii’s big volcano, are different. One travels under the sea as energy and creates a wave near shore. The other causes a massive wave that may be well over 100 feet high. It has been estimated that if the big volcano in the Canary Islands falls into the sea, the wave generated will be over 100 feet high when it reaches Trafalgar Square in London. Kiwi land is a lot closer to us. Now here’s a suggestion, all those who think a tsunami is no threat, you go on and rush down to the sea side next time but be sure to take your surf board in case there is a wave, a 100 foot wave.

The motorist who damaged the electrical transformer in Akoa may find himself out of pocket by a whopping 70 “G’s.” Not cheap to replace those things!

Why did the left footers delay the ordination of their new Holy Man until after Lent? Simple! In the 40 days leading up to Easter, a period known as Lent, they abstain from eating meat! Once Lent is over, it will be into the pork, chicken, goat-whatever!

Despite the carnage on the Queen’s highways and byways with iron horse cowboys belting in and out of town at a high rate of knots, they continue to do so without any head protection. One regularly bears witness to crazed cowboys with no shirt, just shorts and jandals whizzing by at over 60 without any forethought as to the likely consequences should they come crashing to ground! These people do not need more education, they need a brain transplant!

Talk about same sex and civil union type marriages chooks! What do you call it when the parties involved are political parties?

Here’s a suggestion chooks. It comes from a really bright spark. When rebuilding the wrecked homes in Aitutaki, make one room in the house really strong so it becomes the “safe” room where the family goes in case of a big blow. During the three day warning of an approaching big blow, food and water can be moved into this safe room along with the fridge, a cooker and other supplies.

So the tight five have now become the flakey five? Nothing wrong chooks with flaky pastry! What about calling them the loosies? Piho is number 7-open side, Smiley is 6 on the blind side, Wilkie is number 8-able to go both ways of the scrum, Wiggie is the utility loose forward able to deputise in any position and Jim is off the bench as an open side flank impact player for the go forward.

Word whispered in Big Red’s ear is Jim will step down after the next election but not before grooming his successor. Jim is watching replays of the “Apprentice” show to see how Donald Trump handles sackings!

Aitutaki MP the Bishop has spent so much of his own dosh in supplying food and other supplies he deserves a commendation from the Queen! The Queen of England that is! Big Red hears that when the Bishop goodies hit the shore up north, the people broke out into a sustained round of applause!


Herald Issue 501

There’s a report chooks that the NZ High Com would not let locals into Ngatipa during the tsunami alert because it was private property! When asked by media the reply was the back road was high ground but the police said move to high ground not move to the back road. The High Com asked for the matter not to be put on radio. Why? Were they afraid of a backlash? Locals know that much of the back road between Tupapa and Matavera is actually below sea level.

What’s going on chooks? Why did the CIP huddle together at a meeting the same time as the Demo tight 10 attended a meeting with the breakaway five? Are the CIP waiting for the word to move? Move where? Word is the Demo tight 10 want the breakaway five to re-join the fold but on what and whose terms?

And what’s going on in the far north chooks? When the Rass man arrived at Penrhyn International Airport, the Willie was there to give the Rass man a hug and a kiss!

Last Friday a government quake sent a tsunami of sorts through several government Ministries sweeping out Shofan from MFEM, some staff from Aid Management and the boss of MOIP! Word though is the boss of MOIP actually resigned and the whisper is it is over the handling of the Aitutaki aftermath.

And on the topic of the MOIP boss, word is he is the King Pin of resigning heads! So far he has resigned five times! From OMIA, National Super, CIIC, Works and MOIP!

When is government going to learn chooks that you have to employ people at the top who know how to do the job and prepare reports! Why was the MOIP report inferior to the Red Cross report? Word is MOIP had to do their report again!

Word from Aitutaki is that the flimsy tents put up by the NZ Defence team collapsed under the heavy rain and families had to be moved out! Still another version is that the tents were dismantled because it was known they would not withstand the heavy rain. Which version is true chooks?

How’s this for a brilliant plan chooks! Government to buy out all fuel farm facilities! Government to tender out the management to the private sector! Government to bulk buy fuel at a cheaper price! Sounds familiar-where have we heard all this before?

What a fine jobbie the Coppers did in warning coastal dwellers of the Tsunami! They hurtled out of HQ to spread the word! But what about the old lady in the house right next door to Police HQ? Her sister in distant Arorangi alerted her by phone! The Coppers could have woken her and taken her in and secured her on the upper floor of HQ but she ended up on a hill in Tupapa!

Canine customer, Ann Gree Dogg is disgruntled at the sharp rise in the cost of living. According to Dogg a can of her favourite Budget food has gone up by a dollar! “Outrageous!” barked Dogg, who is contemplating going back to chasing and chewing human legs.

Hard times are here chooks and those finding it hard to make ends meet are dangling hooks over the reef for some tucker. But danger abounds, to their health that is, from fish full to the eyeballs with toxic pollutants! What advice is Public Health dishing out to these reef farmers? No warning signs up at Avarua harbour a favourite dangling spot! How about an offer by Public Health to test all reef fish caught for poisons? Seems there is a simple test that can be done. Those fish above acceptable toxin levels should be confiscated.


Herald Issue 500

Oh woe chooks! Cookie from Aussie with boxes of canned foods to take up north to distribute free to victims of the big blow, arrives in Raro and is charged a $500 levy at the airport! Where is the incentive for those wanting to help?

With no backsides warming seats in the boarding house by the Nikao lagoon no audit or Ministry annual reports will get to be tabled. So how will the public see accountability at work in government? They won’t! With no sittings planned up to the election after September, it will be a long wait to see transparency at work! Maybe leaks will spring up somewhere in the system!

There are several new songs on the charts chooks. At number one spot is a little ditty called “Blowin’ in the wind ” by Dylan Jimmee. Other chart toppers are “Who’ll stop the rain ” By Creedance Clearwater Piho, “Thunder ” by AC/DC Smiley and “They called the wind Mariah then Pat ” by the Wailing Wigmores.

Big boo boo with the Electoral Act chooks! Thanks to a legal cock up not detected by our legal wizards, it’s possible for a candidate to stand in more than one electorate! But is it possible for an MP to pick up more than one pay packet?

Rumour on the local Chardonnay, canapes and cocktail circuit is that Tata may be waving ta ta to a career in commerce and warming the seventh seat in Cabinet-you know, the one for outsiders appointed by the Head Cabbie. Whisper is Tata is set to become Minister for BECA-Business, Economic, and Commerce Advancement or is it MOCK-Minister Of the Complete Kaboodle?

Big Mac and “Sir” are oddly silent chooks! Probably cooking up a plot or two. Their attempt to turn the appeal fundraising effort political fell in a hole so what now? They’ve failed to get the gang of five ousted, failed to get MPs back into the boarding house by the beach and failed to scare the pants off the public. Danger now for “Sir” and Big Mac will be justifying a sixth Minister if they win the next election!

Spooky chooks! There are signs a tornado or a giant water spout may have also struck Aitutaki at the height of the big blow! In some areas, the trail of damage appears to fit the theory for such a phenomenon.

Plenty of jobbies for fit, young, rugby playing men tidying up after the big blow up north! Yeah, say ten bucks an hour-only one catch, you have to pay your own air fare!

Here’s a mystery for you chooks! The big blow up north smashed up dwellings, ripped up mature trees, tore off branches and foliage but how come the lowly, humble Tiare Maori shrubs still had all their leaves intact and flowers still on?

How come houses with thatched roofs stayed intact chooks? While roofing iron was flying everywhere, the old, reliable, tried and tested thatched roof went through the blast unscathed! Bring back the natural, thatched roof!

Still the number one radio station in the Cook Islands. Just check out how much dosh was raised by Radio CI for the victims of the big blow up north!

Seen out and about on the trail of cooking fowls to donate for plates of food to raise dosh for victims of the big blow up north, the Minister of Smiles, the CEO and the President, the three musketeers! For a start, they were in the wrong store for cheap chooks!

After the big blow up north, who should show up to help the Bishop get his sunken fishing boat afloat but Junior! He knows all about sunken fishing boats! He’s an expert! Well done Junior!


Herald Issue 499

Ooops chooks! Now a row has broken out over Kiwiland’s response time to the Aitutaki disaster. On Wednesday morning NZ’s ready response team was ready to respond. They were standing by waiting for the word! Our government waited for a better assessment of needs. NZ has provisions at a permanent state of readiness and has a good idea of what’s initially needed, shelter, water, medicines. After Cyclone Sally and in 2005, the French military were here smartly from Tahiti ahead of the Kiwis. The Kiwis have got better.

Bring in builders from windy Wellington is the cry! They know how to build proper roofs! Winds in Wellington regularly exceed 100kph and higher.

Word is the MOIP head is eyeing up Vavia’s ex CEO for a job as project manager for the upcoming Mangaia water project after he had earlier unsuccessfully approached the Minister and the PM for a job.

And on the topic of Vavia’s ex-CEO, word is chooks he is gunning for his three months severance dosh after the axe fell when his Boss did a quick exit! Seems the money men in the tall building down town say “Pay the man!” But where the 15 “G’s” is to come from is not known. 15 smackers you ask? Well he was getting 70 “G’s” we hear!

Didn’t we hear chooks that Vavia’s big white set of wheels was snapped up by Travel Tou Ariki? The thing is that set of wheels was dumped because it turned out to be full of rust! Look for Travel to be traveling in something else!

Chooks, why didn’t government simply adopt the suggestions from the Aussie consultant who set out various charges and fees for using the Chinese built indoor sports stadium? These suggestions were made before the place was built. The Mini-Games ended in October last year and thanks to ongoing dithering here we are with the stadium turning into a palace for white elephants! What happened to the tender for a management company?

There’s a real possibility NZ will raise their GST to 15% so will our government lift our VAT from 12.5% to 15% as well? Take note that the Solomons are to add another 17 MPs to their parliament! Surely, we must follow suit!

And with NZ about to do a referendum on its political system, will we also follow suit? While we argue and dither over political reform, in NZ they just go ahead so what does that make us look like?-Banana Republicans!

Good thing the cyclone came along when it did chooks because all the hot air over Toa has dissipated, the tongue flailing over political reform has abated and all the grumbling over government by minority seems to have died out as well. It’s as though Mother Nature declared, “Enough of this squabbling!”

Why was the Great Gumby summoned from the front lines to appear before Field Marshall Wilhelm Von Smiley in Division Headquarters on Monday? Was he to be court marshaled or get a ticking off and a rap on the knuckles? It has been reported in dispatches that the Field Marshall is not happy at the way Gunner Great Gumby has been firing his weapon!

Worried about false cyclone alarms chooks? Well, don’t be! Due to the unpredictable nature of cyclones, there will be many false alarms but that does not mean we become complacent besides, the practice will stand us all in good stead for the day a cyclone does decide to hit us!

Is the CIP candidate for Ngatangiia Ata Herman? Whisper is he was elected at a meeting held last Wednesday night! A meeting when a Hurricane was on? No wonder only five people turned up!


Herald Issue 498

Chooks we all know vehicle registration labels are sticky on one side. The side you stick to your windscreen. But first you must first peel away the white sheet from the label. One forgetful sod did not peel away the white sheet but glued the whole label to the windscreen! He then had to scrape it off, remove the white sheet and stick the label back on!

Papers leaked from the bowels of the OPM policy unit reveal massive changes being proposed to policing in order to slash costs! Proposals are for police to be allocated pushbikes for around town. A new “Cycle Cop Unit (CCU)” is to be formed. Cardboard cut outs of police are to be positioned along roads to deter speeding drivers and near pubs to deter drunk drivers. It will be part of the Cardboard Cop Unit (CCU). More effort will go into detecting white collar or corporate crime with the establishment of a Corporate Crime Unit (CCU). Only problem now for callers is getting through to the right CCU!

Here’s a fresh idea for political reform chooks! Political parties to select only candidates who possess a brain. A CT scan will be necessary to confirm a brain exists. Candidates to have an IQ above 100. Tests will be necessary. All candidates to undergo a lie detector test using questions like; “Would you take an overseas trip for no reason at all except to collect the per diem?” and “Do you propose to honor your election promises?” All candidates to be capable of working a 12 hour day.

Here are some more bright ideas for political reform chooks! All MPs to pay for their own travel! All MPs to pay for their own phones, transport, accommodation and meals! Imagine the savings to the Civil List! The Civil List could be abolished altogether!

And how’s this for a very bright idea! Voters chip in to pay their MP’s wages! That way the community only pays their MP for the actual work done and they only pay what they think the MP is worth! Say, $5 an hour plus a sack of taro for starters!

The next tiff at the ballot box could be the most confusing on record chooks if the rumours are true! Some of these rumours have reached “fairy tale” proportions for instance, there’s a rumour that if Toti Tupa stands for the CIP in Matavera, Mama Tupa will support him and in standing for the Demos in Takuvaine, she will actually support the CIP candidate Mark Brown! What fantasy is this? Here’s another tale of fiction picked up doing the rounds, Maggie is vying for the CIP nomination in Tupapa but the person touted to stand for the Demos is Maggie’s biggest supporter! Chooks, how do this tall tales start?

There’s no doubt this election will attract much interest and generate much tongue flapping, chin wagging and gnashing of teeth as many concerned citizens come forward to get into the House to “put things right.” Take the case for the CIP in Titikaveka for example. 10 people put their hands up to be the candidate. How’s that for interest? The committee shortlisted just two for consideration!

Chooks there could be as many as seven independent MPs in parliament after the next election. The PM and the four current Ministers because they are doing a good job along with Piho Rua because out of 47 voters he only needs to get 24 and George Maggie (if the CIP doesn’t pick him) because he has been out and about. Two of Aitutaki’s three seats may go to the new political party because of the Sunday flights issue so that leaves the two major parties to split 15 seats between them.


Herald Issue 497

Why are interest rates so high chooks? Where is the competition among the banks? Bring in a Chinese bank flush with dosh to offer loans at 5 per cent!

Something has to give chooks! Too many retail outlets, declining population, rising costs, less tax take, not enough cash flow through the commercial sector, bills not being paid-the crunch time must come soon! Sure, shove dosh down the throat of infrastructure but dead items do not generate new revenue! Get the thinking caps on chappies!

The finger pointing contest has started chooks with the Demo High Nobs pointing the bone at the Prime Mandarin for holding up their plans for poly reform! Seems the PM’s strategy was to wait until election year-2010- oh my gosh! That’s this year! What’s the PM been doing lately? Pushing reform! Isn’t that what he suggested?

Headliner inside Monday’s daily proclaimed a certain local entrepreneur “out of the closet.” Said local entrepreneur is unlikely to be amused considering the well known common meaning of such words! Unfortunate choice perhaps?

Chook sees a precedent in the new six figure, inspirational marketing group set up by Tourism Board wallahs to act as a link between the industry and the Board but what about the Corp’s own marketing gurus? Perhaps the Ports Authority Board can set up its own six figure group to act as a link between it and the industry, the Te Aponga Uira Board can also have its own six figure group to act as a link between it and the industry. What about the new Sea Bed Minerals Board? By all means! Give them all a group! There’s four mill for starters!

Demo Exec keep suggesting the PM release details of the Toa settlement deal. The public know this is a tad nonsensical. After all, Demo Leader “Sir” knows the details. So why don’t the Demo Exec simply ask “Sir” to release the details to them? Perhaps they tried and perhaps “Sir” said “No!”

Speculation is that the secrecy over the Toa mediation and pay out details has made even more secure by having nothing in writing! Rumour is there are no documents to leak! All parties involved may have committed the details to memory!

Does it come as any surprise chooks that government is hurriedly renovating Her Majesty’s Boarding House in Arorangi? Could it be because some home comforts are required before new tenants check in? Who might those tenants be?

And on the topic of new tenants being sequested at Her Majesty’s pleasure, expect a quantum improvement in the menu and the quality of the meals! Expect one of the guests to expedite the culinary duties with such finesse and sophistication, the establishment may become much sought after as an up-market eatery of international repute! Further expansion may come in the form of a high class catering service and a drive in-meal take out, fast food facility!

Why try harder? That has to be the question facing most State pencil pushers! Setting the growth bar at a lowly 3 percentage points, the ruling mandarins went into a state of shock when one HOM Boy achieved a seven point excess at year’s end! Can’t have that! He just had to go!

Our Boys in Blue have really started a trend with their finger pointing and “Shame on you!” campaign on the goggle-box. Now all and sundry want to front up on the goggle-box to heap shame on non-performers in other areas! Even Crown Ministers want to appear, point the finger and mutter “Shame on you!” at certain HOMs.

Cowboys and cowgirls are still galloping into town on their iron horses without head protection at over 40 mph. This calls for the Boys in Blue to get their fingers out and start pointing!

Herald Issue 496

What is it that MPs do not like about the reforms? The loss of privileges for a start! Gone will be the chance to be a Minister on a salary of $85,000. Gone will be perks like overseas trips! Gone will be the chance to employ relatives and mates in cushy high paying jobs! The PM gets to pick who he wants. What’s wrong with that? Under the present system he picks who he wants anyway!

Chook suggests doing away with parliament altogether and just having a Board of Directors run the country. All voters elect the Chairman of the Board who picks his Board members. All contracts to run for three years. Chooks, isn’t that what we have now? Chairman Jim and his four Board members? Let them go for the next three years, scrub the rest.

Old timers who don’t want reform but who want MPs to change their behaviour, should take a leaf out of the Police’s books. Police go on telly and to the crooks they point their finger and say, ”Shame on you!” What effect does that have on the crims? Well, the bad eggs choke on their tea and bikkies and mutter, “Oh dear, I’m so ashamed, how can I leave the house!”

The very day after heavy rain one chook noticed when he turned his tap on, no water came out. How is that possible the chook asked? The chook thinks that maybe someone at Water Works is still turning valves on and off to redirect water not realizing the drought is over. Maybe that person is waiting for instructions from his boss in writing in triplicate or maybe his boss is waiting for the Minister to inform them the emergency is over. While the Minister is waiting for the Water Works to inform him the water shortage is over!

The Ruaau MP, the Minister for Water, wants the Kavera digs eyed up for the QR to be a present for his pal, the President, Travel Tou Ariki! The House is for a residence and a meeting place! After all, the two pals need somewhere to kick back, chin wag and relax! Travel now has the big white set of wheels former Minister Vavia used to drive. All the President needs now are two cops on motorcycles with flashing lights to escort his new car into town!

How true chooks! First you suspect public servants always stood around with their hands in their pockets, now it has been confirmed! Notice the pics on the back page of last week’s weekly?

Notice how three of the Ministers have one CEO each but that the Minister for Water is smiling because he has three! Who are they? Well there’s Tere Taio the full time CEO, Arthur Taripo the part time CEO and Travel Tou Ariki the Honorary CEO!

With the Cabinet re-shuffle there’s been a frenzied grab for vehicles. Travel Tou Ariki has landed the big white car Minister Vavia used to motor about in and “Sir” is still driving a government car about although he is not entitled to one! What will be up for grabs next? Bunks?

There’s a new dance craze in town chooks, it’s called the “soft shoe reform shuffle” and is popular among MPs! It goes like this, first you take a step forwards then pause and look about, when no-one is looking, you softly and quietly take two steps backwards! You pause, then start all over again! It’s so simple all the MPs have become experts at it!

Local cinema has been booked to capacity with crowds streaming in to watch blockbuster flicks like, “King Jim Kong-the sequel,” “Close encounters of the Jim kind,” and “Jimernator IV.”


Herald Issue 495

A chook asks, if you saw someone park in your boss’s car park wouldn’t you tell them to move their vehicle? Seems the natural thing to do. But then the chook gets a tongue lashing from the boss for his poor public relations! Well maybe next time when someone parks in the boss’s car park, the staff may just turn a blind eye!

Big “hoo hah” over the highly sought after, highly paid Manganese Nodule Commissioner jobbie chooks! The “Sir” and Tom duo are singing the same duet and it’s not a happy one! It’s a sad ballad they’re cooing! Seems their plans for a local to warm the Commissar’s pew have been flipped up by an advert seeking someone with two tongues! However, word is highly qualified and capable Cook Islanders overseas could express an interest! What’s wrong with that?

One day soon the boys in Blue will be able to open the paper and spot several jobbies going for “Super” down. But don’t get too excited! Reading the fine print will reveal the candidates with the best chances of landing these jobbies will come from lamb land! May the force of ex-pats be with you!

Strange how the memory fades in such a short time chooks. Daily’s write up on their new scribe overlooked the scribe being featured on the cover of the weekly, the weekly featuring the scribe’s China piece two years ago and the scribe’s other recent feature in the weekly! Oh dear, what’s the weekly called again?

Suppose the Greens political party in NZ started up a party in the Cooks Local moves towards political reform presents an ideal opportunity to political parties such as the Greens to plant their philosophy in the Pacific! The Greens could use climate change as their election platform. Local politicians seeking to jump vaka and join a new party may consider going “Green.” Trouble is green is already the colour for one political party!

Word is chooks the Ariki are desirous of one of their number being appointed as the next QR. Only trouble is it would toss the Con-sti-tu-tion into con-fu-sion! The Ariki are supposed to be the equal of the Pommie Queen so why subjugate themselves? Perhaps the role of QR is being confused with the role of QR as Head of State?

Amazing invention the mobile (cell) phone! All those fidgety little bits and micro-chips assembled together intricately then snapped up by users around the world who eagerly use them day and night except in the Cook Islands! Chooks some Cook Islands public servants should not have mobile phones! Try ringing a public servant who has a mobile phone and the chances are there will be a nil response! What’s the point of new technology?

Looking to warm a seat as Tourism CEO chooks? Great job, great pay, great office, great staff, but overseas travel on business? Sooorrreee! No first or business class travel! It’s back in cattle class or you stay home! Want to conduct business while you fly? Not next to a screaming baby! What you might have is some restless kid spill his ice cream all over your conference speech papers! Still on such a high salary, you should be able to upgrade yourself, at your own expense!

If flying around the world economy as Tourism CEO does not appeal then what about a high flying job as Financial Secretary? The salary alone is so staggering it will have you flying anyway-and not by plane!

And if a job as Financial Secretary does not appeal how about a three year term as the Sea Bed Commissioner? Due to linguistic requirements you will have to know how to converse with the cousie bros!

Herald Issue 494

With the 10 Demo MPs blindly supporting “Sir” in opposition to Jim, does this mean the 10 Demos now have become the default “official” opposition in parliament? If so, then the eight unwitting CIP MPs should vacate the office of the Opposition in Avatiu. “Sir” will now take over that office along with what’s left of the $190,000 budget for it! A constitutional interpretation please-someone!

After March 2010 those who resigned their Ministerial positions to follow “Sir” out the door, will take a huge drop in pay-from about $85,000 down to about $50,000! What does this mean for all those in the village who relied on those MPs for a helping hand?

Poor “Sir” has no office to go to even though he would have been entitled to one and support staff if we had a proper parliament building like in NZ! For those MPs now out in the cold without a home, start thinking about building a new parliament!

One CEO still clinging to his jobbie at a Minister’s Support Office is Kinny Buchan. Not only did he manage to hang around after Kete departed, but things look on the up and up for Kinny after all he is known for his ability to write iron clad employment contracts!

There’s an old saying chooks, it goes-“love is blind!” And didn’t we see a case of that disease quite recently when “Sir” got into a huff over his demotion, ended up getting spanked by his supervisor and walked off crying “Foul!” He was followed out the door and into the wilderness by three blind mice! Such is love and devotion!

Also mesmerized by “Sir” and his walkabout team of devotees was the other lot! Why they fell in behind to march to “Sir’s” tune is a mystery! Didn’t they think things through first? The promise of sudden riches must have glazed over their eyeballs until they could only stagger about drunk with the dream of power!

No doubt a certain lawyer overseas and his legal opinions will have burst the demo balloon! The Commander of the deflated airship will be issuing the “abandon ship” order! With so much leaking gas and much of it quite hot, it’s no wonder the balloon remains aloft,- indefinitely!

After Tuesday, that’s Black Tuesday to the Demo and CIP lot chooks, Jimbo has had 6 new songs enter the hit parade’s Top Ten! Those songs are, “Baby you can’t drive new cars,” “The long and winding road-to reform,” “No day tripper,” Come fly with me but not on Sunday,” “You won’t see me- in the House,” and “I did it my way.”

And “Sir” has just produced a new CD of his own compositions entitled, “Oh lonesome me.” Backing vocals are by the CIP octet.

Police on the Rock already have their hands full with disorderly behaviour from local juvenile delinquents and don’t need to have their stretched resources diverted to dealing with unruly and anti-social behaviour from high ranking outer island politicians! Not what is expected from pillars of society!

The World’s Oldest Greatest (WOG) Lover has developed wheeled extensions to both legs in place of his toes, enabling him to transport himself with ease to all points of the compass. This revolutionary evolutionary development came about not long after WOG injured and saw no further use for his left knee!

A local chooks says the dog leg like ”kink” in the wharf at Avatiu was installed after Hurricane Sally to help protect the main road and buildings across from the harbour from sea surge. Now the authorities wish to remove that kink and straighten the wharf to accommodate smaller cruise vessels. What about the sea surge from future hurricanes?

Herald Issue 493

A sign on the desk of a former American President said “The Buck stops here.” What do the signs on the desks of some of our top political people say? “Sir’s” desk-“Refer to Shogan.” PM’s desk- “Do not wake me, place the Buck in my pocket.” FinSec Shogan’s desk-“Make that Ten Bucks.” PSC’s desk-“Is the Buck capable of stopping and if so how, when and where?” The Audit Director’s desk-“Is the Buck a counterfeit?”

The current minority government is doing exceedingly well chooks! That’s due in the main to it doing nothing at all! After all, if you’re doing nothing, you can’t get into trouble!

Whispers picked up by Big Red chooks! Didn’t government vehicles get a good thrashing over the holidays! Government offices may not have been open but that did not stop government cars and vehicles buzzing about town! Guess who went on holiday and left his government vehicle in the capable hands of friends to take to the beach! And who was the ex-pat government worker seen unsteady on his feet before driving off in a GA car?
Perhaps next festive season government vehicles should be locked up in a pound and only released to authorized personnel for urgent jobs!

“Sir” is mounting a bigger comeback than “Ben Hur” but is oblivious to the fact public opinion has swung against him because of the TOT- tiff over Toa. Big Red hears whispers the official reports actually show “Sir” is not at fault but the public has decided the buck should have stopped on “Sir’s” desk!

The public are now calling for much more younger people to stand for parliament because the “Grey Hairs “ have made too many blunders of late. Some “Grey Hairs” will still be needed but less store keepers and more cerebral types of the younger ilk are preferred!

Not to be outdone, the Cook Islands is to build a twin to the world’s tallest building, the recently completed Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It will be built on the main island of Aitutaki and will take up all the available land mass and cover part of the lagoon. Unique about the twin building will the fact that the whole population of Aitutaki will move into the building when it is completed. The international airport will be located on the fifth floor of the building. There are a number of logistical problems to overcome such as where to house the 10,000 Chinese construction workers. The cost of about US$1.5 billion to build the tower will be raised from notes issued on the world’s main stock exchanges against future exploitation of the Cook Islands vast manganese nodule deposits that contain trillions of dollars worth of cobalt, nickel and other precious metals.

New security checks at the airport because some nutter decided to strap explosives to the underside of his crotch but it failed to detonate on the plane! Now thanks to him, we all have to endure security people fingering our crotches for explosives before we board the aircraft! And what if someone is wearing crotchless panties? Why don’t airlines just require people to travel naked?

Come to think of it, why not introduce the crotch check to all forms of passenger travel like the inter-island air and shipping services and public buses and taxis. Police in stopping drivers at checkpoints could also undertake checks of motorist’s crotches in addition to breath checks. But why stop there? All persons entering public or government buildings could be subjected to crotch checks as well as all applicants for visas and passports! Passports could even carry photos of the crotch area for overseas immigration to cross check! A crotch cross check!

Herald Issue 492

Big Red has come across some New Year resolutions which seem to have fallen off the back of a truck. A former diplomatic high flyer is on the short list for a Stately function in the land of the black stump, the new Minister for Infrastructure has a smile on his face and someone in high finance recently landed a job the Demo way.

Whisper on coconut wireless is that the Demos are up to something chooks! They are planning something to capture the public’s imagination! It may or may not involve the Commissar! Word is the Commissar’s fingers have been in many pies! Beginning to smell something fishy chooks?

Another whisper picked up on coconut wireless by Big Red is that millions of dolleros of Aid funds are still sitting in a heap because Ministries are not making application to use the dosh! And why is that chooks? It seems Ministry personnel do not know how to prepare submissions or project proposals! Oh dear!

Confused to see “Sir” at the swearing in at the QRs of the new Lord High Mandarins? Dressed casually in open necked shirt, as if he had just strolled up from the beach, had “Sir” not been “Sir” he would have been banned for not having an invite and not meeting the strict dress code. He took up a position behind the new boys, glaring at the PM, drilling the back of the PM’s head with a piercing stare!

Follow da lee-dar, lee-dar, lee-dar, follow da lee-dar! When interviewed on the goggle-box last Thursday about resigning from the inner circle of Lord High Mandarins, Aunty said it was because “Sir” was the lee-dar and if he wasn’t there, because of the interests of the Party, then she shouldn’t be. She went on to say she did not know what was going on but she was happy with her decision! Woe to the keeper of her office! Who let da dogs out? Woof! Woof!

Poor Aunty, on the goggle-box she also muttered something about Jim leaving her out in the snow! Ouch! Was this a sore reference to Copenhagen? Jim kept warm with his VIP pass to get him out of the cold pronto while shivering others had to line up, snuggle up and cuddle up till security let them in!

The public is also barking for the shedding from office of a number of other highly paid high flyers! One is the PSC, a slippery customer, with a silvery, gliding tongue! It will be interesting to see if this star pupil of Sir Humphrey, the High Wizard of civil service-speak, can slither out from under the mounting weight and pressure of calls for his axing!

Red alert chooks! Is there a traditional healer, swami, needle poker or mystic worker of healing hands in the house? The World’s Oldest Greatest (WOG) Lover is in need of someone who can work some magic on his aching back! WOG claims to be under attack from natural, de-generative cellular forces but others claim it’s a trend that can be bucked!

Word filtering back to Big Red from geologically the oldest rock in the Pacific, is that Jim, on returning to his natural habitat, became somewhat merry and riding upon wave after wave of the ole brew, re-countered to the gathered masses amid raucous laughter and clinking of glasses, the political events that had “Sir” momentarily frozen in the headlights! All were sworn to secrecy!

More whispers on the coconut wireless chooks about Ministry staff being told to zip it and avoid nosey questions about a roaming cargo container. Seems the container went AWOL from the wharf then was spotted days later in Ngatangiia before going AWOL again only to appear up in the hills at the House of Pills.

Herald Issue 491

With the huge fuss over Toa, will we get an early election? Would the Demos get back in? And the CIP? They would have to wake up first!

One chook asks, is the Toa affair really about the money or is it another tall poppy exercise to chop down local boy Porter? Where was the wide spread, highly vocal public outrage about the state of the Health services? Don’t now say the dosh is better spent on health if there’s no loud public outrage about health! Who would want to start a business in this part of the world asks a chook.

All hail the big brave PSC! Nowhere to be seen when he’s really needed he notes Audit about to plough into the Toa affair so he sees his chance to puff up his chest and leap onto the bandwagon, after all there’s safety in numbers! Then after announcing his input, he flees to the safety of Samoa where he can hide out from the political flak no doubt the DPM will subject him to!

With upgrades going on to the Tupapa outpatient’s clinic, chook strolls down to the temporary clinic by the pharmacy. His name is called and he fronts up to the Doc, a medico from overseas who promptly enquires about his medical problem. But it turns out, our fellow was the wrong one summoned!

Word is government is to invite US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to make a whistle stop tour of the Cook Islands following her official visit to Kiwi Land next year. During her visit Clinton will be presented with a genuine Cook Islands doughnut, a black pearl necklace, a bottle of tai akari, a manganese nodule and a hand written note asking for a soft loan of US$50 million for climate change upgrades.

There’s a whisper chooks that last weekend, the Boys in Blue kindly offered a person a lift home only to discover that upon arrival at his so called residence, he attempted to make off with someone else’s vehicle. The Boys in Blue, still at the scene, then promptly arrested the person and took him “down town” for processing.

From the climate change pow wow in Copenhagen comes word the rich nations will fork out 100 billion dolleros a year to help developing nations cope with the effects of climate change. Question now is how can we grab some of that dosh for ourselves? Unfortunately, we are not exactly a “developing” country although some of government’s actions do appear “third” world! Forget soft loans for infrastructure! Get some of those billions to pay for the upgrades under the guise of “development.”

The rich nations have poo pooed our small island states call for a 1.5 degrees C rise in temperature by agreeing to a 2 degree limit. This means our delegation of 14 spent a lot of time and effort only to hear that the big boys had agreed among themselves, behind closed doors, to a deal benefiting them but not us. It’s a bit like the All Blacks walloping the Mongoose team.

A proposal that the Vaimaanga Hotel site to become the new prison for juveniles is the latest brilliant idea to hit the headlines chooks! Fancy that! Five star tourists rubbing shoulders with purse snatchers, pick pockets and motor bike converters! Talk about adding value to the economy! Purse snatchers grab the tourist’s belongings then government seizes the proceeds from the thieves! Better than charging VAT!

A difference of opinion chooks as to where to wash the dishes at 5am after a staff hoolie. Indoors or outdoors? Much loud discussions ensued until a compromise was eventually reached. Half were washed outside the building and half inside the building!

Herald Issue 490

Now it seems there will be no agreement at the Climate pow wow to reduce emissions so the heat does not go up by more than 1.5 degrees C, it looks like we’re in for a rise in sea level by 1 metre within a generation. This means the millions of dollars we spend on harbour upgrades in the north will have been for nothing! “Sir” needs to get our esteemed comrades from the East to cough up a few more million to upgrade the upgrades!

With the rise in heat levels comes the change in the migration of Tuna and other fish. Will we have a fishing industry left chooks? Will the Chinese want our fishing grounds afterall? Where will the Tuna go?

News to hand chooks is that there is to be an astronomical boost to the Civil List to enable costs of travel by MPs on the new Virgin Space Ship to be included. Current cost is US$200,000 for a short trip into space. Why our MPs would need to travel on the space ship is unknown but there just may be a CPA conference somewhere in space. In line with current policy, MPs spending tax payer’s money on space flights need not submit any reports following their trip. Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Space Ships, is said to be somewhat mystified but pleased with the announcement.

And news to hand that Richard Branson is to be conferred with the status of honorary Permanent Resident. Branson is said to be somewhat mystified but pleased with the announcement.

And further news is that Richard Branson is to be given the freedom of the town of Avarua and a key to the Town (Unlocks the door to the public toilet). Branson is said to be somewhat mystified but pleased with the announcement.

Chooks news to hand that government is to establish a national airline and is to purchase five 20 year old C130 Hercules military aircraft from the friendly nation of Pakistan. The cost was heavily discounted on account of the numerous bullet holes in the fuselage and some planes had wings partly shot away. Nevertheless, the Hercules aircraft are ideal for landing on the short, unsealed northern airstrips and beaches. China is said to be footing the US$50 million bill by way of a soft loan. China is also said to be willing to fit bomb bay type doors to the underside of the planes and has even suggested the new airline be called something along the lines of “The Glorious National Defensive Air Force of the Courageous Peoples Manganese Nodule Depository of the Cook Islands.”

Big question on all demo MP’s lips chooks is what is Santa “Sir” Christmas going to bring! Firstly, how about a fat juicy Supplementary Budget? Plenty in it for all! The QR is hoping to open his Christmas stocking to find a new contract for a further term and with a big pay hike to boot! Perhaps new vehicles all round for the team! And not to forget, a little boost in the kitty for those long overseas trips to all corners of the globe, in first class! Yes it’s all shaping up to be a jolly, ho, ho, ho, Christmas!

Of course the opposition will also be hoping for a little something in their Christmas stocking! A pay rise for the Leader? A new office? A new car? A big bump up in pay? A bigger budget for the office? More staff?

The new direct air link with Sydney is fine chooks but most Cookies would have preferred a direct link to Cairns or Brisie where most of the cousie bros hang out.Such a link is better when the mass exodus begins.

Herald Issue 489

Oh dear chooks! Over 20 motorbikes from the Copper’s compound buried up in the bushy hills near the land fill by a major contractor. Whisper is the bikes were buried in one big hole as is complete with batteries containing sulphuric acid and brakes with asbestos lining. Had the fuel been drained? Was NES consulted? Why were the bikes not sold for parts?

The worst type of government “leak” chooks is the leak in the water pipes! But chooks, government has a brilliant solution! It involves the application of strips of rubber from the inner tube of a bicycle tyre! Wound tightly around a leaky pipe, it reduces a full scale gush to a mere trickle! Perhaps the rubber could be used to stop that other type of government “leak!”

Word to hand chooks that a number of MPs are going in for Body Building in the “Masters” division! Rasmussen is rumoured to be down to contest the “Mr World” Champs while “Sir” has entered the “Mr Universe” Champs.

Do you not find it extraordinary chooks how when the Audit snoops uncover an anomaly, there seems to be no trace of any written records and no mental recall on the part of employees! Will MPs raise a question in the House as to the whereabouts of the missing 15,000 condoms?

Chook strolled uptown Monday in bright sun shine, for a spot of retail therapy only to be drenched on the return journey by a sudden, persistent down pour of a mysterious liquid substance closely resembling rain! Much chatter from the weather office of drought conditions may be open to interpretation!

News chooks that a certain public identity celebrated his 21st birthday on the day of Saturn not once but mysteriously, three times! The “gated” shindig in the bushes in the hills was by engraved platinum invitation only and some nostrils may be disjointed on learning who made the “A” list or in this case the “AA+” list!

Comment from Torne Jeans who steers Tourism, in response to an Audit on the 2008 LA subsidy that Tourism did not see a full blown recession coming, takes the cake. Our government’s economic whiz kids knew back in December 2007 about the seriousness of the advancing recession. We don’t need an Aussie to take the fall for a government that’s been asleep!

Certain MP was to fix the local Sports Centre in her first year as an MP. Chooks, stroll up the Valley and see the progress for yourself! It’s fixed alright! Fixed in “no go!”

Drought chooks? Of course we have a drought! Government has failed to fix the leaking water pipes so naturally we have no water! But wait! Government has a brilliant solution! Give people a water tank! Yep! Get your tank! Hook up the pump! Hook up the pipes to the water main! Turn on the tap! Hello! Where’s the water? There’s none because the main pipe is leaking! Next brilliant suggestion?

Where’s the logic chooks? To stop tourists from pooping in the bushes, overseas aid dosh is used to put up a flush toilet by the trail! But tourists continue to drop their trou and their doo daas in the foliage! Reason? No sign on the door to indicate the building is a loo! To top it off, the door is locked! Oh poop!

Oh dear chooks! Ever vigilant bug lady has found a new bug! A small dude attracted to bright colours and which excretes an irritating, acidic squirt! Lamb Land Boffins are at a loss as to the little insect’s ID! What do you expect? That it was carrying a passport?

Herald Issue 488

Three hearty cheers for Aunty on deciding that trooping half way round the world to visit Monaco was far more important than attending the debate on the new Sea Bed Bill in Parliament! Wouldn’t you rather visit and cuddle up to Albert, the Prince of Monaco rather than sit droopy eyed through a boring dissertation by “Sir” on an extraordinary long and boring Bill? Seems three other MPs also chose to be elsewhere!

Word is next year Vaka Eiva will feature an ultra long distance race from Aitutaki to Raro! The canoes will have a crew of 20 with 10 paddling at any one time. Support vessels will include the Patrol Boat, Vaka Te O Au Tonga and Taio Shipping’s new vessel. In Aitutaki, the race will be preceded by a cross Aitutaki Lagoon race between crews using the Kingsbury designed and built, six person paddle boats! It should be quite exciting!

It seems “Sir” personally took the Sea Bed application to the Big Apple because he did not trust the mail bag and because the London lot said it would be good for our economy if he went! What we deduce from this is if that lot in London told “Sir” he would do wonders for our economy if he were to jump off a cliff, would he do just that? C’mon, you can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all the time! The simple fact is, “Sir” did not have to go at all. And where pray are the benefits to our economy?

By the time we are ready to bring the nodules to the surface, most of our population will have fled in economic desperation into the welcoming bosom of Queensland State! Cookies wanting to get back to enjoy the nodule riches will find all available land taken by foreigners!

Should Big Norm be allowed to practice in Court? Consider this, one day Big Norm sits in the House passing laws for our Courts to enforce. The next day Big Norm is in Court arguing with the High Beak as to what the law means! Should the Chief Beak tell Big Norm he’s either an MP or a Lawyer but not both?

Chooks at paddling time there should be two competitions. One for the “serious” bods and one for the “social” bods. When all bods are mixed into the same race, how does one judge the international standing of our local bods?

What was the outcome of the jolly trip for four to Tanzania chooks? Dead silence! 80 big “G’s” of public funds spent on a trip to a chin wag for members of the MP’s private club-the CPA and not a word since! How many other MPs from the Pacific region of the CPA attended the chin wag in the East African region of the CPA? And how come we never seem to see African MPs at Pacific region chin wags? And our greatest gift to the people of Tanzania? A doughnut with a hole in the middle of it!

Bad luck has struck one Mangaian MP on the wharf upgrade as his 8 tonne Komatsu digger decided to jump into the water for a swim! Bad luck because, the machine will need to be stripped down and cleaned! Now that’s “down time” the MP did not need!

Dan Brown, the world famous author of such block buster novels as “The Da Vinci Code” is to write a new book based on events in Rarotonga. Just as “The Da Vinci Code” featured the brilliant Renaissance inventor Leonardo Da Vinci, Brown’s new novel, “The Kingsbury Code” is based around new renaissance man and inventor Ken Kingsbury inventor of the revolutionary six man paddle boat.

Herald Issue 487

Three hearty cheers for Aunty on deciding that trooping half way round the world to visit Monaco was far more important than attending the debate on the new Sea Bed Bill in Parliament! Wouldn’t you rather visit and cuddle up to Albert, the Prince of Monaco rather than sit droopy eyed through a boring dissertation by “Sir” on an extraordinary long and boring Bill? Seems three other MPs also chose to be elsewhere!

Word is next year Vaka Eiva will feature an ultra long distance race from Aitutaki to Raro! The canoes will have a crew of 20 with 10 paddling at any one time. Support vessels will include the Patrol Boat, Vaka Te O Au Tonga and Taio Shipping’s new vessel. In Aitutaki, the race will be preceded by a cross Aitutaki Lagoon race between crews using the Kingsbury designed and built, six person paddle boats! It should be quite exciting!

It seems “Sir” personally took the Sea Bed application to the Big Apple because he did not trust the mail bag and because the London lot said it would be good for our economy if he went! What we deduce from this is if that lot in London told “Sir” he would do wonders for our economy if he were to jump off a cliff, would he do just that? C’mon, you can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all the time! The simple fact is, “Sir” did not have to go at all. And where pray are the benefits to our economy?

By the time we are ready to bring the nodules to the surface, most of our population will have fled in economic desperation into the welcoming bosom of Queensland State! Cookies wanting to get back to enjoy the nodule riches will find all available land taken by foreigners!

Should Big Norm be allowed to practice in Court? Consider this, one day Big Norm sits in the House passing laws for our Courts to enforce. The next day Big Norm is in Court arguing with the High Beak as to what the law means! Should the Chief Beak tell Big Norm he’s either an MP or a Lawyer but not both?

Chooks at paddling time there should be two competitions. One for the “serious” bods and one for the “social” bods. When all bods are mixed into the same race, how does one judge the international standing of our local bods?

What was the outcome of the jolly trip for four to Tanzania chooks? Dead silence! 80 big “G’s” of public funds spent on a trip to a chin wag for members of the MP’s private club-the CPA and not a word since! How many other MPs from the Pacific region of the CPA attended the chin wag in the East African region of the CPA? And how come we never seem to see African MPs at Pacific region chin wags? And our greatest gift to the people of Tanzania? A doughnut with a hole in the middle of it!

Bad luck has struck one Mangaian MP on the wharf upgrade as his 8 tonne Komatsu digger decided to jump into the water for a swim! Bad luck because, the machine will need to be stripped down and cleaned! Now that’s “down time” the MP did not need!

Dan Brown, the world famous author of such block buster novels as “The Da Vinci Code” is to write a new book based on events in Rarotonga. Just as “The Da Vinci Code” featured the brilliant Renaissance inventor Leonardo Da Vinci, Brown’s new novel, “The Kingsbury Code” is based around new renaissance man and inventor Ken Kingsbury inventor of the revolutionary six man paddle boat.

Herald Issue 486

New edict from the Palace of the Ruling Mandarins chooks! From now on no qualifications will be needed for any Stately tenures! Out the window they go! Applicants need only produce sackfuls of letters of commendation attesting to their ability! As long as applicants can show they made every effort to get a qualification in the last 20 years, they’re in! Who needs Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, the USP? And what say ye those who put in years of study at great personal cost and sacrifice to gain a higher level of qualification to secure a good job?

Chooks there’s no truth to the rumour that our Jim stole the show at the FAO Food Security meeting in Roma, Italia by planting a juicy one smack dang on the lips of Szarkozy’s missus! And absolutely no truth in the rumour he borrowed a couple of solid gold candle sticks during his visit to the Vatican’s St Peters!

Holy revelation chooks! Word has reached Big Red that there has been a changing of the keys at the Chinese built indoor sports arena cum new ski slope! No longer is there a different key for every door! Where once, the Official Opener of the Doors (OOD) carried a bunch of keys bigger than a bunch of Marlborough grapes, now OOD needs only tote about three or four!

Chooks, wouldn’t you like to visit the homes of those who scoff whatever milk is left in the carton in the fridge at work and leaves the empty in the fridge for someone else to pick up? Ever wondered what sort of empty cartons these people keep in their fridges at home?

They were caught out weren’t they chooks! That lot that attended the secret squirrel meeting in Arorangi at a private residence to chin wag about forming a new political party! Three of the MPs who were there got their names public quickly possibly in an attempt to distance themselves from the event! But too late, no-one’s fooled. When the Herald spilled the beans on their little pow wow, the three must have realized the Herald knew more than it let on so they went public knowing the game may be up!

Woe to government! Woe to the scholars! The great hall of the Princess is out of bounds because it is chock full of beds! Beds? Unsold beds left over from the Mini-Games! No wonder the prize giving was transferred to the Chinese built indoor sports stadium!

Speaking of the indoor sports stadium, word is it has now suffered its first defect! One of the doors has collapsed and will not open! Came as no surprise to some in Ministerial quarters! The original plan suffered cuts here and there until we ended up with a cheaper, no frills barn!

As predicted by the knowledgeable “Hole” the stadium has become the new slippery slope for local kids seeking thrills after school. Problem now is how to stop the kiddies from dangerously sliding down the sides of the building and injuring themselves? What about motor bike riders seeking bigger thrills by zooming up and down the ramps? Will government impose an “Amusement Device” fee to recover the cost of the building?

Word is chooks a desperate and nearly broke government is sniffing around for new revenue streams! Now Big Red hears “Sir” is looking at raking a levy off what boats in the north earn from the canneries to see what more they can squeeze out of operators! Last year operators sold some US$8 million of fish to the canneries and our government got zilch! If “Sir” gets to skim a fraction of that off for the northern group then that’s great but with the cupboard practically bare, guess where the dosh is likely to end up chooks!

Herald Issue 485

Two more guests of Her Majesty’s Arorangi Penitentiary strolled out through the revolving doors last Saturday chooks! Off to retail therapy? No escape for the staff though.

Odd calls heard at the Sevens chooks! A call for Doctor Tupou Faireka! Tupou a Doctor? Talk about rapid advancement through Medical School! Then, confirmation government chooks were not their desks! Public announcement for a GA vehicle blocking the driveway to be shifted! More calls then one last call to “MS” to move his car or it will be towed and the tyres removed! But chooks it was not “MS’s” car at all but one of “Sir’s” staff! And Big Red hears all 3 of “Sir’s” office cars were at the Sevens! Where was MS? Practising his dance steps of course!

Talk about bending the rules chooks! Who other than “Sir” would trot more than the allowable 20m in a golden oldies rugby game? Wearing those coloured shorts, no-one was allowed to tackle him! What coloured shorts does “Sir” wear to Cabinet?

Not to be outdone, workshop attendees line up for fish ’n chips with sauce. Tomato sauce? You must be kidding! It has to be mushroom sauce-what else?

The rumour mill is crunching over again chooks. Big Red has heard that the top rooster and chook at our famous Kapong known for ‘sackings and tearing up tangata rikiriki’s contracts’ are dishing it out again. Uno momento one of the replacements of the dumped two ‘30-day home visitors’ finds himself awarded the wooden spoon and booted home as well. When will someone find out what is actually going down amigo, as employees are being signed onto the team and coming off the inter-change bench only to find themselves kicked for touch. How about signing these two onto an ‘organisational behaviour and HR workshop? Or, kick them both for touch so they can share the moment?

Big Red has been alerted that the former skipper of our famous team “SOE” was seen back on the rock the other day. Unfortunately he missed the mini-games and could have been selected on the team but anyway he doesn’t qualify. Just wondering whether he is here to get his old job back as it hasn’t been filled since he left despite two attempts to find someone. Will be very interesting what happens next. Will the top rooster buy into it? I scratch your back, you scratch my back. I give you the job to keep locals away and I find another strategy to keep mine warm.

Now that new PR’s will have to learn conversational local lingo, one local is setting up a language school to cater for new PRs. At “Da Skool uff Eenglush” they will learn how to speaka da local lingo like, “Wassup cuzzie bro, wezza smack?” and “Bro, wezza happy bakky?” and “Hey cuzzie, haff ya got da dakka?” Of course the Ruling Mandarins still have to decide which one of the 10 or so dialects will be the official one. What about the old Yorkshire English dialect spoken by the Palmerston islanders? How about “Parliament speak” with words like, “Gimmee 80 grand!”

Poor Rodney of the Act Party in Enzed! He blew 50 grand of Enzed tax payers dosh on a first class air trip to the UK for him and his dolly bird! Still falls short though of the 80 grand our lot spent on their first class air trip to East Africa! How come the Enzed media hasn’t cottoned on to that?

And Big Red has this bit of advice for the slippery, per diem double dipping CEO of a State agency-enjoy it while you can because one day Audit will catch up with you!

Herald Issue 484

What has happened to the case involving the former head of Tourism? When will all parties be summoned before the High Beak? Why the delay? Are the ruling Stately Mandarins now seeking monetary recompense instead? The cone of silence has been lowered chooks and covered by a rug leaving us all in the dark!

Why did a Stately Mandarin from the ruling High Cabal suddenly order a Head of Mandarin from the Middle Kingdom to urgently recall his predecessor? What is in the wind chooks? What is being ministered?

Why are the fuel lot being taken before the High Beak by the landowners chooks? Did someone spill something? Technos from Lamb Land due up to have a nosey we hear. Land owners are asking for a compensating whopper near two mil word is.

What’s “Sir” up to with the Mauke seat chooks? With Big Mapu due to step down next ballot day and his protégé, a local lad, schooled and ready to step up, it seems “Sir” has other ideas. Why else would “Sir” rope big “Huey” fresh from Lamb Land into the local water project? Is “Sir” lining big “Huey” up to stand for Mauke? When will “Sir” stand down himself? Who will fill his shoes? Will it be the Banker or does “Sir” have other plans?

Moldova chooks! That’s the country to strike up a closer relationship with! Why? Because Moldova like the Cooks, is suffering from depopulation! The able bodied are leaving to search for work leaving behind the elderly and the young! Government must quickly send a large, fact finding delegation of MPs, by air first class to Moldova! They would appreciate a visit from Cook Islands MPs after getting over their initial puzzlement! It does not matter about cost or that Moldova is not in the Commonwealth let alone the South Pacific or even a member of the CPA!

Cheaper to deal with Uncle Sam chooks? Goods from the land of the free seem to be a lot cheaper! Want a ride on mower? USA import is less than five grand! Kiwi import goes for around eight grand! Mutt chow also retails for a lot cheaper chooks!

Woe this Christmas to the hoteliers! Forward lodgings appear low! Oh woe! Even the number of Cookies heading back for family tidings under the tinseled up tree look to be low! Woe to the fly boys!

Borrow! Borrow! Borrow! Those lending our Stately Mandarins and Wizards of the Loot piles of dosh, must know something we lowly types do not know! While local serfs are asking how the dosh will ever be repaid, especially in this lifetime, the Stately Mandarins seem unconcerned and keep welcoming wave after wave of offers of dosh with open vaults and those eager to lend out the dosh seem unconcerned about our ability to pay back the hand that feeds us! End result chooks? One massive mortgagee sale and foreign bidders moving in to take us over!

Whisper is out chooks that neither political party wants to win the next election! Why? Because the mess has become too big, too difficult to fix! Both sides are doing their best to avoid a win! The Demo lot continues to mess up big time in the hope no-one will vote for them and the CIP lot have fled into hiding so no-one will know they exist!

Who is the Stately Lord of the Middle Kingdom who is under so much stress from orders and edicts emanating from the Palace that he puffs and knocks back during working hours? The stress levels imposed by his Ministering Lord High Ruling Mandarin must be so astronomical, he is said to act this way even in the presence of the Ministerial Mandarin himself!

Herald Issue 483

Oh dear chooks! Did “Sir” put the cart before the horse? On local goggle box news, “Sir” said the daily papyrus of the day before, had not mentioned that “Sir” had requested the gang of five approve getting a Silk from Lamb Land to sort out the legal morass surrounding the fuel farm! Well, hello! “Sir” perhaps should have informed the public that the notice which had been done, was put on hold.

Reports from the top level pow wow of high ranking Wizards of Pacific Stately coffers, speak of a cloak of secrecy and fear of digital image recording devices! Perhaps afraid of having their Stately powers captured by micro-chips and being rendered mere mortals, was the reason for a ban on random clicking.

Oops chooks! Mystery on the door step! Container arrives from Lamb Land with goodies for the House of Pills on the Hill! But where did the metal box go chooks? It finally turns up but the beds are missing! Gone! What did the enquiry reveal chooks? It revealed the metal box somehow made a detour to Ngatangiia! What was it doing there?

Media relations and liaison boo boo leading up to the Forum Economic Ministers chin wag chooks! No notification of the upcoming conference from any official source. No time table of events, no list of who was attending, no advice that the Ministers would be spending the weekend in Aitutaki! No notification to attend the official opening. What action will “Sir” take?

Boo hoo! Reformists want to reduce the number of MPs from 24 to 19! Chooks, there is something wrong with that scenario! Firstly, you cannot have an uneven number in the House! Even numbers ensure the possibility of a tie and the Speaker using his casting vote! No even numbers, no casting vote! Boo hoo! Also reducing numbers only mean you go from 24 bad eggs to 19 bad eggs!

While all were raving over Little Jim’s award for services to pugilism during the Mini-Games, commiseration for the one they forgot! The Hole man also did wonderful work with the gloves and the programme! Not only in the manly art but also other forms of exertion! Trouble is the Hole man also ruffled a few feathers over the years. C’mon CISNOC get the dude a gong!

Poor “Sir” must have writer’s cramp by now! “Sir” has been flat out signing papyrus documents of international repute left, right and centre during this past week! Holed up at a fancy resort out west chin wagging with Dosh Mandarins from over the waves, “Sir” has been putting quill to quarto with machine gun like application all in the name of buddy buddy, nod nod, wink wink, you tell me, I’ll tell you, back scratching!

Hosting the Dosh Mandarins chin wag must have cost we tax slaves a pretty penny chooks! No wonder the Stately Lords kept the diversion north to the blue lagoons hush hush!

Now the Stately delegation is back safe and sound from darkest Africa, will a report see the light of day chooks? Will the leader of the delegation be briefing the media and advising the public what returns to expect from the $80,000 invested in the visit to East Africa? Will Tanzania be opening trade with the Cooks? Will there be cultural exchanges? Will the Tanzanians pay us a visit? After all, we went there! Will they send a sports team to run on the $1.3 million all weather track at the new stadium?

Chooks will our politicians learn something from the renovation of Takamoa Theological College? The work was all done and without tax payer funding! Now, how can MPs come up with a new parliament without tax payer input?

Herald Issue 482

Chooks, seems the “gagging order” is the latest fad! Don’t like someone? Get a gagging order! Don’t like an explanation from a Minister of the Crown? Gag him! Look for Gagging order workshops to be run! Problem is, the lecturer may be “gagged!”

Why bother to become a republic chooks, with our own El Presidente? We have a de facto Presidente already in the form of “Sir.” “Sir” already runs everything!

Why don’t we trot down the same road as Tahiti chooks? Abolish all income tax on earnings and hike VAT up. Of course this will mean a flat white will go up from $4 to $10. While we’re at it, ensure we have no capital earnings tax or gift tax either! In fact abolish all forms of tax and just have VAT on everything!

You’ve got to congratulate the authorities in charge of our prison chooks! We have the world’s only lock up which has a revolving door! Prisoners may leave when they feel like it. Six prisoners have recently exercised that right! One did it twice!

Woe to the island of Mangaia chooks! Woe, woe, woe! 25 of the island’s finest young have quit their Stately jobs and have departed to work overseas for 8 months in freezing works in Kiwi Land’s south island! Starting on over $14 an hour which is heaps better than the miserly penance the Mandarins fork out for them in Mangaia! These former government serfs were getting $40 a week in the hand-how can anyone survive on that? Now around 200 elderly and young folk are all that are left on a once bustling island which exported citrus fruit. Government inaction has reduced Managia to a shadow of its former self! Bring on the beef cattle Yahsu!

Top public servants owe their jobs and livelihood to their political masters. But when public servants decide to bite the hand that provides their feed, they do it by raising policies that equate to political suicide! Suicide that is, at election time!

The Greenpeace boat is doing such a wonderful job at hunting down illegal fishing vessels, our patrol boat may as well scrub illegal fishing off its programme! Think of the saving in fuel!

Government Ministries and agencies might like to start paying some of their long outstanding bills to the private sector so the private sector can get on with its business. One of the worst offenders chooks? None other than MFEM itself. The agency responsible for the pulling in tax and levies and money from others can’t even honour its own bills and pay up! What does that tell you chooks about their efficiency?

What’s the bet chooks, the Mini-Games will end up costing government/taxpayer over $30 million? And that will be the bills we know about, that government wants us to see!
When is the next big track meet chooks? Will Usain Bolt be invited to an Invitational Meet? CISNOC needs to arrange an Invitational Meet soon before the facilities deteriorate through lack of interest! Be bold, invite the Kenyans, the Tanzanians (weren’t our MPs just there?) the Ethiopians, somebody! Anybody!

Seems Big Mac did one thing right during the Mini-Games! He turned down a request from the Tini to fund basketball! You see basketball was not one of the sports at the Mini-Games! Those funds for basketball will have to come from the Tini’s bag of dosh! Good one Big Mac!

Will the Cook Islands sevens team be at the Olympics in Rio? If our lads start getting up to speed now, they just might be! However, in good Cook Islands style, they’ll probably start training the day before the qualifying games where they will probably be beaten by Tuvalu!

Herald Issue 480

Chooks, we felt the effects of the tsunami at low tide with a sea surge two metres high. This brought the sea up level with the wharf at Jacks. The surge was very strong. Now imagine high tide and the water two metres above the level of the wharf at Jacks! There would have been a disaster causing millions of dosh worth of damage not to mention possible loss of life. This possibility does not seem to have sunk in or instilled much urgency in our EMCI let alone our politicians. So let’s see some urgency-less spending on overseas jaunts and more on protecting the people! No wonder the Tourism Wallahs are Hopping mad!

Question chooks! What will you find at No 10, western end of Sea Wall Road? Still looking for that street sign? Found No 10 yet? No? Give up? It’s the Met Office!

Legacy? What legacy chooks? Government wants the codes to cough up the dosh! But chooks, a legacy is a thing handed down-like in a will. And what sports code, pray tell, has the dosh to pay for anything? Will Athletics Cook Islands be able to fork out $1.3 mill for their track?

What of the Indoor Stadium now the Games are over chooks? Who gets residency at the great hall of sport? Will CISNOC call all codes to a pow wow? What charges will apply? And what of the boxing ring still stranded in Samoa? Can we flog it off to our Samoan cousies for a song?

Some of our PNG cousies are still here chooks! School can’t resume till they fly out but they are here till the weekend. Will they go chooks? And what of our esteemed brothers from the Land of the Great Wall? Where are they? Did any actually go home?

Beds, beds, beds chooks! Mini-Games are over but those who placed deposits on beds are somewhat slowish to put up the rest of the dosh and pick up their wares! Frantic calls by PMG Council bods are not having the desired effect of closing the sales and shipping the cots out!

Sirens to warn of a tsunami? What sirens? At $4,000 each-far too expensive! Better to spend millions on sporting facilities! More staff for EMCI? What! Surely not! Certainly not this government! Safety of tourists and visiting sportspersons? Bah!

MP explains $80,000 spent on Tanzania trip. If we don’t go, they won’t come! Chooks, we can now expect a visit from some Tanzanian MPs! What school will adopt them?

And this tit bit chooks from one of our Samoan pals. The Samoan purchased some sarongs from a local shop. However, before leaving the shop, decided it was not what was wanted so asked for a refund which was refused. Surely the new Fair Trading laws cover this situation? Beware chooks, no exceptions, tsunami and all! Bring on the new Commerce Commission!

With the Mini-Games over, overseas Chef who came over from Kiwi Land to cook for the Mini-Games, is forced to go hunting for his pay! Chef was supposed to be paid weekly but this did not happen. And where was the head man? He had shot off to Kiwi Land and was not due back for several days! But what about the Chef’s pay? Again another negative and bad image is projected about the Cook Islands! Pay the man!

And speaking of non-payments, pity the security guard for the World Youth Netball Champs who is still waiting for his dosh! He says he’s being shoved from pillar to post! C’mon you slackers, pay the man!

Herald Issue 479

Head of disaster bits allegedly heard to mutter that reports of water leaving the harbour were exaggerated, well hello! Did he not see in person, or the TV shots of boats sitting on the harbour floor by Jacks? The big crowd that did would not share the Disaster man’s view!

Spotted behind a truck a few nights ago chooks, a hungry group of lads from Bula Land squatting on the ground tucking into a large pot of self made tucker and enjoying it! What about the catered nosh?

Also spotted in a downtown store chooks, overseas athletes buying up tins of corned beef in great numbers, then later, whipping off the lids and tucking into the cold, yummy, beef!

Seen in Avatiu in front of the famous takeaway by the sea, VIP cars used by Mini-Games personnel and the personnel themselves squaffing down the burgers! What does this say about the catered nosh chooks?

Talk about team bonding chooks! Last weekend, Big Red heard only 18 CI athletes were at their Titikaveka digs! Where were the rest? Home it seems, in a comfy bed getting a peaceful night’s kip! Sure beats dozing off 20 to a room!

Oh dear chooks! Seems some overseas journos with media passes arrived at the National Auditorium to cover the Boxing matches only to be told at the door they had to pay $10 to get in! Is our PMG Council that strapped for cash?

Also on the subject of Boxing, there was much confusion when parents taking their kiddies along were told about a special rate for kiddies then they were told kiddies had to pay the adult rate!

Forget the medals being won by local and overseas athletes chooks! The local petty thieves have been picking up Gold all over the place and in various events! Six soccer balls have been stolen along with golf flags from some of the greens and some of the large water bottles have also disappeared!

Brilliant new athletic track chooks but only one major snag! Laying the track shortened the rugby field and now no international games can be played at the stadium! Oh woe!

Major cock ups on the Mini-Games catering front chooks! Not enough nosh at some venues and too much food left over at others! Seems the athletes are choosing to eat out and locals are putting on big feeds for some teams!

Seems no-one is keen to take possession of the bunks and bedding used by a certain team chooks! At a previous Games in Palau, it is said the same team’s bunks and bedding went into the lake of fire!

Woe to netball! Woe to our netball coach and manager! Will they face the axe over failing to make team changes during the Fiji game which saw our gals dip out narrowly by two ticks? Surely when nothing is going right, you make changes? Things are hardly rosie all round!

Chooks, the World’s Oldest Greatest (WOG) Lover has had an argument with a coffee table! After losing his footing trying to tote a bucket of water belonging to an adopted canine, he collided with the edge of a table gashing two legs and bruising one! Along came a witch doctor with a native poultice guaranteed to do the job within four days but WOG-L pronounced his faith in white man’s magic known as the anti-bi-otic!

Herald Issue 478

Chooks did you spot the presentation of the beautifully carved kumete bowl to the Fijian team at the Indoor Stadium the other day? Notice how the kumete bowl was just handed over without any pomp and traditional ceremony! A memorable occasion? Bah! And no mention in the speech that it was carved by a great Cook Island carver.

After being flooded with spaghetti for the athlete’s chooks, will we see the great spaghetti sale following the games chooks? How will the spaghetti mountain be reduced chooks? Spaghetti on toast, spaghetti pizza, spaghetti and cheese sandwiches, spaghetti and tomato toasted sandwiches, spaghetti and egg toasted sandwiches! Will the price will start high then drop by 50 cents to give you all a massive saving?

One Mini-Games team chooks, faced with mince and rice for breakfast decided to eat in town! Same team faced with rather hard fish for dinner decided to trip into town again!

What price our former iconic ale chooks? Word from the Captain is that the Penny has dropped and so has 80 “G’s” chooks! Now we’re Cook-ing!

Is our government not embarrassingly red faced chooks? Our struggling sports teams receiving sporting clothing from overseas donors! How much longer do we have to accept handouts like common street beggars because our government is so stingy -except of course when it comes to MPs! “Sir” splashed out over $20,000 in his first unnecessary trip to the Big Apple. That dosh could have bought a lot of sports uniforms! Our polies need to think what could be a better use for the dosh before spending it on themselves. Put the needs of ordinary people and the nation first!

The World’s Oldest Greatest (WOG) Lover is convinced that what the Chinese want in return for all the dosh they’ve loaned us, is a big parcel of fishing licenses and in exchange, they will ask, no, tell us to deduct the cost ($40,000 per license) from what we owe them. Is that a fair swap chooks? It would reduce what we owe but at what social cost? Sure, they’ll suck up all the finned stuff from our seas and pump dosh into the local economy but are we ready for an influx of Chinese fishermen?

A native of the Land of the Rising Sun will be on shore in October to precede the arrival on the big island to the south of 150 large, four legged, horned cud chewers! No doubt their arrival may unsettle the natives and lead the wild pig population to protest at this new threat to their free reign on the island! Imagine a herd of 150 stampeding through downtown! Get the picture?

Talking about the Land of the Rising Sun, their Ambassadorial Hat was on shore and would have been mildly surprise that his command of the English language was way better than that of the locals! Of course the fellow was probably educated at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard or Yale!

Whisper doing the rounds chooks is that that old hotel site out at the big “V” may become the new dollied up campus for an exotic, paradisic centre of learning for higher paying foreign scholars-an English Language School! Word is our French indoctrinated cousies to the East may be first in line to sign on for courses followed by droves of our esteemed and beloved comrades from the Land of the Great Wall! Maybe the first course could be “Understanding Cook Islands curses!”

Herald Issue 477

Where did the 200 “G’s” to get the Pukapuka team to the Rock come from chooks? What Palace hat did the Grand High Wizard of the Money Box spirit this out of? Merlinic legend has it came from none other than the cavernous pockets of Prince Mac of Mok! As a result Prince Mac has had to trim back activities in his realm much to the dismay of his loyal Mok Castle subjects!

Scary stuff chooks! Six sleeps out from the Mini-games and hello! No water in Tepuka! What! What was all that recent activity aimed at? You know, the cutting up of the roads and laying down pipes! Where’s the Big Boy?

The appearance of the metal framework for the weightlifting platform for the Mini-Games has some old headshaking from side to side chooks. Worry is the structure may not be strong enough to take the force of some really big weights dropping from a great height! Consider this chooks, young Sam is over six feet tall and with his hands raised, that big weight is over eight feet in the air! Imagine over 200kg crashing down at speed. Not once but several times!

Hands up all those senior civil servants who mow their Minister’s lawns! Incredible! So many! Now hands up all those senior civil servants far too busy to mow their Minister’s lawns. Nobody?

Chooks the Mini-Games torch will be making its way through Lamb Land before boarding an aircraft for these shores! Question is will the torch be fast ferried across Manihiki lagoon fitted with a $10,000 strand of pearls like last time? Remember when that strand came off the torch and sank to the bottom of the lagoon never to be seen again!

Oh woe! Whisper is the Acting Top Hat at the Bureau of Foreign Matters is a tad askew at not getting a ticket from the Leader for the last run of the State gravy train. He missed the whistle stop tour to the Geneva shoulder rub and talkfest on climate and the side excursion to Lamb Land for the pal-ly wal-ly chin wag with Johnno and our esteemed and beloved comrades from the East. Now it seems likely he will miss the Rome express and the Copenhagen cruise!

Seems quite a number of prominent persons went AWOL and were not on parade for the big beachside BBQ lunch with string band put on by the Prime Top Hat of High Command for the Maori King at Muri beach. With about $7,000 of some $25,000 budgeted for the lunch, does this mean a saving to the tax payer?

Thinking of standing for an outer island seat currently up for grabs? Go along to the ruling Mandarins conference, dip your big toe in and test the waters then go along to the other conference and suss out what they’ve got to offer. Neither offer any good? Go Independent! Ooopppssss! What about the other fellow?

Have the State Mandarins been using the Mini-Games budget like a piggy bank for other unrelated costs cropping up? What will an audit of its accounts reveal?

Where is the boxing ring for the Mini-Games chooks? Only days out from the start of the pugilism punch-fest and there’s no sign of a ring! Seems the supplier is trying to hike up costs his end knowing this end chooks are sweating!

Herald Issue 476

Woe to the Demos! Their Executive organized the conference but forgot the PM would not be back from overseas. Now they are saying it’s because not all delegates will be present! Shame! Trying to cover up their huge embarrassment at calling a conference at a time when the PM and Punas were off the Rock! How incompetent is that? The public must be thinking what a bunch of wallies!

You can not only slip and slide off wet, muddy ground chooks but you can also slip and slide off short-lists for jobs as one potential Head Mandarin discovered! Big Red hears whispers from above followed by nodding below saw one contestant get bumped from consideration for a top jobbie! The “OE”-official explanation, was the higher ups had lost contact but electronic records show otherwise! Then suddenly chooks, in a sea of big fish, an even bigger fish sped in and chomped up the “Job Whisperer” putting the kai wash on the whole shee-bang. Now the jobbie will be back in centre ring! May the best scrapper win!

Word reaching Big Red’s ears is that a Supplementary Budget will be slapped on the table sooner than you think chooks! Seems our spend crazed government is having a cash flow problem! Whisper is a draft proposal has already reached the upper levels of State Mandarism and soon the word to move forward will come thundering down from the clouds!

The cash flow problem must really be biting deep chooks so government reversed a plan to abolish the departure tax for the under 12’s! But then chooks, Cabinet reversed things again and abolished the departure tax for children! Oh dear, seems officials did not do their home work!

Who put up the 200 G’s for the plane to Pukapuka to pick up the dance team? Where did the dosh come from?

One new HOM going to be peeved when she discovers the higher ups don’t give two hoots about any wish list she might have! What HOMs soon learn is that all their good intentions for working minor miracles quickly fade into obscurity when the political hoons, drunk with power, seize the wheel and slam the accelerator spend up pedal to the metal!

There may have been a heap of rain lately chooks and it may have filled the intakes making the big boy joyous but some households in Ruaau still had no water! How does the big boy explain that?

On rubbing his big balls frantically, crystal balls that is, the inner mists have cleared revealing to Big Red a frightful vision of future events! A high flying State Mandarin, a Knight of the realm soars off to greener pastures near the waters, a major cabal of much favoured Mandarins is dismantled, a man of many complicated words waves the white flag and Grey hairs gets the flick for a slot machine also known by another name!

Rumour chooks is that the gravy on the train may run out soon due to the relentless slopping and slurping going on lately. With some of the Grand Mandarins of Stately Affairs rarely at the Palace, camel loads of per diems have been flowing out of the Treasury coffers! The Lord High Grand Vizier is contemplating canceling all trains out of the Kingdom for Stately Mandarins!

Chooks, the PMG-Politically Mad Games will be starting soon. Up for grabs will be medals for categories such as Backstabbing, Most overseas trips, Most exotic place visited, Finger pointing and Public speaking.

The next election may see the rise and rise of the Independent! If all MPs turn out to be Independent, who becomes PM?

Herald Issue 475

First in first served chooks! Northerners clambered aboard the Wahiti Fui like leemings fleeing a sinking atoll! Talk of equal numbers per island went out the port hole and over the stern it seems! Restrictions came to nought chooks! It was all aboard!

Another island to experience the fleeing syndrome is Nassau! The 2001 Census revealed 110 people were on Nassau. The 2005 Census revealed this number had dropped to 77. Now anecdotal evidence points to a population of around 55 people. Shock! Horror chooks! The Grand Palace is about to spend $1 million upgrading the harbour at Nassau! So the Wahiti Fui can sail in and pick up the last remaining souls for shipping out?

As if the reinforce our reputation as last minute wallies, the container boat ran onto the reef in Samoa! On deck were containers of goodies destined for the Mini-Games! What now chooks? Phantom boxing?

What a jolly Christmas is in store for local growers! Santa “Sir” ho ho ho is to give away a tractor for each MP! But chooks, what about the water problem plaguing one MP’s barrio? Planting in that hood was greatly curtailed because of the lack of water so what good will a tractor be? That’s the logic of our Cabinet chooks! Not to worry chooks! “Sir” will present each MP with a Note Verbale!

Ruaau water problem fixed? Pipes have been laid down with one hose run offs from the main to each house! Marvelous! But chooks, the brilliant engineers should have laid a single hose up to the houses from the main then run further hoses off to each house! That way houses will have much needed pressure! The way it’s been done has one local engineer shaking his head in disbelief. Brilliant! Now there’ll be no pressure and that chooks means, no water!

And the same engineer shook his head even harder chooks when he peered into the trench and noticed the order the pipes had been laid was back to front! You see chooks, when you put a water pipe, a power line and a phone line into the same trench, there is a proper order!

What was odd chooks about the photo of “Sir” and others at the UN last week? Notice how everyone in that photo was holding their briefcase at the ready as if to hightail it out the door as soon as the photographer was finished!

Former Health Minister orchestrating his political comeback asked a chook to join his committee and the chook was guaranteed a spot on the gravy train if the former mover and shaker gets to warm a seat in the Bach by the beach!

Who’s been a bad boy then? Seems a high flyer had his wings clipped one evensong last week when dragged off the streets to face the music. Seems the Telecom cell phone network got a thrashing that night resulting in the high flyer being spared the needle and waltzing off! Now the proverbial is about to hit the fan with the OIA about to get a thrashing!

Big Red has heard on the Coconut Wireless and CNN-Coconut Network News that the local phone company has just coughed up another 500 big ones to the Imperial Wizard of the Treasury of the Grand Palace! Marvelous chooks that when the doe-ray-me runs out, you can just whistle up another 500 or so large ones to see you through! Like Aladdin rubbing his lamp and making a wish! Why would the State Mandarins want to pawn off such a brilliant cash cow?


Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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