Suck it Up Folks – that inelegant expression would seem to sum up the current debate over the state of the island’s roads. The message from the government is clear; it will continue to patch the roads as best it can, until the arrival of the Chinese in December who will undertake a major road-sealing programme. In the meantime, if you continue to drive like a maniac over pot-holed roads – your call.
How’s this for ‘walking the talk’. MAM Talaititama Talaiti, the elected representative of the village of Vaiea, rolled up his sleeves, picked up a shovel and started shovelling. He and a group of helpers were observed in the weekend filling up the pot holes from Tamakautoga southwards.
Despite threatening clouds, the rains stayed away – Divine intervention according to MAM Talaiti. He is right in some ways – a long dry spell would mean that the repairs will last a little longer. Let’s worry about the dust at another time, but give credit where credit is due. Well done Utu and the boys. [Note: MAM is Member Assisting the Minister – in some parliaments this would be the Associate Minister].
Addendum: We have been advised that Hon Billy G. Talagi also picked up a shovel and bended his back. In typical island spirit others joined-in on the working bee as the self-help road maintenance crew moved along the road. It’s not unusual for Avatele and Vaiea to join forces. The descendants of the present village came from the old village of Fatiau. The old village of Fatiau was made up of people originally from Avatele. Chronic over-crowding at Avatele resulted in the formation of the settlements of Tamakautoga and Fatiau.
Expect No Change soon with content and anything else for that matter, from the national broadcaster. This a direct quote from the Premier’s FB page:
The BCN complaints are not new. In essence they want free tv. Well that went out with the single channel introduced many year ago. This is today with 12 channels that you can choose The suggestion the former single channel showed Taoga, festivals Niue programs is a big laugh. There were none then.
Its not difficult to understand why the Board of Directors are deemed to be ineffective in their posts; it appears that it’s the Minister calling the shots. Without adding to the conflagration, there is a lot more at stake here than the argument about a single FTA television channel. First, it is time for the Minister to get past the sabre rattling with Terry Coe and to treat the issue a little more seriously. Get away from the cacophony the debating chambers and listen to the small and at times barely audible voices of the people at the receiving end, your people Minister.
All the good things that Trevor and his staff are doing and are trying to do at BCN is out-weighed by the trivia that has been allowed to creep in. Here’s a suggestion. Why not bring in a media consultant to look at the whole operation and to make recommendations? We know some good people who can do this and do it very well.
Each day our people and more particularly our children are being subjected to an overwhelming bombardment of images and of information from outside our borders, carried by the national broadcaster, Sky Pacific and the Internet. There will be some who will argue that we are resilient enough, that we are intelligent enough, to withstand the onslaught and to make an informed decision.
If you believe that, then at the next village show day, it matters not which village, watch the cultural performances by the young people and count the number of Niuean items.
Our national broadcaster cannot stop this relentless invasion, nor is it expected to, but what it can and must do, is to provide a refuge, a sanctuary for those of who care about their inheritance. Provide a room in the mansion where people can hear the proper use of the language, where they can talk to each other about the failures but equally, a place where they can celebrate their achievements. The mirror that once reflected our image as an island and as a people has become distorted.
For the record, despite the dismissive comment by the Minister, the single channel he referred to did over a period of time cover a whole range of local events – village show days, national sports, rugby, school sports, Constitution celebrations, annual show day, yes even investitures. The difference now is that the people with the smallest voice in this debate are the ones paying the cost.