Neu: 2001-09-18

Contents of this issue:

1. Choose Carefully

2. Book Mark

3. Tokelau Shipwreck


September 18th, 2001

1. Choose Carefully:

Former Radio NZ reporter Elma MaUa who's visited Niue several times over
the past few years is advising Cook Islanders living overseas to check
out job situations before returning to the Cooks.At a time government
have been trying to stem the flow of residents leaving the country, MaUa
has returned to New Zealand after having her media consultancy contract
at the Deputy Prime Minister's office terminated late last month. It is
the second time MaUa has lost her job in government after originally
returning to Rarotonga to take up a position as media officer in the
Prime Minister's Office at the beginning of 1999.

"My advice to those thinking of heading home would be to think and look
carefully - just be wary - and to come and make sure that you have a
watertight contract - something that is secure for five years."

MaUa is unsure as to what she will do over the coming months but is
looking forward to taking a break from being in Rarotonga for nearly
three years. "I love the country, I love the people but the government
needs to stop all this political bullshit," said MaUa.

2. Book Mark:

Ten copies of the Tom Neale book, An Island to Oneself may be sold to
help pay for re-roofing Neale's cabin on the island of Suwarrow reports
the Cook Island News.

The idea of selling the paperback books, which are now out of print, is
the brainchild of Neale's children, Stella and Arthur.

The cabin is being repaired by workers putting up a cyclone shelter on
the island, but the government says no money is available to pay for the
$6000 roof repair.

"It has recently come to my attention that an attempt is being made to
raise funds to repair the roof of the shack my father, Tom Neale, lived
in on Suwarrow," Stella says in a letter to the editor of CINews After
discussions with my brother, we would like to offer for sale as a
fundraiser, copies of our father's book "An Island to Oneself".

"They are paperback editions printed by Fontana books and no longer in
print. They are not secondhand copies but were remainders offered to
Arthur and I when the book went out of print 20 years ago.

"We propose that the books sell for $40.00 and be autographed by myself
and Arthur. "I plan to also include a short epilogue as an attachment in
order to complete his life story."

Stella Neale says she feels an obligation to contribute because Tom
Neale was her father, but says the Cook Islands government has a moral
obligation to also contribute.

"Tom Neale has brought many people to the Cook Islands. I continue to
receive inquiries from people who have heard of Tom Neale and want to go
to the Cooks.

"Someone as far away as war-torn Bosnia made the trek to NZ to search
out Tom Neale's family and then on to Rarotonga because he wanted to see
for himself if the story was true and to prove to his sceptical friends
that it was."

Neale says she has always felt that Tom Neale's true market value has
never been realised by those who promote the Cook Islands. An
international fund to raise money for the project has been set up on the
internet by Rarotonga resident Ian Forbes.

3. Tokelau Shipwreck

Attempts are being made this week to salvage the MV Tokelau which ran
aground on a reef at Nukunonu atoll. A tugboat from Fiji
- the "Pertiwi" - is expected to attempt to tow the vessel from the
  reef at high tide today. Stranded passengers from Tokelau atolls have
  been picked up by the MV"Violomanu" and are expected to arrive in
  Apia today..

The vessel, Tokelaus only link to outside world, was at Nukunonu atoll
to off-load cargo and collect passengers for a return trip to Apia when
the accident happened.

It is understood that the MV Tokelau ran aground about 1.50am , only
crew were on board and no-one was hurt in the accident.

According to Tokelau's Director of Transport Zak Patelesio there was
initially only limited damage with a small crack to the hull of the
vessel, but with high tide and heavy seas overnight a hole has formed in
the engine room and the vessel was taking on some water.

"Our other concern is that the vessel is now sitting precariously on the
reef, with the bow having moved towards the land and a risk that the
stern of the vessel could drop away into a natural channel off the
reef," said Mr Patelesio.

"We are in discussions with our insurance agents but there is little we
can do from this distance," he said.

The incident is likely to be investigated by marine surveyors from
New Zealand.


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