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04 July 2016

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I think your view of the demand for total independence is slightly off the mark. Gough Whitlam pushed for and was totally committed to a complete break, and Michael Somare and his Pangu Pati was a willing partner, but the general populace was never consulted, despite claims to the contrary by fantasists. Incidentally, the only example of 'corruption' in September 1975 was the reported appearance of a bus in Michael's village close to where a Malaysian logging company wanted a concession. Oh, how times have changed!
Viva la Cook's!

Yes. PNG would never have accepted explicit dependence, and Aussie would never have accepted borders open to millions of PNGans...

I agree that the Cook Islands is a great place, and the people are great people. However PNG’s relationship to Australia can’t be the same as the Cook Islands relationship to NZ.

That is because the Cook Islands are not fully independent, nor have they ever desired full independence as PNG did. This is why the Cook Islands don’t have a seat at the UN.

The NZ government has always been prepared to give full independence to the Cook Islands if they desired it, but that would mean what it says, and that would include no automatic access to NZ etc.

With the present arrangement, the Cook Islands seem to have the best of both worlds with their citizens free to travel to NZ and thence to Australia.

And I agree that Trader Jacks on the waterfront is the best place in the Cook Islands for a drink and a meal.

When I was there and a cyclone was approaching, the proprietor Jack Cooper simply backed up a container and got the drinkers at the bar to help him load it with the contents of his establishment. One well stocked fridge was left for the helpers, and a good time was had by all.

Couldn't agree more Simon.

They have a special visa for retirees from overseas that is very tempting.

And Trader Jacks on the waterfront at Avarua on Rarotonga serve the best crumbed calamari in the Pacific.

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