President’s Report Mar 08

April 1, 2008 at 5:47 pm 1 comment

March 2008

First Annual Conference
7-9 February 2008

The conference was a great success, beyond all our expectations! We counted 82 individuals came through the door over this period, each day we had different numbers of people. The best thing is that the interest shown in all presentations before, during and after were awesome.

Media coverage was excellent, from the Cook Islands News, Cook Islands Herald and Cook Islands Times, Television Cook Islands and Radio Cook Islands. Even Radio New Zealand International covered it, as did Radio 531 PI. Some people overseas have contacted us to say they picked it up on Internet from one or other of those media.

Members of the Executive contributed lots of time and expertise in organizing, running and publicizing the conference, and I am grateful to all of them for their wonderful contributions. Special mention must also be made of Mrs Ngaiono Brothers and Ms Riki Tangaroa who volunteered to assist throughout the conference.

Availability of conference papers
Most presenters agreed to make their papers available to anyone interested. Such papers will be put on the Association’s website. The site is being managed by Karin Williams, who returned to Rarotonga after having lived overseas for some years, to present a paper at the conference. She plans to return home for a time to make films in the Cook Islands.

If any author wishes to make other arrangements to publish their papers, they are welcome to do so. The copyright remains with the author of each paper. The wider the availability the better.

Makiuti Tongia has offered to facilitate publication in a book, of the six papers concerned with land and water that were presented at the conference. They will be edited by Makiuti and Ron Crocombe and include an English translation of the one presented in Maori, and a Maori translation of those presented in English.

Our membership drive was very successful with CIRA having 74 paid-up members as of today. Among them the Association is honoured by the fact that four distinguished leaders of our community joined as Life Members (Dr Joe Williams, Mr Iaveta Short, Professor Jon Jonassen and Mr Ross Holmes). Any others who wish to become Life Members will be most welcome. There are also 11 five-year members, and 59 ordinary (annual) members. We have as yet no student members.

Tereora College and Nukutere College were invited to send final-year students, without paying membership fees, but the schools were busy in their 2008 program and declined. It was wonderful to see some student nurses at the presentation of the health-related papers.

So a big Meitaki Maata to all our valued Members, Thank you for becoming part of the team. Of course we will welcome new members!

The Association aims is to build up a trust fund so it can fund some research and publishing from the interest on it.

The first annual conference was facilitated by a generous grant from PDL Foundation of $1,087.50 our 2 radio sessions, printing including printing of our programme in our local newspapers, snacks for our cocktail, there was enough left over to cater for our daily morning & afternoon teas. Again, Meitaki Maata PDL Foundation!

We also received a kind donation of drinks for the opening cocktail party from the Bond Store, and by provision of lunch on the Friday by the Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa. Members of the Association kindly brought food & fruit for the morning and afternoon teas.

Apart from the above help in kind, the Association’s other income to date has been members’ fees as follows below (to be confirmed by Treasurer):

PDL Sponsorship $1,087.50
Membership Fees $7,114.15
Interest $2.58
Total $8,204.23

Expenses $1,165.51

Total Balance $7,038.72

There has been some thinking around putting aside the Life Members fees, and those of five-year members fees into a trust fund and the interest only used for research and publishing. Further thinking is that this trust be managed by a committee of five of whom three shall constitute a quorum, and that the members of the committee be the President of CIRA, the Treasurer, a nominee of the Life Members, and two others.

Alternately, $6,000 be invested or put in a Trust Fund and the remaining funds for operational expenses, e.g printing expenses for mini conference coming up in August 2008.

I welcome your ideas of course and no doubt we shall be seeking further funding (as needed) as we progress. Meanwhile we are still building and planning our projects and are open to your ideas and innovations.

Two draft constitutions were kindly supplied by Imogen Ingram and Iaveta Short. There are only minor differences between them, and Iaveta and Noeline Browne are now working on a final draft to be put to the Association. We will probably do that by e-mail to all members first. If everyone is agreeable with the draft they produce, or wants only minor amendments that can be sorted out by e-mail, then we can adopt it that way. If any member prefers a meeting of all members to consider it, that can be arranged.

Gifts to the Association
Rod Dixon for USP Campus has kindly acquired the magnificent Mangaian ceremonial adze for the Association to use as a mace for our conferences. Ron and Marjie Crocombe have donated the historic pate that was made by the Ministry of Culture for the 1996 conference on Cultural Policy in the South Pacific that was held at USP, Rarotonga. Both will be displayed in a glass case at USP. Thank you Rod, Ron & Marjie!

Future conferences
The Association originally agreed to hold one major annual conference of two or three days (which we just held) at which any topic of relevance to the Cook Islands or Cook Islanders could be presented, and two minor one-day conferences. The first of the one-day conferences is to focus on issues of the past and present, and the second on the future of the Cook Islands and Cook Islanders.

The first one-day conference is scheduled for Wednesday 6 August 2008, and is being co-ordinated by Rutera Taripo and Makiuti Tongia with the help of other members of the Association who are kind enough to offer help to them. Persons wishing to present papers at the conference should contact Rutera ( or Makiuti (

The second one-day conference is scheduled for 17 December 2008 and is being co-ordinated by Professor Jon Jonassen (

The 2nd major annual conference is scheduled for Friday and Saturday 6th and 7th February 2009, and if there are more papers than can be fitted in two days (as it was this year), then also on Thursday 5th February. Those wishing to present papers should contact the Secretary, Imogen Ingram ( or Ron Crocombe ( or me (

The one-day conferences for 2009 are scheduled for August (on the past and present), and December (on the future).
Some New Zealand members have suggested that the 3rd major annual conference be held in Auckland in February 2010 but a firm decision on that will be made after the 2009 conference.

On behalf of all members of the Executive and the Association, I would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make our first conference such a wonderful success. We look forward to your continued support and cooperation.

Kia Orana e kia Manuia!
Angie Tuara


Entry filed under: News, Reports. Tags: , , , , .

First Annual Conference Marae o Rongo i Polynesia

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. multinesia  |  April 2, 2008 at 12:55 am

    Presenters – if you wish to publish your paper here, please send your document (Word, PDF or Powerpoint file) to Karin Williams:


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