Archive for November, 2008

President’s Report Nov 08


November 2008

Kia Orana. We have made a very good start thanks to the active participation of our growing body of members and of the valuable cooperation of the University of the South Pacific Cook Islands Campus, Library and Museum Society, Ministry of Cultural Development and Ministry of Education.

As planned, we held out first conference on 7th, 8th and 9th February 2008, and our second on 6th and 7th August 2008.  Both were successful beyond our expectations.  I already reported to you on the first conference. A report on the second is attached below.  The many people who attended and took part in the conferences enjoyed them, and the Cook Islands News, Cook Islands Herald, Cook Islands Times, Television Cook Islands, Radio Rarotonga and Radio Matariki FM all gave extensive coverage to the conferences and to the many interesting papers and discussions presented. Our thanks to the media for the excellent coverage!

Our next conference will be held on Thursday 5th, Friday 6th and Saturday 7th of February 2009.  It is about the Cook Islands in the future, and is titled COOK ISLANDS 2050.    February 2009 may sound like a long time away, but for those of you who plan to prepare papers for it (and I hope many of you will), you will need all the time.

If you prepare a paper you will be helping to clarify your own thoughts and those of everyone else, and helping our people and our country to light up the way forward a little better.  Let us remember George Burns’ advice to look to the future because that is where you will live the rest of your life; and Ann Landers, “Look ahead. That is where the future lies.” She might have added, “and that of your children and grandchildren even more.”

Anyone who writes a paper for this conference can go about it any way they wish, but if anyone wants another meeting about various ways to go about it, we can arrange that. If you plan to write a paper on any aspect of “Cook Islands 2050” for the conference, the speaking time will be 30 minutes per speaker plus 15 minutes for discussion.  Your paper can be 30 minutes (about 3,000 words or 6 pages typed) but can be as long as you like.  Only the speaking time has a limit.

As an extra incentive, Tata Crocombe has generously donated $4,000 in prize money for the best papers prepared for this meeting. Judging criteria for the awards for the best papers for the conference were discussed and a proposal will go to the first meeting of judges.  Essays be put on the web and public reaction will account for a percentage of the final judging.  Other criteria to be considered by the judges will probably also include a percentage for originality, logic, consistency, presentation etc. A day or period on Pacific 2050 will be added to the Cook Islands 2050 if enough people are interested.

If you want to know more about it, contact Angie Tuara (president), Ron Crocombe (vice-president), or any of the CIRA executive which includes Noeline Browne, Marjie Crocombe, Rod Dixon , Imogen Ingram, Jon Jonassen, Makiuti Tongia and Ina Teiotu.

It was felt that the conference on Marae Orongo in the Cook Islands was enriched by the contributions on Orongo in Hawaii, Tahiti and Rapanui.   Likewise it was agreed (below) for the 2010 CIRA conference to be linked to the Pacific Arts Association conference and focus on Cook Islands Arts.  Possible contributors on Pacific 2050 might be considered from Hawai’i, Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga and more broadly Oceania, as well as New Zealand, Australia, USA, Japan, China, Europe etc.

Many interested persons have said they would have been involved if more time had been available to plan and prepare, so the executive has decided on the following program:

September 2009: Te Moana e te Rangi: Our Sea and Sky – dealing with all aspects of the marine and atmosphere – anything relating to Cook Islands ocean and lagoon, ancient and modern navigational techniques, climate or any related field.

February 2010:  Cook Islands Communications – dealing with any topic relating to languages,  and to communications systems past, present and future.

August 2010: Focus on Creative Expression – The Pacific Arts Association (PAA), which meets every two years in a different country in the Pacific or beyond, meets in August 2010 in Rarotonga.   CIRA will join by having its August 2010 conference either back-to-back with PAA, or as a combined conference with PAA, whatever is found to be more convenient.

Annual General Meeting
It was decided to hold the annual general meeting in association with the conference in February 2009, and to confirm a constitution at that meeting.  Two drafts have been prepared.

Public Lectures
The Cook Islands Research Association has sponsored some informative public lectures in association with our partners.  Particular thanks is due to the USP Campus for providing the venue and other assistance.

Lectures sponsored recently include:
12 Aug 2008: Professor Margaret Boden, University of Sussex – Creativity and How to Foster it
18 Aug 2008: Professor Margaret Boden – What is Computer Art?
1 Sept 2008: Professor Hiroshi Moriwaki, University of Kagoshima – How Sea Level Changes affected the Lands we live on in Rarotonga over the past 6,000 years
9 Oct 2008: Dr Hilary Scotthorn – Cook Islands Tapa

Research Sponsorship
1. The team from the Centre for Pacific Islands Studies of the University of Kagoshima (Professor Hiroshi Moriwaki, Dr Toshiro Nagasako, Dr Kei Kawai) and Dr. Okuno of University of Fukuoka, needed a local counterpart person and organization in their application to the government for a research permit for their project on the changing shape of Rarotonga over the past 6,000 years.

As the Centre for Pacific Islands Studies at Kagoshima has long been the main centre for studies of this region, and has an established reputation, CIRA agreed to be their organizational counterpart and Ron Crocombe as individual.  We are also grateful for the assistance of George Cowan, Ata Herman, and Paul Maoate who acted as liaison with the landowners. The research was successfully completed and samples of old coral and shell were taken back for dating.  The team will send copies of their results to the government, to the two libraries, to USP and to CIRA.

2. University of Bergen, Norway has an extensive program of Pacific Studies.  They are working with Professor Jon Jonassen (who is a member of the CIRA executive) in Hawai’i and asked CIRA to cooperate in a traveling exhibition about historical events in Hawai’i, Cook Islands, Zanzibar and South Africa.  The project is funded by the Norwegian Research Council.  The exhibition is likely to take place here in association with USP Cook Islands Campus and the Cook Islands Research Association some time next year.

Financial Status
a.  Treasurer Darrin Walsh has resigned due to pressures of work. Anna Koteka was appointed as the new Treasurer. All papers to be handed to her when checking of the membership list is completed.
b.    Bank balance: $1,875 plus term deposit of $6,500.  Decided to put the term deposit on a five year term at the bank which offers the highest interest.

We now have 5 Life Members, 17 5-year members, and 73 annual members.  For those annual members who wish to renew, we encourage you to consider taking a $100 five-year membership, which is easier for you and for us rather than invoicing people each year.

Please pay membership to:
Anna Koteka
PO. Box 11
Phone 26750 (h) 20516 Ext 36 (w) mob 56705

We have made a wonderful start thanks to the support of all our members and supporting organizations.  We look forward to your continuing support, and to bringing in all interested new members.

Kia manuia

Angie Tuara
President, Cook Islands Research Association


November 17, 2008 at 8:24 pm 1 comment


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