Academic papers honour Crocombe
COOK ISLANDS NEWS
Fri 13 Aug
A number of academics presented their papers in honour of the late Professor Ron Crocombe at a festschrift yesterday.
Professor Peter Larmour of Australian National University talked about Crocombe’s research into the problem of corruption throughout the Pacific. “Ron was a pioneer in the study of corruption in the region, and he paid increasing attention to it in his writing,” the paper reads. The paper explores Crocombe’s argument that Pacific leaders are under increasing pressure from Asian countries, and that the future of their countries will depend on their integrity as people.
Instead of selling out or giving over to corruption, governments have a choice – to save their countries or to save themselves. Crocombe said that ethics shouldn’t be about rules and consequences but about virtue – the integrity of ‘quality’ individuals. “Virtue ethics may be particularly relevant to leaders, who are in a position to make their own rules, and may not have to suffer the consequences of their corrupt behaviour,” Larmour’s paper reads.
Professor Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop of AUT shared her research, which makes a link between Pacific students in New Zealand joining Poly clubs and their success in school. She concluded that membership in Pacific clubs “built youth sense of self-esteem, identity and belonging” and positively influenced students’ marks in school. The paper is relevant given that by 2021, the Pacific population is expected to form 9 per cent of New Zealand’s total population.
Of particular interest to local scholars was Professor Hiroshi Moriwaki’s talk on the geology of Rarotonga. Moriwaki collaborated with Gerald McCormack of the local organisation Natural Heritage Trust, local George Cowan and Paul Maoate of the ministry of infrastructure and planning and Toshiro Nagasako and Mitsuru Okuno of Fukuoka University, Kei Kawai of Kagoshima University, to do his research.
To those who are not familiar with geological terminology, the paper is a bit daunting, but it makes some interesting points. Since 4000 BP, the southern shoreline has been advancing seaward, but in Matavera and Tupapa, the shoreline has remained nearly the same, probably due to blockage by certain limestone ridges. Beach ridge plains are higher on the eastern coasts because when the reefs vary, so too does wave movement, and wave movement determines sand distribution.
A number of other scholars and writers presented their papers and research yesterday, and more will do so today, the final day of the conference.