HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 446 : 11 February 2009

Economic crisis forum and 2050

The Cook Islands Research Association (CIRA) sponsored Economic Crisis forum got underway today (Wednesday 4 February) at the National Auditorium.
An impressive number of speakers such as Quentin Thorburn on the current economic and financial position of the country; the banking and credit outlook by banker, Phil Haynes; and the global financial crisis by Sanjesh Naidu from the Forum Secretariat and Petero Okotai.
Chamber of Commerce president will address the private sector status, challenges and priorities; Robert Skews, Rohan Ellis and Mike Henry will discuss tourism private sector, Yvonne Heather and Fletcher Melvin will discuss retailers and Teariki Heather and Ewan Smith will discuss infrastructure and transport.
Other items to be discussed are business development and investment by BTIB and a review of the last week’s Te Kaveinga Nui conference followed by a discussion on priorities for economic stimulus.
On Thursday, the conference venue changes to the USP centre, where a variety of speakers have been booked to speak including James Beer.
2050 according to James Beer (Thursday 12 noon)
Fossil fuel dependence puts our economic viability and security at extreme risk writes Beer. When adopting fossil fuel substitutes, we need independence, diversity, robustness (of the system), economy, sustainability and profitability.
We can use solar, wind, tidal, micro-hydro (in rivers and streams), geothermal and bio fuels And we need to do it to a ‘recipe’ with ‘good ingredients’ such as ‘grid tied alternative energy’, conservation measures, policy changes, and a ‘green stimulus’ or incentive to find and use non fossil energy.
2050 according to Mahiriki Tangaroa (2.15pm Thursday)
What about our visual arts in 2050?
Computer manipulation, digital imaging through film and photography are expanding. Will our works provoke the viewer to consider displacement, the impact of colonialism and the need to reaffirm one’s identity through the creation of an extended family, past and present?
2050 according to Iaveta Short (Friday 11.45am)
In his futuristic scenario, the Cook Islands in 2050 will have 100,000 people, most living in high rise apartments (20,000 in the outer islands – half from other parts of the world). The population mix will be 20,000 Cook Islands Maori, 20,000 NZ or Australian, 30,000 Asians and 10,000 other Pacific Islanders.Voting rights will be given to Cook Islanders and those with permanent residency which will be half the population – the others will not be eligible.
He foresees as ‘complete separation of Parliament from Executive’ and MPs ‘will finally be rid of the drudgery of having to mother their constituencies.’
They will no longer have the executive power to manipulate the system and will no longer be at the beck and call of their constituents.’
Bet this session will generate very lively discusson!
2050 according to Paiere Mokoroa (Friday 2.15pm)
What about the impact of introduced trees on our land use? Mokoroa said in old time, trees arrive on Atiu with birds or floating seeds and later when people reached the island, they brought breadfruit, bananas, chestnuts and coconuts.
In the 180os, citrus trees, mangoes, pawpaw, avocado and coffee were introduced and in the 1950s-1970s, pistachio were introduced as windbreaks for the citrus plots. After orange production declined, the pistachio trees have overgrown the native plants and are hard to kill because it sprouts from trunks, roots and seeds.
2050 according to Petero Okotai (Saturday 9am)
Saturday’s programme opens at 9am with Petero Okotai presenting his paper on the Cook Islands economy, possible, probable and preferred futures.
This is followed by Bim Tou and Sam Crocombe on ‘Opening our ocean gateways – prospects for the future’
The final session will be a talk by Dr Ngamau Wichman on ‘Enhancing the spirit of enterprise and the future potential for Cook Islanders at home and abroad’.
The topics and speakers mentioned above are just a sample of the fascinating mix to be found at the CIRA conference, so why not come along and see for yourself. Everyone is welcome to come and enquiries can be directed to Angie Tuara or Prof Crocombe and Mrs Marjorie Crocombe (or just come along to the conferences starting today (Wednesday), Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning.

Herald Issue 439 11 February
- ‘I wanted to finish 3 years ago’ - Sam Pera Jnr?
- Government hangs Ruaau out to dry
- Flies reach epidemic level in Arorangi
- Economic Summits – Talking the Talk or Walking the Talk
- Parliament: Deregistration, Fuel farm and OIA amendment

Herald Issue 445 04 February
- The third political party: Why?
- Christmas message
- New Party will offer decisive leadership
- 2008 Kokonati Oscars of the year !
- Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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