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Land tenure in the Cook Islands : with special reference to the Southern Cook Group

Crocombe, Ronald Gordon

Description

This study is set in the Cook Group, an archipelago of fifteen tiny islands totalling only 88 square miles in area, yet scattered over 850,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean between Tonga and Samoa on the one hand, and French Polynesia on the other. Since 1901 the group has been included within the boundaries of New Zealand, and its 18,000 people, who are culturally close relatives of the Maoris of New Zealand, are therefore citizens of that country. The islands are divided physically...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorCrocombe, Ronald Gordon
dc.date.accessioned2015-09-18T06:46:17Z
dc.date.available2015-09-18T06:46:17Z
dc.identifier.otherb1240889
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/15581
dc.descriptionxv, 366 leaves
dc.description.abstractThis study is set in the Cook Group, an archipelago of fifteen tiny islands totalling only 88 square miles in area, yet scattered over 850,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean between Tonga and Samoa on the one hand, and French Polynesia on the other. Since 1901 the group has been included within the boundaries of New Zealand, and its 18,000 people, who are culturally close relatives of the Maoris of New Zealand, are therefore citizens of that country. The islands are divided physically into two groups. The Northern Group consists of seven islands of coral formation which constitute the central segment of that scattered band of atolls that sweeps across the Pacific from French Oceania to the Marshalls. The Southern Croup islands are, with two minor exceptions, of volcanic origin, and all eight islands lie within a radius of one hundred and fifty miles of Rarotonga, the administrative headquarters of the Government of the Cook Islands. In area the islands range from Nassau which is only 300 acres, to Rarotonga which covers 16,602 acres. The population of the permanently settled islands ranges from 92 on Palmerston to 7,827 on Rarotonga; the total for the whole group being 18,041. The total population of the group was approximately 18,000 at the time of first European contact but declined rapidly thereafter until it reached about 8,000 at the turn of this century. Since that time, however, it has regained its former level. The group lacks mineral deposits of commercial value, and its principal natural resources are the soil and the sea - though the potential of the latter is as yet little known. The soils vary considerably in their productive potential, but only 9,523 acres or 16 per cent of the total 1 land area of the group is considered suitable for agriculture. Of the balance, approximately 17 per cent is taken up by the infertile rubble and sand of the coral islands which can support little in the way of commercial crops other than the coconut, 27 per cent is taken up by second class soils which are suited to certain tree crops but which are at present relatively little utilized, and the remaining 40 per cent comprises the mountainous interior of Rarotonga and the makatea (upraised coral) outcrops of the other Southern Group islands which are at present completely unproductive. The climate of the group is tropical and shows little seasonal variation. The mean annual temperature lies in the mid-seventies. Annual rainfall is about seventy to eighty inches and in general is well distributed throughout the year, except in the Northern Group where periods of drought are sometimes experienced. Hurricanes usually strike some part of the group once or twice in each decade, and the commercial productivity of the islands hit is severely disrupted for a year or more thereafter. Of the wealth of truly indigenous vegetation found in the group, very little indeed makes any significant contribution to human welfare. The coconut, banana, breadfruit, taro and most of the other subsistence crops were introduced by the Polynesian immigrants to the islands in centuries past, and other crops like citrus, coffee and tomatoes came with the wave of European expansion across the Pacific during the last two centuries.
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectCook Islands
dc.subjectland tenure
dc.subjectSouthern Cook Group
dc.subjectCook archipelago
dc.subjectRarotonga
dc.subjectgeography of the cook Islands
dc.subjectvegetation and crops
dc.subject.otherLand tenure
dc.titleLand tenure in the Cook Islands : with special reference to the Southern Cook Group
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.description.notesThis Thesis has been made available through exception 200AB of the Copyright Act.
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued1961
local.contributor.affiliationResearch School of Pacific Studies, The Australian National University
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d70ec470fcd3
dc.date.updated2015-09-14T06:25:50Z
local.mintdoimint
CollectionsOpen Access Theses

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