Pascht demonstrates how the future role of chiefs in Rarotonga (Cook Islands) is shaped by a dynamic tension between the different projects and interests pursued by titleholders and non-chiefly Rarotongans
while Schieder explores how a 'coup culture' has developed in Fiji as a defined group of elites deliberately create instability for their own political ends.
Pondfield taro then represents a reduction of risk, one of the best yielding and reliable crops available to precontact Rarotongans.
The model is based on environmental factors, but the Rarotongan production system is as much a product of history as of environment.
Since that time many of the taro terraces (or pondfields; in Rarotongan, repotaro, a term that refers to both the individual terraces and to the complex of terraces that constitute an independent system) have been brought back into use, a situation which made recording and mapping them very much easier, but complicates their status as precontact sites.
Kirch (1994:155) records a fallow period of one to three years after seven years harvest in pondfields on Futuna, but my Rarotongan informants claimed no fallow was necessary, the soil being constantly replenished with new alluvial material.
The missionary Aaron Buzacott, in comparing the Rarotongan diet prior to the establishment of permanent missions with the diet at the time he left the island, trumpets the missionary achievement
rate only a single mention in early historic descriptions of Rarotongan production that I am aware of (Williams and Barrf 1830, quoted below), they would probably have formed an essential part of the swidden cropping regime.