This years Pacific Rim Real Estate conference was hosted by the Property Studies Department, Massey University at the park-like campus, attractively positioned in tranquil rural surroundings close to Palmerston North city. The three day conference provided real estate researchers, academics and practitioners from the ten membership countries the opportunity to present the results of their latest research and establish important links for the exchange of information and ideas.
For the first time at this years conference the programme included both refereed and un-refereed papers to provide those presenting papers with the opportunity for more formal recognition of their efforts. Of the sixty-three papers presented, twenty-two of these were refereed. The theme of the conference was "Property and the Environment in a Global Community" to reflect the clean, green image that New Zealand is known for. Session topics covered a broad spectrum of property related issues including: sick building syndrome, the valuation of contaminated land, property cycles, urban renewal in emerging markets and many more.
The keynote address was provided by an internationally acclaimed US real estate thought leader Professor James Webb. Dr Webb is the Executive Director of the American Real Estate Society (1986 President and founding member) and Director of the Real Estate Research Centre, Cleveland State University. His paper entitled "A Global View of Real Estate Education and Research: Past, Present and Future" provided an historic perspective of the American Real Estate societies, as well as the growth of real estate education and a look forward to where it is heading in the years to come with the opportunities and threats that challenge the industry.
At this years conference the author, as well as been conference chairperson, was announced the incoming president of PRRES (first female president of any of the international real estate societies) for the next two year term and as such was also required to chair the various other conference meetings including the Annual General Meeting.
The Annual General Meeting on the Tuesday afternoon provided the opportunity to reflect on the years accomplishments. Significant among these were the introduction of refereed conference papers at the Massey conference; development of the PRRES logo; and the introduction of a new "Young Achievers" award sponsored by the New Zealand Institute of Valuers for the best paper submitted by a junior property academic, student or researcher. The latter award was presented to Marie Fleming for her paper entitled "The Role of Fluorescent Light Flicker in Health and Energy Efficiency" The award was presented by Ian Gribble, president of the NZIV. The PRRES Achievement Award, introduced last year, was presented to Professor Anthony Walker, Hong Kong University for his contribution to the Society and to real estate education over many years. The award was presented by Graeme Newell, retiring president, from the University of Western Sydney.
Other matters arising at the AGM included the selection of the future conference venues: 1998, Curtin University, Perth; 1999, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and 2000, University of Technology, Sydney to coincide with the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games; and the establishment of two PRRES journals: The Australian Land Economics Review was selected as the official PRRES journal; and a new PRRES electronic journal available via the World Wide Web.
The meeting concluded with the Property Education Forum, a panel of property education experts from a number of the membership countries who presented an overview of the current affairs and issues in property education within their respective regions.