22 February 2022

A word from the Public Service Fale Governance Board Chair - Hon Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban DNZM QSO 

Welcome to the first edition of the Pacific Public Service Commissioners’ newsletter Fale News for 2022.  

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As the year begins, my thoughts are with the people of Tonga following the eruption in the Ha’apai group and subsequent tsunami. The Fale team are offering all assistance we can to help with the recovery of public services. 

Secondly, I want to acknowledge some of the important work undertaken by the Fale over the last quarter. 

Sub-Regional Fono and Board Meeting 

I was very pleased to have chaired the three sub-regional virtual Fono in late 2021. The innovative approach to our meetings space helped to maintain an open dialogue where everyone’s voices were heard. 

I was heartened to hear from Commissioners that the Fale had delivered on agreed strategic priorities within the Digital Connectivity, Leadership Development and Strengthening Governance pillars. It is with confidence and optimism that I look forward to the delivery of new priorities in 2022 

At the Governance Board meeting in November, Pacific members gave me a sense of the growing community and collaboration developing among Commissioners. Again, I would like to thank Board members for their contributions and reflections. Our next meeting is on 23 February 2022. 

Foundations of Leadership 

I want to thank both the Niue Public Service Commission and the Nauru Public Service team for their work with the Fale on the pilot leadership programme. The combination of their efforts have informed and shaped the Foundations of Leadership programme which gets under way in 2022. 

I want to congratulate the participants of the Niue pilot who graduated from their course in December, and the Nauru pilot graduates whose course was completed in January. 

Ethics and Integrity 

It was my pleasure to sit in on the introductory session of the Ethics and Integrity workshops last year. I’d like to thank all participating countries for taking part in such an important step to building public trust in government through competent, reliable, and transparent public services. 

I look forward to following progress in 2022. 

Tonga elections

I wanted to congratulate the Tonga Public Service and Electoral Commissions on their management of the electoral process and acknowledge the work still to come for the PSC in providing new ministerial briefings to those appointed under the country’s new prime minister Siaosi Sovaleni. 

We look forward to continuing to work together and serve our Pasifika peoples in our Pacific region and Moana - our ocean. 

Ia manuia le tausaga fou 
Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban 


A word from Tania Ott, Kaikōmihana Tuarua | Deputy Commissioner, Public Service Fale 

Kia orana, Ran Annim, Lenwo, Kaselehlie, Mogethin, Ni Sa Bula Vinaka, Kam na Mauri, Iokwe, Ekamowir Omo, Bonjour, Faka’alofa lahi atu, Alii, Gude Tru, Talofa Lava, Halo Olketa, Taloha Ni, Malo ē Laumalie, Tālofa, Halo, Kia Ora and warm Pacific greetings! 

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My very best wishes for a Happy New Year to all our colleagues across the Pacific.  

As our thoughts turn to the work year, the Fale will be engaged again with our Pacific Public Service Commissioners and their teams on their priorities for 2022.  During the sub-regional Fono late last year, it was encouraging to hear that the Fale’s delivery during 2021 had met our Pacific partners’ needs. Based on your feedback we are now shaping this year’s work programme that will include supporting public service delivery in a COVID environment. 

In this issue of Fale News, New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Hon Nanaia Mahuta talks about NZ’s focus in partnering with the Pacific.  

We provide updates on the Fale work with you as part of the Foundations of Leadership and the Pacific Integrity and Ethics programmes.  

We also have a guest writer, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s Gender Specialist, whose column looks at the importance of women’s leadership in Public Services.  

I hope you enjoy this issue of Fale News and my very best wishes to everyone for 2022. 

Ngā mihi o te tau hou 
Tania Ott 

Feature interview 

Building regional resilience across the Pacific a key priority for New Zealand’s Foreign Minister 

Building economic resilience in the Pacific is a key challenge which New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta (Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Manu) believes her country can nurture. 

In recent public speeches, Minister Mahuta when reaffirming New Zealand’s commitment to the Pacific region, also reflected on objectives for NZ arising from management of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The impact of closed borders and the effects on the tourism industry, in countries like the Cooks and Fiji in particular, has been challenging given the strong reliance on tourism for their economies”. The Minister noted that supporting our Pacific partners in rebuilding, must be Pacific led and working with the region’s aspirations in mind. 

Meanwhile, climate change remains an ongoing challenge. At the COP26 Glasgow global climate summit in November, New Zealand committed $NZ1.3-billion to climate finance. Ms Mahuta said at least half of it was bound for the Pacific. Working with the Pacific on adaptation projects with the integrated benefits of investment and climate finance, aims to help address the impact of climate change in the region.” 

The Minister also sees a re-orienting of efforts across New Zealand government agencies to align with Pacific priorities. She cited development investment and streamlining procurement to improve costs for the Pacific. “I think about construction and housing needs and I think about the amount of support we provide, rightly so, to respond to the cyclone season. There are supply chains, procurement channels that we could open up and extend to support some broader development opportunities in the Pacific.” 

Ms Mahuta would like to see further innovation and creativity in this area where she said the Pacific Public Service Fale held unique capabilities. 

“What the Fale provides New Zealand is an organising centre to support and partner development aspirations of the Pacific through public service networks. And accordantly, in terms of the Fale’s contribution to strengthening the public sector, it leads on that front.” 

Fale News Guest Writer: Dr Fiona Hukula, Gender Specialist at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat


Dr Fiona Hukula is a leading researcher on Gender Based Violence at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. Prior to her role with the Forum, she held the position of Senior Research Fellow and Program Leader, Building Safer Communities Program at the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute.  

As the Forum’s Gender Specialist, Dr Hukula is working to support stronger partnerships with key agencies, and support and promote regional political leadership towards gender equality and ending violence against women and girls.  She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Anthropology from the University of St Andrews, a Master of Arts in International Criminology from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, a Graduate Diploma Social Science from the University of PNG, and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Victoria University in New Zealand. 

Women’s leadership in the Public Service matters 

During these challenging times of navigating life and work around COVID-19, the importance of leadership cannot be understated. The pandemic has further reminded us of the importance of leadership by both men and women. 

Across the Pacific, women play key roles as frontline workers in the health response and also within other sectors such as education, agriculture, fisheries and tourism. 

As the world of work evolves into a blend of hybrid working models, it is more likely that women will bear the responsibility of childcare, household duties and care of vulnerable family members. 

Our region has some of the lowest levels of women’s political representation in the world. There is clear recognition of the need to have more women in political leadership, however women’s leadership at the bureaucratic level and within the public service more generally is also important. In some Pacific countries and at the regional level, there are still low numbers of women in leadership positions. 

In their efforts to deliver government policies and programs that enable gender equity and social inclusion, Pacific governments must lead by example by ensuring that women are provided the opportunity and supported to apply for and take up leadership positions within the Public Service. This will enable diversity in skill set and experience. There are various ways in which women can be encouraged and supported to take on leadership roles. This includes mentoring, enabling safe spaces for dialogue, support for childcare and work flexibility. 

At the regional level, the low levels of women’s leadership is also a concern. 

In 2021, the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat commissioned a review of the 2012 Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration (PLGED). The purpose of the review is to evaluate the Declaration in order to improve the effectiveness and relevance of the PLGED for members to progress gender equality in our region. The findings of the review will inform the next iteration of the Declaration. 

Also at the regional level, in recognizing the small numbers of women in leadership roles within regional organizations, work has begun to support women’s leadership and career aspirations across the nine CROP (Council of Regional Organization of the Pacific) agencies. As part of this support, the Women of the Wave (WOW) network was launched on November 24, 2021. 

Led by women across our CROP agencies, the CROP WOW Network aims to support, enable, and inspire CROP women in their work roles and leadership aspirations, and to expand the connections and career opportunities for women across CROP agencies. 

During these uncertain times, it is imperative that women are given the same opportunities to take up leadership roles with the public service. The leadership skills and expertise of both men and women will enhance the work of the public service in delivering government policies and programs

News from around the Region 

Niue Foundations of Leadership Graduation 

Ka Vevela Mai e La’a sung at the close of the Niue graduation ceremony 

Niue and the Public Service Fale have marked the culmination of the Foundations of Leadership pilot programme with a graduation ceremony. 

On Wednesday 24 November in Niue the Public Service Commission and the Public Service Fale drew the six-month leadership development series to a close with a recall session in the morning followed by an acknowledgement of completion to the inaugural five graduates. 

The Public Service leaders had stepped through monthly topics focused on areas of development including leadership mindset, team purpose, and how to provide feedback. The monthly cycle included a three-hour workshop, focused self-study, and practical application back in the workplace. 

Their success was recognised in an event hosted by Niue Public Service Commissioner Victoria Kalauni and attended by New Zealand High Commissioner to Niue Helen Tunnah and (virtually) by Public Service Fale Deputy Commissioner Tania Ott. 

Tania thanked all the attendees for their participation and acknowledged the milestone for them and the for the Fale. She spoke of how the Niue pilot had informed and refined the course development in preparation for the Fale’s Foundations of Leadership programme rollout to all Pacific public servants in 2022. 

The Public Service Fale lead on the programme Andrew McMillan would like to thank Manogi Poihega, Suefane Touna, Elizabeth Bestgen and the technical staff at USP Niue for their unwavering input and help, while from New Zealand Jeremy Leslie, Jordan Aquila, Jo Leali’ifano, and the Public Service Leadership Development Centre are to be acknowledged as well. 

Record graduate numbers from USP Niue Campus 


Suefane Touna and Hagen Siosikefu receiving their qualifications from USP Chancellor Dalton Tagelagi 

Meanwhile, the University of the South Pacific’s Niue Campus celebrated 64 graduates at a ceremony on-island last year. The 22 October graduation was a record for the Campus which was overseen by the Premier of Niue, Dalton Tagelagi, who is also the 28th USP Chancellor. 

The ceremony was cause for celebration at the Niue Public Service Commission with the Public Service Inspector Hagen Siosikefu receiving his MBA and the Director of the Public Service Commission Secretariat Suefane Touna accepting her postgraduate certificate in Business Administration. 

Anti-corruption roadshow, Kiribati Public Service 


In preparation for 2021’s combined event on 10 December, the Kiribati Public Service Office (PSO), in collaboration with the Leadership Commission, conducted an educational anti-corruption roadshow throughout South Tarawa. It was to convey the negative consequences of corruption and demonstrate government progress in combatting corruption. The roadshow was used performances by i-Kiribati youth leaders from the Kiribati Islands Corruption Kickers (KICK) Network. 


The government then hosted a joint celebration marking three significant events on 10 December: International Anti-Corruption Day; Human Rights Day, and; the end of 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence against Women and Children. This is the fourth year that these events have been celebrated as a combined stakeholder event with agencies including: the Public Service Office (PSO); the Leadership Commission (LC); the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), and; the Ministry of Women, Youth, Sports, and Social Affairs (MWYSSA). 

Activities for the combined event included congratulatory messages delivered by students from Dai Nippon and Tebwaa Ni Mwaneka Primary Schools, a special International Anti-Corruption Day song performed by KICK youth, and a member of the Taubukin Tion choir marked Human Rights Day with song. 
This year's Anti-Corruption theme was "Our Duty, Our Obligation, Say No to Corruption" 
The Human Rights theme "Equality reducing inequalities, advancing human rights" 
The theme for 16 days of Activism "A safer home, peaceful nation through ending violence” 

Ko rabwa to Taauto Tekaiti, Kiribati Integrity & Corruption Control Officer, for providing information about the events and the wonderful photographs

Public Service mental health a key priority for Fiji 


The mental health and wellbeing of Fiji’s public servants has become a key focus for the Ministry of Civil Service as part of the country’s COVID-19 response. 
Recognising the need to boost workplace mental health during such unprecedented and challenging times, the Ministry began a series of workshops on Mental Health and Working Remotely, partnering with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Public Service Commission. 
Fiji’s Permanent Secretary Civil Service, Susan Kiran (pictured), says four cohorts of 15 public servants participated in sessions through August to October. 
Ms Kiran says the 60 participants from across Fiji’s public sector focussed on techniques to enable productive remote working while maintaining wellbeing. 


Participants at The Fiji Program Support Facility 

She says the sessions sparked the need for more discussions and learning on the importance of looking after mental health and wellbeing, especially during these difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
At the HR Forum in November, The Fiji Program Support Facility, a facility psychologist continued this discussion with managers from over 19 agencies on how they can support both themselves in looking after their mental health and wellbeing and create a mental health supportive work environment. 
Continuing the momentum of mental health advocacy, the Ministry of Justice managers, engaged in a self-care session focusing on how to navigate stressors, switching off from work at the end of the day, and being present with their families. 
Ms Kiran says Fiji’s civil service looks forward to continuing to raise mental health awareness and supporting fellow service colleagues in building resilience and living a rich and meaningful life. 

What’s happening at the Fale 

Sharing experiences of growing a digital Public Service 

On 30 November, the Public Service Fale hosted its last webinar for 2021. The topic was Digital Public Services: Vanuatu and Cook Islands share their experiences. 

This webinar showcased digital projects in Vanuatu and the Cook Islands and gave insights into the planning, skills and resources required to develop and provide digital public services. 

Our sincere thanks once again to John Jack, Deputy Chief Information Officer, Vanuatu Government and Cook Islands’ ministry heads Tamatoa Jonassen, Ministry of Justice and Anthony Turua, Ministry of Culture and Development who shared their experiences and advice. 

Mr Jack presented the ‘Digital Government Master Plan Framework (DGMPF) for Vanuatu’, which sets out the country’s digital roadmap, and he explained their approach, challenges and next steps. 

Mr Jonassen presented the digitalising process of the Companies, Incorporated Societies, and Personal Property Securities Registry which created a paperless, online process for people to register their companies or incorporated societies, lodge their annual returns, and search for or update company details, lowering the costs of doing business while increasing the transparency of company operations. 

Finally, Mr Turua told his story of developing a digital platform to promote and live stream four National Cultural Events, expanding the audience for Cook Island cultural identity and heritage to the rest of the world. 

Thank you to everyone who attended, we valued your questions and insights. We will be sharing the recording on Fale Online and will restart the webinar programme in 2022. 

While the pandemic continues to restrict travel, the webinars will be a key tool for us to share and learn from each other. We welcome your thoughts on future webinar topics. 

Integrity and Ethics Programme underway!  


We were delighted to host the first workshop of the Integrity and Ethics Programme in October. 

Our first cohort is an all-star cast from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Tokelau! 

Participants are already bringing a wealth of ideas and experience to share with each other.  Participants have been working on an action plan in preparation for the next workshop in February which focusses on the value of Service.  

Service to others and our communities weaves us together as Pacific people and public servants.  As stewards of the public service, we all have a duty to serve our communities, countries and the Government of the day.  

After February, the consecutive monthly workshops focus separately on the values of Integrity, Equity, Accountability, and Community. 

‘O le ala i le pule o le tautua’  The pathway to leadership is through serviceSamoa. 


Webinar series: Pacific Public Services and COVID-19 Conversations 


The Fale is supporting the World Bank online seminar series about effective public service response to COVID-19. 

The second in the series is this Wednesday, 23 February, 11am (Fiji time) and concerns Public Sector wage bill management in the time of COVID-19. 

The first focussed on Public Sector adaptability in responding to the COVID-19 crisis. 

Please email your expressions of interest with ‘World Bank Seminar Series’ in the subject line and we will ensure registration details are provided. 

Key Pacific Public Service dates 2022 



21 February  

Father Lini Day [Vanuatu] 

23 February  

Public Service Fale Governance Board Meeting  

World Bank Webinar series – Pacific Public Services and COVID-19 Conversations  

24 February  

Moana Connect Mentees – Cohort 1 



1 March  

Nuclear Victims Remembrance Day [Marshall Islands]  


Moana Connect Mentees – Cohort 2 


Moana Connect Mentees – Cohort 2 

5 March  

Custom Chief’s Day [Vanuatu]  

8 March  

International Women’s Day  

9 March  

World Bank Webinar Series Pacific Public Service and COVID-19 Conversations 

10 March   

Public Service Fale Integrity and Ethics Programme Workshop 3 - Integrity 

14 March  

Commonwealth Day [Tuvalu] 

15 March  

Youth Day [Palau] 

23 March  

Foundations of Leadership Regional Programme –
Cohort 1  



7 April  

World Health Day  


Public Service Fale Integrity and Ethics Programme Workshop 4 – Equity  

15 April  

Good Friday  

18 April  

Easter Monday  

25 April  


27 April 

Public Service Fale Webinar Series TBC  



1 May  

Constitution Day [Marshall Islands]  

Labour Day [New Caledonia & Vanuatu] 

2 May  

Constitution Day Holiday [Marshall Islands]  

Labour Day Holiday [Vanuatu]  

5 May  

Senior Citizens’ Day [Palau] 

8 May  

Victory Day [New Caledonia]  

9 May  

Mother’s Day  

Aso ole Tala Lei [Gospel Day – Tuvalu] 

10 May  

Federal States of Micronesia Day [FSM] 

17 May  

Constitution Day [Nauru] 

19 May  

Public Service Fale Integrity and Ethics Programme Workshop 5 – Accountability  

25 May  

Public Service Fale Webinar Series TBC 



1 June 

President’s Day [Palau] 

Independence Day [Samoa] 

6 June  

The Sovereign’s Birthday [Cook Islands] 

Queen’s Birthday [New Zealand] 

Whit Monday [New Caledonia and Solomon Islands]  

Emancipation Day [Tonga] 

10 June 

Queen’s Birthday [Solomon Islands] 

11 June  

Queen’s Birthday [Tuvalu] 

13 June  

Queen’s Birthday [Papua New Guinea] 

16 June 

Public Service Fale Integrity and Ethics Programme Workshop 6 – Community  

24 June  

Matariki [Aotearoa | New Zealand]  

29 June  

Public Service Fale Webinar Series TBC