A word from the Public Service Fale Governance Board Chair - Hon Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban DNZM QSO
Welcome to the latest edition of the Pacific Public Service Commissioners’ newsletter – Fale News.
With Covid-19 creating continued uncertainty in the region about a return to normalcy, I hope you and your āiga are safe and well.
Firstly, I want to acknowledge the work of our Pacific women in the public service.
Ritite Tekiau in Kiribati
Ritite has been acting in the role of Secretary for the Public Service Office in Kiribati since March and it is with great pleasure that I congratulate her on her formal appointment to the role in September.
This is a true vote of confidence in Ritite’s management of the Public Service Office in Kiribati.
Ritite has served on the Public Service Fale Governance Board as a representative of Kiribati, one of our two Board representatives for Micronesia.
Ritite’s contribution to the Board has been of tremendous value and I am very much looking forward to meeting again (virtually) at our sub-regional fono with Micronesia.
Tiffany Ouetcho and Cecilia Madeleine in New Caledonia
New Caledonia has until recently been represented on the Board by Cecilia Madeleine, Official Representative of New Caledonia to New Zealand. Cecilia’s language and communication skills have allowed her to contribute on behalf of Eloise Nicolas, Director HR of the New Caledonia Department of Civil Service.
I want to thank Cecilia for her service, and to welcome Tiffany Ouetcho into the role.
Tiffany is a Noumea-based Territorial Administrator with the New Caledonia Public Service.
It is a special pleasure to welcome Tiffany as another indigenous Pacific woman and as the first Kanak New Caledonian to the Board.
At the August Governance Board meeting we replaced the virtual fono with three Sub-Regional Fono.
Thank you for your engagement with the Fale team, we have confirmed one fono in October and two in November. The dates are:
- Polynesia – 29 October
- Melanesia – 1 November
- Micronesia – 2 November
The Fale team is also working with the Small Island States to firm plans for a further fono in the new year.
Peter Hughes and I look forward to talanoa with you in these sessions. We know they will be very valuable for the Fale to ensure their work continues to be led by you.
Governance meeting in November
We are fast approaching our final 2021 Governance Board meeting in late November.
The agenda will have a focus on reflections for 2021 and I encourage you to bring your thoughts on progress over the past 12 months.
We will ensure an update is provided for the ongoing sub-regional meetings and work with you on priorities you want for the Public Service Fale over the next 12 months.
The sitting of Samoa’s 17th Parliament
Samoa Prime Minister Fiamè Naomi Mataáfa and predecessor Tuilaépa Saílele Malielegaoi
After an extended post-electoral period, I wanted to acknowledge the sitting of Parliament in Samoa, along with the peaceful and collegial transfer of power.
On the 16th of September Samoa’s 17th Parliament convened for the first time in the Legislative Assembly, five months after the April elections.
I look forward to working with the Samoa Public Service Commission as it continues its work with the new Government.
Ia manuia and take care,
Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban
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!
As we release this October newsletter, we draw your attention to its name and tagline “Fale News – Our News”. This captures the essence of what we want this newsletter to do for you – stories that are meaningful to all in the region. We hope it provokes thought and encourages more submissions of great Pacific public service stories and we welcome your feedback and contributions.
At this very time, we are completing our first sub-regional meeting with our Polynesia Pacific Commissioners. These sessions are helping to ensure we have Commissioners’ priorities at the forefront of our work. Thank you, Commissioners, for giving this time to us.
In this issue of Fale News, we provide updates on the Fale team’s work with you on the Mentoring programme and the Integrity and Ethics workshops.
For the first time, we have a guest writer, the Pacific environmental agency SPREP’s Director General Kosi Latu, who is about to attend the COP26 global climate talks in Glasgow.
As we head towards the end of the year, our work serving the Commissioners remains virtual with a Governance Board meeting in November.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the Public Service Fale staff for their hard work in engagement and producing work that is led by the needs of the Pacific Commissioners and their staff in the region.
Enjoy reading the Fale News and we look forward to any feedback and / or submissions for our Christmas Fale News.
Tiffany Ouetcho, 31, is a Territorial Administrator from New Caledonia who trained at the French National Institute of Territorial Studies (INET). She holds a Bachelor degree in Ethnology, a Diploma in Global Business Management and a Master's degree in European and International Studies.
Throughout her graduate studies, Tiffany had been working for several institutions including the National Assembly, the EU Parliament, and regional and municipal councils.
She started serving the government of New Caledonia as an official in 2017 and was appointed Senior Advisor for European Affairs in the Department of Regional Cooperation and External Relations. She oversaw the relationship with the EU representatives in the Pacific as well as the programming and implementation of EU funds benefiting New Caledonian public policies.
Since July 2021, Tiffany has been Senior Advisor to the Secretary General and conducts several inter-departmental government projects such as the elaboration of a Strategic Plan for the 17th government, and the definition of a common grant policy. As representative for New Caledonia in the Public Service Fale Governance Board she will promote appropriation and participation of New Caledonian public servants to the Fale priorities and projects.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
1. When did the Commissioner start in the role?
Following a year and a half of professional training, I was appointed Senior Advisor to the Secretary General of the government of New Caledonia on the 1st of July 2021. New Caledonia’s President, Mr Louis Mapou, made me representative of New Caledonia to the Public Service Fale Governance Board shortly after.
2. Why does the Commissioner think public service is important?
For me, public service embodies first and foremost the importance we attach to solidarity within our societies. I joined the public service to serve my fellow citizens and what I find most enriching is to work on people-centric public services with requirements such as: efficiency, simplicity, and transparency.
3. What does the Commissioner like to do in their downtime | spare time?
I mostly spend my spare time with my 4-year-old daughter. I also enjoy reading and try to keep abreast of what is happening in the digital field.
4. Anything further information the Commissioner would like to add.
As a newcomer among the PPSCs, my priority is to contribute to the recognition of the Fale and its work while encouraging the New Caledonian Public Sector Administration to make progress in terms of monitoring, ethics and digitalization.
The Spirit of Service is well and truly alive in the Pacific region.
In September, the Tonga Public Service Commission held a Public Service Week. As a part of the celebrations, they asked participants to promote wellness and health as key themes.
The Jerusalema Dance Challenge was the final activity for all participants from agencies across the public service. And the challenge was won by Ministry of Infrastructure.
This video is a small snapshot of the 19 ministry and agency teams who participated in the challenge and provides an insight of the teams and the spirit of service they have with each other.
Fale News Guest Writer: Mr Kosi Latu, Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme [SPREP]
The Pacific’s top public servant for the environment, Mr Kosi Latu, is shortly headed to the 26th United Nations Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow to present the Pacific region’s top priorities for action. Reducing the impact of climate change is a key priority for Pacific nations and their public services.
Along with preserving Pacific marine and land environments, a successful mission will allow regional public servants to remain focused on existing goals and targets. Mr Latu’s presentation calls on wealthy nations to deliver on climate finance options so that the Pacific region can successfully build capacity and adapt.
Mr Latu has prepared the following briefing for commissioners on what the region will take to COP26 in order to keep global temperature rise to within 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Amplifying our Pacific Voice in Glasgow at COP26
by Mr Kosi Latu, Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
Our Pacific islands have worked tirelessly to mitigate and adapt to climate change, the impacts of which are a relentless threat to our Pacific Islands survival.
We need to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, we need to make a better life for us all. We need a 1.5 Degrees Celsius world.
We call on the G20 countries to raise their level of ambition and match their rhetoric with serious reductions in their emissions commitments. They must come to Glasgow ready to negotiate outcomes that will align to the 1.5 Degrees Celsius pathway.
We know that we have a small window of time to achieve 1.5, we know that we need urgent action for net zero carbon emissions by 2050, we know that our world needs to stay true to the promise of the Paris Agreement. We stand strong by these messages; we can no longer delay urgent and bold action needed to address serious impacts of climate change.
Each year at the climate change negotiations, we’re fighting for our futures. We already go into “battle” under-resourced in many different ways, yet we have heart.
This year the COVID-19 restrictions have added an extra burden in that our Pacific Islands attendance is limited. We are mindful that we’re heading into negotiations where we are outnumbered in the room due to circumstances out of our control.
If COVID-19 limits us from attending, we are more determined than ever to be heard and seen in every way possible. This year we all need to agree on the Paris Rulebook for our Paris Agreement promise.
Our Pacific priority areas for COP26 are Climate Finance, Adaptation, Loss and Damage, Article 6 and Environmental Integrity, Oceans, and Technology and Capacity Building. Our different Pacific tasks under these areas are key to our survival, yet they are all linked to our call for a 1.5 Degrees Celsius world.
A call we intend to magnify.
This month we launched our High-Level Champions for COP26 initiative in which the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Deputy Prime Minister of Fiji and Ministers from Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu will work to amplify our Pacific voice.
We’ll be launching a Flex for 1.5 digital campaign applying social media as a platform to help drive a movement that keeps our cause and our people visible, amplifying our Pacific voice in this virtual space.
At the COP26 venue itself, the sounds of our Pacific will resonate as we share our stories of climate change challenges, and solutions in action at the different side events at COP26. Our Pacific Island delegations will also have their own space to strategise and strengthen our island approach at COP26 with a special office and shared meeting space with Aotearoa NZ/Tokelau.
We’re trying every means possible for an amplified voice, this includes an art campaign in which we apply creativity, appealing to the emotions of people with a range of poetry with digital imagery from Pacific islands artists in collaboration with Mana Moana.
Several of these initiatives to amplify our Pacific voice at COP26 are done so with the support of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. We are grateful for this support that will help our call echo throughout the venue and beyond.
On the frontlines of climate change, our Pacific Islands know the importance of a 1.5 Degree world. We’re calling on the world to show us their biggest flex for 1.5 because we’ll be showing ours at COP26.
Kingdom of Tonga’s General Election
The Kingdom of Tonga’s general election is confirmed for 18 November 2021. The poll will see 75 candidates, including 12 women, contest the 17 common roll seats. Nine other seats are held by the nobility who elect representatives amongst themselves.
While the Tonga Electoral Commission manages the vote independently from the Tonga Public Service Commission, it keeps the PSC informed on all aspects of the coming ballot. Meanwhile, the PSC is involved in ensuring the neutrality of the public service by dispatching regular prompters for public servants to remain apolitical in the lead-up to the election. Communication channels to ministries include correspondence and media releases, social media and website posts, and the Talatalanoa information sharing program.
Previously, the Public Service Fale has worked with the Tonga PSC to develop a guidance template and Q&A checklist for maintaining political neutrality. This has helped form the commission’s policy framework.
In the coming post-election environment, the Tonga PSC will provide ministerial briefings (as necessary) in collaboration with the Attorney General’s and Prime Minister’s Offices.
ʻI he fakaʻapaʻapa mo e fakamalo kia Victorina Kioa ʻi he fakamatala fakamuimuitaha.
Positive feedback from Nauru Leadership Development Programme
Nauru is the latest Public Service Fale member country to partner the Fale on a Leadership Training Programme.
The Nauru programme applies lessons from the pilot in Niue which used material from the New Zealand Public Service’s Leadership Development Centre.
Five of Nauru’s most senior public servants are taking part in the latest six-month cohort. The programme steps through monthly leadership topics focused on areas of development identified by participants. The monthly cycle incudes a three-hour workshop, focused self-study, and practical application back in the workplace. Each workshop includes a reporting mechanism to review the previous month’s focus.
Feedback has been very positive with candidates endorsing the facilitated and participatory style of learning which allows them to apply their own distinct context.
Meleoni Uera from the Nauru government’s HR team facilitates the workshops while the Public Service Fale participates virtually from Aotearoa New Zealand.
The programme content is relatable in the Nauru context, says Meleoni, despite the challenges of a virtual delivery.
“I think there are plenty of opportunities in the design to help them interact and share their own experiences,” she says.
“It is small enough for them to share with each other and learn from each other.”
She says the leadership framework delivered in the programme allows recipients to apply their own context as appropriate to their own country.
“They’ve been embracing it with a sense of belonging,” adds Meleoni.
There is interest in continuing the programme with another cohort, continues Meleoni. This is to be discussed at senior management level although the current programme, she explains, has given the Nauru public service tools to look at developing its own.
Republic of the Marshall Islands seeks Attorney General
The Office of the Public Service Commission in the Marshall Islands is looking to fill the role of principal legal advisor to the Government of the Republic.
The Attorney General (AG) role, with support from Assistant Attorneys General, provides legal advice and support to the President, the Cabinet, Ministries, and other agencies of Government. The AG is also responsible for: defending the Government against lawsuits and claims; suing to recover claims on behalf of the Government, and; the prosecution of all criminal cases.
The Office of the Public Service Commission is looking to expand its recruitment drive and the Assistant Commissioner – Personnel and Training – Joseph Tibon can be contacted to discuss the role further. Email email@example.com
Federated States of Micronesia Independence Day, Public Holiday
Fiji Diwali Day, Public Holiday
Tonga National Day, Public Holiday
NZ Public Service Day
Federated States of Micronesia Veterans Day, Public Holiday
New Caledonia Armistice Day, Public Holiday
Republic of the Marshall Islands Presidents’ Day, Public Holiday
Vanuatu National Unity Day, Public Holiday
Republic of the Marshall Islands Gospel Day, Public Holiday