Niue Public Service Commission
During 2020, Commissioner Victoria Kalauni, Niue Public Service Commission, made a request to the Public Service Fale team about pairing her up with a mentor. The team worked with Commissioner Victoria and mentor Brendan Boyle, an experienced former Public Service Chief Executive in New Zealand’s Ministry of Social Development, Department of Internal Affairs, Land and Information New Zealand and Secretary of Local Government.
When the Commissioner was asked whether she’d had any challenges or misconceptions to do with the mentorship, she said that it made her nervous about who she would be paired up with as it was important to hit it off with her mentor.
“When the Public Service Fale mentoring team gave me the cream of the crop of New Zealand [Brendan Boyle], well one of them, those misconceptions I had earlier faded away and the mentorship programme went really well,” says Commissioner Victoria.
Commissioner Victoria then encouraged senior leaders in the Niue Public Service to join the Fale mentoring programme. Since then, other Niue Public Service Commission staff have begun participating in the Fale’s first formal mentoring programme cohort, which began in June 2021.
Earlier this year, Commissioner Victoria was able to travel to New Zealand and joined the Public Service Fale leadership team at the Commission in Wellington. Pictured L–R: Niue Commissioner Victoria Kalauni; Public Service Fale Governance Chair Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban; Public Service Commissioner and Head of Service Peter Hughes; and Public Service Fale Deputy Commissioner Tania Ott.
Tō te Ratonga Tūmatanui Fale | Public Service Fale
The Public Service Fale (the Fale) was established in January 2020 as a business unit of the Commission and is funded until 2024 by the New Zealand Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade as a part of the Government’s Pacific Reset programme. The Fale is governed by, and serves, 16 Pacific Public Service Commissions (PPSCs) to strengthen public service leadership and governance for the benefit of Pacific citizens. As such, the Fale’s priorities are set by the governance board representing the 16 PPSCs. Its work is led by their public service goals and aspirations for their citizens. Following the Fale’s first financial year, its work programme is now well established.
The key themes for the Fale’s work for the 2020/2021 year are to be Pacific led and PPSC focused; with the work reflecting and responding to the impact of COVID-19 by developing an operating model based on virtual engagement and focused on key deliverables. In its first year, the Fale’s key achievements have been to:
- develop and deliver a full 12-month Public Service Fale work programme that involved comprehensive engagement with the PPSCs and their teams to progress the programme (This includes 53 one-on-one virtual engagements between the Chair and the PPSCs; 100 engagements with countries and four governance board meetings attended by representatives from across the Pacific.)
- develop the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning framework to better understand the impact of the Fale’s work and identify opportunities to learn and ‘change our course for the better’ – using both Pacific and western methodologies
- deliver a Pacific Leadership Fundamentals programme piloted virtually online to a range of Pacific Public Service middle-management leaders (Lessons learned from the pilot are informing future best practice for virtual delivery in the COVID-19 operating environment.)
- implement the Public Service Fale Mentoring Programme for senior Pacific public servants after piloting the approach with Niue and the Cook Islands (The current cohort includes senior Pacific leaders as mentees and New Zealand public service chief executives and other senior leaders as mentors.)
- build and launch FaleOnline, a secure online information sharing portal that PPSCs and their teams can use to connect, collaborate and engage with each other and the Fale (The portal offers access to Public Service resources, tools and shared information.)
- develop a Pacific-wide code of ethics, at the request of PPSCs, that reflects Pacific values and expected behaviours for Pacific public servants (The Code will form part of a wider integrity and ethics programme, which is currently under development.)
- deliver a full-year webinar series on strengthening governance that was attended by all 16 PPSCs (Webinar sessions were led by different countries and hosted in New Zealand. Topics covered included: working with Ministers, merit-based appointments led by Samoa and Fiji, public sector reform and Public Service remuneration systems led by Tonga.)
- develop Country Actions Plans for each of the 16 PPSCs
- formalise the Public Service Fale governance board by transitioning the PPSCs working group members to become board members and confirming the governance board charter and terms of reference.
The Fale has had considerable support from the Commission and the wider New Zealand Public Service, and this has been greatly appreciated by the PPSCs.