Symposium examines Pacific Islands public sector

A recent symposium at Victoria Business School explored issues affecting public sector development in the Pacific Islands.

14 September 2018

Participants at the Pacific Islands Public Sector Symposium 29, 31 August at Victoria Business School.

The three-day event in late August saw 60 participants address public sector development in Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Papers were presented by a cross section of members of parliament, diplomats, public servants, development practitioners, students and academics, on the themes of central government agencies coordination, public policy practices, performance management, capacity building, and the role of regional and sub-regional intergovernmental organisations.

Associate Professor Graham Hassall from the University’s School of Government convened the symposium.

"Such a platform is necessary for knowledge exchange between Pacific Islands-based public sector experts and practitioners," he says.

"We had great feedback on the symposium and look forward to subsequent events."

Attendees at the symposium echoed those thoughts, with Nandi T. Glassie, a former Minister of Health in the Cook Islands, praising the high level of presentations backed with research from each country's perspective.

"I have learned a lot and such initiatives must be continued in bringing the Pacific Islands senior public servants and administrators into one room, where we can share our experiences on a face-to-face talanoaamong new and old colleagues."

Mr 'Aisea Taumoepeau, Ombudsman in the Kingdom of Tonga, hoped the symposium initiative would help build the profiles of Ombudsman offices in a regional and even global context.

"Although ombudsmanship is relatively new in some countries, and not yet fully understood, I believe it is most suitable and will indeed come to the fore in the public administration arena in due course.

"To that end we appreciate so much your efforts in what you are doing in the School of Government, and in the Pacific region as a whole."