Category Archives: Recent Updates

Introducing the new Secretary of Justice

Category : Recent Updates

The Public Service Commissioner, Russell Thomas has appointed Tamatoa Jonassen as the new Secretary for the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).  The former Secretary who had been in this position from 2011 is Tingika Elikana who is now Member of Parliament for Pukapuka – Nassau.

Jonassen is currently completing his term as the CEO of the Financial Services Development Authority (FSDA). He has a Bachelor of Science double majoring in Political Science and Information Systems, a law certificate in Pacific & Asian Legal Studies, a graduate certificate in Conflict Resolution from the Matsunaga Institute for Peace, and a Juris Doctor in Law from the USA.  Jonassen is admitted to practice law in both the Cook Islands and the State of Hawaii in the USA, and has served on the Cook Islands Law Society Council for the past four years.

Having grown up in the Cook Islands, Jonassen has gained a love … read more

Investigation now complete

Category : Recent Updates

The Public Service Commissioner Russell Thomas has completed his investigation into Mr. Ben Ponia, former Secretary of the Ministry of Marine Resources in September 2018.

The Commissioner found there was no serious misconduct on the part of Ponia, but an error of judgement by failing to follow a Government policy in a particular instance.

The issue which was investigated arose from the meeting of the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (“WCPFC”) in Manila in December 2017 over fishing rights of Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) in the high seas.   The tuna fisheries is an economic activity that requires a regional management approach under the mandate of the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA).  It is Government policy that the Cook Islands support where appropriate, regional positions and demonstrate regional solidarity to enable the region to obtain value from this industry in a sustainable manner.

The investigation arose over a complaint that Mr. … read more

Cook Islands Ambassadors are back from China

Category : Recent Updates

Cook Islands Ambassadors Angelia Williams, Kate Ngatokorua, Sandee Cook, Shaun Teaurima and Tayla Beddoes have recently returned from attending a three week ‘Young Leaders from Pacific Islands Countries’ programme held in Guangdong province, China. The training programme for Civil Servants and Young Leaders from Pacific Island Countries, was organised by the Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Guangdong and aims to sustain and facilitate the practical collaboration between our two countries.

The Ambassadors described the programme as “eye opening”.  They attended seminars and lectures, explored Shenzhen, Dongguan, Pearl River Delta and Foshan cities, and  participated in the Chinese cultural events.   “Taylor Beddos, Digital Coordinator from the Cook Islands Tourism Cooperation stated that the genuine friendliness and hospitality they received from the people of China was as “warm and enduring as the Pacific Island sun.” Additionally, having an insight into Chinese culture, economic development, trade, education, technology and … read more


Category : Recent Updates

For latest OPSC Vacancies please Click here

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Training Opportunities

Category : Recent Updates

For International Training  & Scholarship Opportunities Please Click Here

Pacific Islands Centre for Public Administration (PICPA) also offer training opportunities: more

Information on key issues of public interest

Category : Recent Updates

The Office of the Public Service Commissioner extends to the public, access to further information on key issues raised in the media. The table displays information that may better inform you on matters relating to these issues.

Further information will be added to the table when they become available. 

Meitaki Atupaka.

Please see below for the table

Information on key issues of public interestread more

Itikianga Tinamou Ora – the Cook Islands, New Zealand and Free Association

Category : Recent Updates

Prime Minister, Honourable Henry Puna’s address to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs in New Zealand on the 4th April 2018:

Click hereread more

Te Kura Akararangi’ia Public Service Newsletters

Category : Recent Updates

 To read the newsletters please click here

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Strengthening gender mainstreaming capacity in government

Category : Recent Updates

22 June 2017

Strengthening the role of central government agencies to support gender mainstreaming across governments’ policies, programmes and services was the aim of a workshop in Suva which was attended by 50 officials from across the Pacific including Government officials from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Office of the Public Service Commissioner, Ministry of Finance and Office of the Prime Minister.

Mr Paul Allsworth, Acting Secretary for Internal Affairs said “I was able to gain a better understanding on the background of the Pacific Women regional programme and Pacific Gender Equality programme (PGEP), including its achievements and lessons learnt.” 

 “We discussed a range of matters said Daphne Ringi, CEO for the Office of the Public Service Commissioner, from gender analysis and statistics, to the regional and country plans for gender equality.  But more importantly we considered how central agencies could support gender mainstreaming through their respective gender policies and read more

New HoM for Internal Affairs 

Category : Recent Updates

Friday 24th March 2017

The Public Service Commissioner has appointed Paul Allsworth as the Acting Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. 

Mr Allsworth replaces former Secretary Bredina Drollett who has taken up the position of Acting Chief of Staff at the Office of the Prime Minister. The Public Service Act 2009 enables the Commissioner to appoint an Acting Head of Ministry (HoM) into a vacant position.

“As the Commissioner I am responsible for administering the recruitment process for 13 Public Service HoMs, negotiating their terms of employment and managing their performance, in consultation with their respective Minister. From time to time I am required to make Acting Appointments and this is one of those instances,” says Thomas. 

Allsworth comes with a 15-year track record as the Director of the Cook Islands Audit Office. He has also served in senior roles in key Government agencies such as the Office of read more