Thursday 24th December 24, 2020
We welcomed this year 2020 with one of the new ideas, excitement and full of hopes – and then Coronavirus (COVID-19) quickly advanced around the world.
The Cook Islands, like all countries, had to rapidly adapt its response to the COVID-19 global outbreak - the scale of which has never been experienced before. Thankfully, there are no COVID-19 cases and this is partly a result of a collective effort by the Cook Islands Government whom under the direction of the Te Marae Ora (TMO) are all working diligently to ensure the public health safety of all Cook Islands residents and visitors and under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) supported by the Private Sector Taskforce to mitigate the threats to economic security.
The establishment of the Incident Management System (IMS) under the guidance of the National Health Emergency Taskforce (NHET); as well as the delivery of the Economic Response Plan (ERP) required all Ministries to collaborate and take stock of disruptions to their current work programmes and pivot and adapt. The Public Service now cannot continue to work the way we used to, a new working era has emerged from COVID-19.
Many of you have worked extremely long hours to maintain our core services but also to reassure our communities of Government support. A lot of work also remains ad hoc in view of the uncertainty around global and national recovery from the current COVID-19 induced economic crisis.
As I prepare to vacate the office of the Public Service Commissioner next month, I encourage you all to relax over this Christmas period, enjoy yourselves, take care, recharge and we will see you in 2021.
God bless you all.
Public Service Commissioner, Russell Thomas.