16 May 2022
Media Release – Reappointment of Secretary for Ministry of Marine Resource
Ms Pamela Maru has been re-appointed as the Secretary for the Ministry of Marine Resource (MMR) for a second 3-year term. Ms Maru began her career with MMR, before moving on to a specialized regional fisheries post at the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), based in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
Heads of Ministries (HoMs) are employed under 3-year term contracts. Pursuant to the Public Service Amendment Act 2009 a HoM's employment may 'roll-over' into a second three year term contract with the approval of Cabinet, provided that performance criteria has been met during the HoM's first term.
During her first term at the helm of MMR, Ms Maru undertook a number of key strategic milestones that were primarily aimed at improving the Ministry’s overall performance. These included the finalisation of MMR’s new Strategic Plan, Workforce Plan, Risk Management Plan and Service Charter to name a few. Ms Maru’s clear leadership and collaborative management style also made positive in-roads with relevant stakeholders, including working coherently and effectively with the Island Councils and Executive Officers of the Pa Enua.
For her second term to lead MMR, Ms Maru intends to focus on some key goals which include strengthening staff capabilities particularly across science and policy, developing strategic partnerships at home and abroad for improved service delivery, review of key legislation such as the Marine Resources Act, and strengthening coastal fisheries management across the Cook Islands.
Ms Maru acknowledges that during her first 3 years as HOM there have been challenges faced by the Ministry, a number of which have been compounded by the impacts of COVID-19. Moving forward, Ms Maru plans to continue to build and expand MMR capacity with the support and guidance of her staff and international marine specialists to ensure MMR’s complex work programs are delivered in a competent manner.
The Public Service Commissioner Carl Hunter, commented that he has found Ms Maru to be engaging, responsive and extremely passionate about the marine sector. “Without question Pamela is very dedicated to her role and to serving the country to the best of her ability. She is intelligent, and has the drive to lead the Ministry with clear direction and innovation. Her wealth of knowledge and skillsets when it comes to marine resources makes her a highly valued asset to both our country and region. Mindful that the tuna stocks in our region are the one natural resource that all Pacific Islanders share, it is critical that the Cook Islands, through MMR, continues to play a proactive role in ensuring the long term sustainable management of this natural resource for the benefit of future generations”