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Leadership quality

Manasa Kalouniviti
Saturday, November 11, 2017

WHEN you're a leader you must be looking around, not just at yourself. You have to look at others, the organisation, the team and beyond your own immediate jurisdiction.

New Zealand High Commission's counsellor development Jonathan Rowe made these comments to 20 graduates of the New Zealand-facilitated Pacific Leaders Program at Nasese yesterday.

Mr Rowe said: "Delivering for others also involves empowering others and it involves risk, it involves trust and that can mean a change in mind-set.

"I hope that this was one of the things the graduates have taken from the course which have complemented the skills you already have."

He said the graduation marked another milestone in the partnership between the New Zealand Government and not only Fiji, but other Pacific Island partners who participated in the program.

"The NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the NZ Customs Service had an arrangement built within the program to specifically target the development of leadership capacity within the Pacific jurisdictions.

"Hopefully this will supplement and complement the skills that the organisations have and rely on day-to-day," Mr Rowe said.

He said in terms of the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service and other Pacific Customs services, they were at the forefront of the business side for their governments, whether it's facilitating trade, controlling borders, negotiating tax rates, helping grow business or growing revenue to help their respective governments.

"Leadership is hugely important to all their respective administrations and is a key element in all their daily functions," he said.

"I hope you take these lessons back to your workplaces and continue to develop your leadership skills. Most important is that you pass this on to your colleagues, your teams and in doing so you'll be developing your own skills as a leader."

FRCS chief executive officer Visvanath Das said this year they extended invitations to involve the immigration department, police, biosecurity in the program.

"It's a great partnership initiative which was greatly supported by the NZ Customs Service and the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs," Mr Das said.

He said 20 people, who were senior and middle level managers in their agencies, had graduated from the Pacific Leadership Program which included 18 from Fiji, one from the Solomons and one from New Caledonia.

"Of those that graduated from Fiji, two were from the immigration department, three from Biosecurity authority, one from the Police and the remaining 12 were from FRCS.

"The beautiful thing about this program is it's not a learning program, it's a development program, developing our future leaders," Mr Das said.

Director immigration Nemani Vuniwaqa, who also graduated yesterday, said when he heard that Mr Das was also a graduate of the program, he took it upon himself to be part of the program.

"And today I have never regretted that decision because as the head of a government department what I have learnt from the program has really enhanced my leadership skills," Mr Vuniwaqa said.

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