Strong Leadership, Technical Competence Are Key

The last Pacific Leadership Programme ended on a high note yesterday. This programme had been funded by the New Zealand government with the support of the New Zealand Customs Service.
07 Sep 2018 12:31

The last Pacific Leadership Programme ended on a high note yesterday.

This programme had been funded by the New Zealand government with the support of the New Zealand Customs Service.

The New Zealand High Commissioner Jonathan Curr was the chief guest at the Pacific Leadership Programme 2018 graduation ceremony at the regional training centre in Nasese, Suva.

Mr Curr said: “New Zealand has committed itself to increase its co-operation with Fiji’s authorities on matters affecting our mutual security interests.

“This is part of the New Zealand government’s Pacific Reset, but it’s also broader than that.

“It is a natural evolution for our defence, security and trading partnership.

“We already co-operate well, and I hope that in your respective positions you all know your Kiwi counterparts, or Kiwis that you do and can work with.

“And if you don’t, and you want to, you should tell me, and I’ll ensure you get connected to the right people.

“Strong leadership, technical competence, and the right relationships, are an exceptional combination.

“I hope that this course has met your expectations, and given you a chance to reflect on the skills you have and the ones you need to develop in order to go from “good manager” to “extraordinary leader”.

I hope you have learned:

  • Who you are and how you are wired
  • How others differ from you
  • How to work in teams and develop teams
  • How to develop, communicate and implement strategy
  • How to give and receive feedback
  • And how to reflect on what you’ve done.


“Whatever you feel you’ve learned over the last five months, I hope that you will continue to see yourselves as learning and growing in leadership over the next five, 10, 15, 20 years.

“One of the things I promised myself 10 years ago was that I would stop making excuses for not stepping up and putting myself forward for challenging assignments and I would give myself credit for my strengths.”

He challenged the participants to do the same, to be ambitious for yourself, your organisations and your country.

“Having ambition does not mean that you can’t also be humble – we shouldn’t be afraid of that word.

“My sincere congratulations to you all for putting in the work, making the effort, and for succeeding.

“I wish you all every success in the future too.”


Changes in society

Fiji Revenue and Customs Service director Revenue Management Fazrul Rahman said every country is confronted with changes so does organisations in the future.

“We are going to see revenue authorities being subject to change and today we will be talking about domestic resource organisation and how well countries can mobilise their resources.

“We look at agencies such as Customs, Biosecurity, Immigration, Police and the Financial Intelligence Unit.

“It is in our interest to ensure that we bring that level of support and work together to bring that level of economic security.

“In the area of trade facilitation this programme itself, has helped us to really work together to achieve something called single window by 2021.

“This programme has significant impact not only to Fiji and not only to FRCS.

“The programme has come a long way and now, we have seen people from other organisations who have partnered in this.

“As leaders you will be confronted with changers, challenges and its part of the job but the important part how you will be able to handle it and be resilient.”

Mr Rahman gave an example to the awardees of a presentation at an IMF organised workshop where Fiji was chosen to present its VAT system to those countries that did not have it.

“As leaders and whatever organisation, we have come from I think we can make a difference.”



FRCS acting director Corporate Services Fane Vave said: “PLP is very good because all of us have come in different stages of our leadership journey.

“It’s provided an environment for us to detach from everyday business and just take a stock take of where we are as individuals and how we contribute as an organisation.

“It has introduced pragmatic tools which we can use every day in the workplace.

“These tools can be applied across whether it’s between two people in a team or when conducting big meetings or globally.

“Because there are five different agencies here it’s also created an awareness of what our roles and what are some of the challenges.

“We are all common because we are all protecting Fiji’s borders.”

There were 18 graduates of the 2018 programme.

They were from FRCS, Immigration Department, Fiji Police Force, Biosecurity Authority of Fiji and Fiji’s Financial Intelligence Unit.


About PLP

PLP has been delivered in Fiji since 2014 with five programmes completed over the past five years.

There are over 70 alumni (past participants) in FRCS.




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