Secretariat of the Pacific Community celebrates 67 years
The new director general of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community speaks to Don Wiseman about marking 67 years in operation.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community has just marked 67 years in operation.
It has been in existence for much longer than any other regional body and Don Wiseman asked the new director general of the body, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, what he put the longevity down to.
COLIN TUKUITONGA: I think fundamentally SPC is governed by the Pacific Island members and supported by the four big metropolitan partners, New Zealand, Australia, USA, France and so I think it is to do with the fact that what SPC provides to Pacific Island countries and territories by way of information and technical support and co-operation meets their needs. I mean I think in this day and age when an organisation doesn't deliver what the members or the audience needs then you soon go out of business, so to speak. And I think for SPC, if you take Tuna Tagging as a specific example they have been doing this work since 1977, and on the basis of that work, clearly scientific and technical work, the island members and the other stake holders are able to make policy decisions based on the information. So obviously like a lot of these things there are multiple reasons but fundamentally I think it is about SPC largely being effective in the areas that it operates in so that the member states, the island countries see the value and are happy to contribute. Just last year they agreed to increase their membership contributions to SPC and I take that to mean that they are happy with what is being provided.
DON WISEMAN: You have just come into the role as the head of the organisation. It's got I think 600 staff, which has happened relatively recently, this increase in numbers. Do you see it getting any bigger than it is now?
CT: No I don't think so. Yes the expansion is relatively recent with the amalgamation - merging with SOPAC and the Pacific Bureau for Educational Assessment. It grew fairly quickly. I do not see it expanding. I do see us focussing more on refining or making more effective what we do. Some will say that the fact that we are operating in some 20 sectors is already too big, so for me it is really about impact. How can we do these things better and it may well be for some areas where there are other potential providers it is a case of us moving to be much more focussed, much more determination around impact and results and being able to report and communicate those achievements.
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