New title recognises scope of service to Pacific Aotearoa

posted: 9:00 pm - 11th October 2020
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(Picture caption: Secretary for Pacific Peoples Laulu Mac Leauanae says he will wear his new title with honour.) 

Over the past three years, Laulu Mac Leauanae has evolved from leading from behind, to a leader who is at the forefront of Pacific affairs and is pushing boundaries to create a prosperous Pacific Aotearoa.

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples Chief Executive (CE) says he has accepted he must lead from the front to achieve the big aspirations he has for Pacific communities in New Zealand.

In recognition of the scope of his stewardship role and service to Pacific Aotearoa over and above his responsibilities of managing MPP,  Public Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has given Laulu the title of Secretary for Pacific Peoples, in addition to his existing CE title.

“I am really humbled to be given the honour of holding this title,” Laulu says.

“It doesn’t change my role as CE as such, but it acknowledges the breadth of my leadership role, and being able to pull different agencies together to serve the common goal of achieving Pacific wellbeing in New Zealand.”

The Ministry’s response to COVID-19, led by Laulu, is a prime example, of where MPP worked closely with other agencies to provide targeted messages and information to keep Pacific communities in New Zealand safe.

Working with All of Government throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, MPP is more relevant than it has ever been, and Laulu aims to ensure Pacific wellbeing is achieved across the agencies even more so.

“The mandate is to push the boundaries, and I am aiming to grow and mobilise all of government funding allocated for Pacific peoples to see our people thrive.”

Outside of New Zealand, the CE of any government agency or department is also known as the Secretary of the area they work in. 

Also, there are already some in the New Zealand public service that have this title for other agencies like Secretary for Foreign Affairs or Secretary for Education.

Globally, when others see “Secretary of”, they recognise the title refers to the lead of a public/government agency – it differentiates public sector Chief Executives to those in the private sector, Laulu adds.

“I know I have always been a leader, but I have changed over the past three years since joining MPP in 2017 – I have had to accept I need to lead with humility from the front.

“I have stepped into the CE role, and now I will wear my new title of Secretary with honour.

“I accept it is not about me, but it is about serving Pacific Aotearoa in the most effective way I can.”