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Graham appointed new Secretary of Cook Islands Ministry of Justice

Saturday 18 May 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Education, Features, National, Weekend


Graham appointed new Secretary of Cook Islands Ministry of Justice
Peter William Graham, the new Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, right, with Public Service Commissioner, Carl Hunter. OPSC/24051730

Peter William Graham has been appointed as the new Secretary of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), effective June 4, 2024, for a term of three years, replacing Tamatoa Jonassen.

In a statement, Public Service Commissioner, Carl Hunter, said as the former Pacific Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he worked closely for over a decade or so with Graham when the latter was the senior legal adviser for the Ministry of Marine Resources.

With an extensive background in maritime policies, legislations, public relations and driving business development efforts in the Cook Islands, Graham is poised to bring invaluable leadership and vision to MoJ, the statement said.

“His appointment comes at a significant time, as the Ministry continues to pursue its mission for a safe, secure, just and fair society with trusted land management, information and register systems.”

As a senior public servant who has worked in a number of government agencies includes Police, the Crown Law Office, the Office of the Public Service Commissioner, Office of the Minister for Island Administrations, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Marine Resources, as well as seven years at the Forum Fisheries Agency, Graham brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and relevant skillsets to MoJ.

The statement said in these roles, he has demonstrated a high level of management skills, a solid understanding of legal protocols and policies, and a wealth of knowledge and expertise in regional, national and international forums.

“This diverse experience will undoubtedly contribute to his ability to develop innovative strategies to enhance and lead MoJ in the coming years.”

Commenting on his appointment, Graham said: “I am honoured to be given an opportunity to share my skills and experience with the team at MoJ and look forward to the challenges that such a position brings, and will endeavour to continue with the good work started by my predecessor, whilst continuing to improve service delivery.”

Public Service Commissioner Hunter said: “I am thrilled to be once again working with PJ, this time in different capacities with me as PSC and him as Justice Secretary.”

“I have conveyed to the Secretary my clear expectations about improving the service delivery at the Ministry of Justice, as well as rolling out in a timely manner those new initiatives, such as the land law reforms, which Government has placed high priority on.

“I am excited about the changes, drive and direction that Graham will likely make as the head of the Ministry and both confident and hopeful that he will step up to fulfill his duties and Government’s expectations in a competent and professional manner. I therefore take this opportunity to wish Mr Graham all the very best during his 3-year term as Justice Secretary and look forward to collaboration with him moving forward.”

Heads of Ministries (HoMs) are employed under three-year term contracts. Pursuant to the Public Service 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.