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Jonassen steps down as Justice Secretary, citing personal reasons

Friday 23 February 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Court, Local, National


Jonassen steps down as Justice Secretary,  citing personal reasons
Outgoing Secretary of Justice Tamatoa Jonassen. Photo: Supplied/ 22011015

The Secretary for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Tamatoa Jonassen, has tendered his resignation to the Public Service Commissioner, Carl Hunter, citing personal reasons.

Jonassen’s resignation will be effective as of May 6, 2024, seven months before his second term as the Secretary for Justice is due to end on December 10, 2024.

In a statement, the Office of the Public Service Commissioner said: “Jonassen is looking forward to spending time with his family in the United States where his children are currently attending school.”

It is anticipated that Jonassen will focus his attention on completing the land reform project before his tenure concludes.

Public Service Commissioner Carl Hunter took the opportunity to wish Jonassen and his family the very best on their new journey and future endeavours.

The Commissioner will launch the recruitment process for a replacement “in the foreseeable future”.

“An Acting Secretary for MoJ will be announced by the Public Service Commissioner before Mr Jonassen ends his role as MoJ Secretary on May 6, 2024,” the statement said.

Initially appointed to the role in 2018, Jonassen has served almost two full terms as the Secretary for Justice.

At the start of his term, he worked closely with the Office of the Public Service Commissioner to address people and organisational management issues.

“By developing an organisational structure that is fit for purpose and caters to the objectives of the Ministry, Jonassen was also able to rewrite job descriptions and introduce performance management systems through the introduction of formalised performance appraisal plans for each staff member,” the statement said.

“Jonassen also dedicated attention to upskilling his staff through the development of a Workforce Plan, and encouraging several to enrol in education and training programmes with five working towards a Certificate of Justice funded by Pacific Justice Sector Programme (PJSP).”

During his tenure, Jonassen also focused on improving systems and processes with the ministry through the implementation of up-to-date information technology systems to enhance services and security such as record digitisation, a Case Tracking System, an online registry services for Company, Incorporated Societies and Personal Property Security, and improving community outreach. “Improving the Ministry’s Office space including the Pa Enua facilities enabled long overdue renovations and/or repairs to be undertaken. The endorsement of the Cook Islands National Identification Policy 2021 was also a deliverable that Jonassen spearheaded.”