People's Charter, Pillar 3, and Chapter 8, State of the Nation paper: For Discussion

N234. The Charter deals with principles that are discussed in more detail in the relevant chapter(s) of the State of the Nation and the Economy paper that I have copied under the Charter chapter. 

For earlier chapters of the Charter and State of the Nation paper, use the Search facility in the left column by writing Pillar 1, etc.  Readers' comments on what has been done and is being done on the proposed reforms are especially welcome.

Ensuring Effective, Enlightened and Accountable Leadership

Critical Problems and Issues:

Our people have suffered the type of “leadership” that has been elitist, parochial, divisive, extremist and self-centred. This has done little to advance the interests of our ordinary people.
Our leaders in most cases have failed to involve us in making the major decisions that affect our well-being and our daily lives.
We need leaders who are positive, visionary, transformative and constructive.
We need leaders with a progressive vision for Fiji, a vision that is uplifting, motivating, unifying, and inspiring.

The Way Forward:
The following key measures and actions must be taken with due priority and urgency : 
Enact, and effectively enforce, a Code of Conduct for public servants, public and independent constitutional office holders, Municipal Councils, Members of Parliament and persons who hold statutory appointments or governing or executive positions in statutory authorities.
Develop a leadership model and vision which clarifies the legitimate roles of elected and non-elected leaders in a democratic Fiji, with emphasis on honesty, integrity, professional ethics, and service to communities.
(For the detailed recommendations and proposed implementation actions, see the Report on the State of the Nation and the Economy.)
Step up and enhance training and development of public leaders including parliamentarians, traditional, civic and community as well as youth and women leaders.
Increase public awareness, including civic education at school level, on key leadership principles.

Vision for Effective Leadership Guiding Principles

RECOGNISING the different types of public leadership that exist in Fiji at all levels of society and that such leadership is ultimately about service to the people of Fiji, the communities they belong to, and what is in their best interests;

ACKNOWLEDGING the conduct standards that are set out under subsection 156(2) of the Constitution for holders of high public office, and the measures thatneed to be taken under law to enforce these standards and the Key Principles for Good Leadership adopted by Pacific Island Forum Leaders as being relevant for Fiji’s national leaders; The People, through this Charter, identify the following qualities as being the most desirable of any person who seeks and exercises a public leadership role in Fiji:



Chapter 8: Effective Leadership in Fiji

The previous pages summarise the change agenda facing Fiji. Clearly, there is a lot to be done to restore good governance, end the ‘coup culture’, forge a new agreement on national identity and the national interest, get the economy growing robustly again, eradicate poverty, and deal with all of the related issues. This is not a short term or easy task: it will take much perseverance over many years in following a steady course. Who is to plan and organise all of this work and keep all those involved strongly motivated and on course to finish the task?

This is the role of Fiji’s leaders, not only politicians but also traditional, civic, religious, community, professional, and business leaders right across the nation. Leadership is the ‘magic’ ingredient that unites the diverse talents of many different people by communicating an inclusive vision for the future in which all want to join as followers, and which motivates, empowers and uplifts them, so that they are fully engaged in pursuing the vision until it is realised.

Leadership occurs at many levels, both within Government and outside of it. Public leadership roles encompass the political level, the private sector, civil society and the churches and religious organisations, and also other levels of leadership including the traditional chiefly leadership at community level.

Fiji is standing at a crossroad in terms of how leaders might best contribute to taking Fiji forward. Although there is no longer a clearly accepted view of the way that leaders should behave within Fiji society, the effectiveness of leadership is crucial at every level of that society.

The NCBBF (National Committee for Building a Better Fiji)  believes political leadership at the national level to be one area of real weakness in Fiji. It is time to develop a leadership model that puts the national interest before self interest, or before the interest of a specific single community. We need to establish a national vision through the Peoples Charter and work to build national unity.

All too often in the past the style of leadership in Fiji has been transactional i.e. ‘what is in it for me?’ What Fiji desperately needs is a transformational style of leadership — to transform societal attitudes and move Fiji in the completely new direction represented by the Peoples Charter.

This is not to forget also that the lives of ordinary people are most affected by leadership at the local level, where people live as families and communities. The leadership role of women also needs particular consideration. While changes in leadership styles are really dependent on changes in attitudes, there are measures which can be taken to encourage this change. Public education needs to be part of that.

A Code of Conduct for holders of high public office (as required by the Constitution), including local government office holders, is badly needed to regulate the conduct of national leaders. So is training for leaders at all levels. Increased dialogue and measures that reward good leadership also require further examination.

Leaders at every level of society must be equally adept in three quite different skills.

First, they must have a clear intellectual understanding of the job that needs to be done. The vision and goals that they articulate must be well grounded in evidence-based theory and empirical research and clearly thought through, to ensure that the policies they advocate are compatible with each other, consistent over time and credible. A leader maintains his or her credibility by only promising what he or she can do and then by always doing what was promised.

Second, a leader must also learn to be a good manager. Leaders must know how to raise funds, manage money and resources and above all, be good at managing people in sensitive but directed ways. Leaders like Gandhi and Martin Luther King spent a lot of their time managing the movements they led.

Third, a leader must learn how to behave as a good leader should. There are both moral and psychological dimensions to this aspect of leadership. To attract and keep followers, a leader must be capable of securing and holding their trust. This means that a leader must be trustworthy.

A leader must also maintain personal integrity, which implies complete honesty, openness and a consistent moral stance. And, because it is expected that a leader will always ‘go first’, a leader must become accustomed to disclosing his or her values and thoughts, before anyone else does. ‘Self disclosure’, to use the psychological term, can be risky because a leader may expose himself or herself to ridicule and scorn. So a leader must have the moral courage to reveal and defend his or her convictions.

Because the work agenda is so long, a leader in Fiji must also learn how to prioritise tasks and the leader’s own time in a sensible way. When it is impossible to achieve everything simultaneously, the sequencing of tasks becomes very important. It is sometimes necessary to balance objectives against each other, achieving a little bit in several areas at once rather than everything in one area but nothing anywhere else.

And to the extent that a leader is operating in a political environment it will also be important to learn how to manage other people’s expectations about the speed with which progress can be achieved. Arriving at the right balance between setting targets that are ambitious but realisable, and targets that are inspirational but probably not realistic, may be the most difficult challenge of all.


CICERO said…
All three areas stated above are important fundamental attributes for any leader. In the political sphere, it is absolutely essential that any leader of substance fully and clearly understands the difference between: PUBLIC and PRIVATE MONEY. Remunerated by Public Money (taxpayers' money), no leader in Fiji may ever again make a confusion between the two. This also demands that political leaders make themselves regularly accountable in each and every facet of their leadership portfolio. This ought and mus be mandatory but the right individual will do it voluntarily and readily. It will be disclosure for the public good and because it is recognised that to follow the leader, public trust must be cultivated and instilled. The Fiji Public going forward must learn to be endlessly vigilant, critical and sceptical. This has never been the case in the past: to our eternal cost.
what a pity said…
What a pity this doesn't happen in india? One of the world's most corrupt countries. But we can't say that - it is not politically correct. And the bleaters would scream racism, which is increasingly a smokescreen of the corrupt and cowardly.
Cicero Two said… our "eternal cost"

Fiji has lost twenty years because of a failure of political leadership. This failure has been attributable in the main to losing sight of a "BIG PICTURE". Political Leadership (capital P and L)is not unlike conducting a Symphony Orchestra: each instrument has its own definable role even the triangle. All must be allowed to contribute and they must be encouraged and assisted to do so equally - even the triangle.
who's who said…
Parliamentary leadership for modern times has to be taught through on-going training in a Leadership Training Institute such as Leadership Fiji. Provision for the fair representation of women should also be included and ability to or willingness to learn to speak Hindi or Fijian.A basic qualification for all parliamentary leaders should be finacial literacy and adequacy of personal income. On-going training of the civil service is noted but this should also be carried out for community leaders.
Islands in the Stream said…
@ what a pity...

Am unsure as to why you pick upon India? Is this political incorrectness at work? Deliberate choice? Many countries just as corrupt as India and Fiji has been one of them. Now the Police Spokesman must shift his stance and be prepared to tell us all: Government Ministers who have diverted public money to scams which have subverted elections and our rights to a free and fair vote, WILL be immediately investigated for further evidence (it abounds) and that they will be subsequently charged. Until this occurs, the performance of all government ministers will be under scrutiny. It will be under scrutiny indefinitely. Taxpayers money was used to defraud the Fiji electorate: TWICE: in 2001 and in 2006. Playing dumb is no response. We must be SMART and address this purported corruption now. We must be seen to do it and we must see it through resolutely, no dithering along the way. Former DPPs have failed miserably. Time to put this to rights!
Anonymous Obviously said…
I thought it would be a useful exercise to match our current leader with the qualities outlioned in Pillar 3 of the People’s Charter.



When Frank took over the country in 2006 he had a clear vision. He was going to do the following
1- Clean up campaign, get rid of corruption
2- Grow the Economy
3- Eradicate poverty
4- End Racism
In terms of clean up all that he has done is replace the previous corrupt government officials with a new batch. Whether it is in Ministries, the police, the army or civil servants corruption is still rife and new pigs have their snouts in the trough. IF IT’S SHINY, GIVE IT TO BAINI!

Grow the economy yes well. IT SHRANK, FRANK!

Eradicate poverty. MORE ARE POOR, COMMODORE!


Overall just having a vision is not enough. To be a true visionary you have to make your vision come true.
0 points Frank


A dictionary defines Integrity as:
Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code

I think Frank got confused a bit here. He combined the words Moral and Ethical He is now steadfastly adhering to the MYTHICAL code.

0 points Frank


Telling Lies is not a sign of honesty.
We will have elections in 2008 or did I say 9 or 10 no I said 14.
We will lift PER when we have the Media Decree.

It seems cruel to go and on and on

0 points Frank


Reading is not one of Frank’s strong points and confusion reigns as he thinks it said SELFISHNESS. Well it’s close.

0 Points Frank


Frank is currently Minister for 9 portfolios. I can’t think of one where he has been successful and things are better now than they were before he became that Minister.

0 Points Frank


Frank does quite well here. He has to keep his door open because he hires you and then fires you so it is much easier to keep the door open.
But when it comes to letting the people of Fiji know about the thinking behind his decisions the door is firmly shut.

0 Points Frank.


We are living in an age where communication is easier and faster than ever before. I am not sure Frank has developed his communications skills from when he used Morse code as a midshipman on a Chilean sailing boat. Fijians are continually in the dark about what is really going on in Fiji.

0 points Frank


Race, wealth, and education no longer matter we are all united. There is one big division though. You are either with Frank or against Frank.

0 Points Frank


I know you can count to 10 but that does not mean you have A COUNT ABILITY.

He is accountable to nobody and acts like it.

0 Points Frank

Overall Frank you have scored no points, according to your very own People’s Charter you are not Leadership Material.

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