Last week the Public Service Commission announced the appointment of Gaylene Tasmania as the Deputy Secretary to the Government (SOG). The position of Deputy SOG was recently re-established making her the second highest-ranking public servant, after Secretary to Government, Ms. Peleni Talagi. The last time there was a Deputy Secretary to Government was in the early 2000s during the government of Former Premier Hon. Young Vivian.
Gaylene Tasmania is the former Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Social Services which hosts the Departments of Health, Education, Justice, Lands/Survey, and Community Affairs and Taoga Niue. She was a key member of the government’s Covid 19 Committee and played an integral part in the public relations of the government’s Covid-19 response over the past three years.
According to the statement from the Commission, the appointment of Mrs. Tasmania to the position of Deputy SOG means that the position she previously held of Director General of the Ministry of Social Services no longer exists and is disestablished as a position of the Public Service.
The Public Service Commission said that they were pleased with the caliber of applicants, and that “a number of high-quality candidates based on the island applied for the role of Deputy Secretary to the Government”.
Gaylene Tasmania is one of the senior employees of the Public Service having served for 28 years. She started her career in 1994 working first with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries working her way up to Deputy Director. She then moved to become the Director of Community Affairs before she became the Director General of Social Services in 2014, a role she held until this new appointment.
Mrs. Tasmania attended university in Australia and graduated from the University of Queensland (Gatton) with a Bachelor of Applied Science. She later graduated with a Master of Science (First Class Honours) from Massey University in New Zealand.
When asked for a comment on this new role, the new Deputy SOG in a statement said that “The new role will have many challenges, but I know that God is my strength and my refuge, and I will do my best to serve the people of Niue with humility and integrity”, said Tasmania.
Gaylene Tasmania is now based with the Office of the Secretary to Government working with the SOG Peleni Talagi.