People Alliance Party Leader Sitiveni Rabuka said the proposal to restore the Great Council of Chiefs is based on the premise that it would train itaukei traditional leaders.
He said that their policy is to “equip the itaukei traditional and emerging leaders with the right leadership, administration, development and technical skills to move forward and lift the standards of living of their communities and organizations.”
His vision of the GCC is to emulate the success of the Maori leadership framework that has enabled them to develop their economy and accelerate the socio-economic progress of the indigenous communities, an aspect of management he learned during recent trips to NZ during which he met with Maori leaders and a number of policy experts.
He noted that in the last 15 years the Māori economy has grown from $25b to over $100b Fijian dollars, a 400% increase, and growing at double the rate compared to the rest of the country’s economy.
A major driver of the Māori success was the wide range of comprehensive and targeted leadership development programs for both current and emerging Māori traditional leaders, Mr. Rabuka said.
“The leadership skills developed were founded on Māori values, ideology, and traditional leadership knowledge in combination with modern tools of management. The Māori leadership programs were aimed at all levels of traditional Māori leadership and delivered in many forms, including short-term, long-term, tertiary, post-graduate, and executive programs.”
Mr.Rabuka also pointed out that this is not an overnight process and will involve many stakeholders to put in place a sustainable framework of leadership training to enable itaukei leaders “to navigate and find opportunities for developing their resources and to ensure that future generations’ livelihoods were protected.”