Name: Daniel Poa MAEKE
Parent: Matiu Unusi & Susan Lavu
Date of Birth: 1931
Place of Birth: Belaga Village, North East Ngella, Central Islands Province
Marital Status: Widow
Wife: Late Miriam Peo Maeke
Children: Ronald M. Unusi, Lydia Lavu Maeke Ghemu, David Kapini (died) & Nester Saumasa Bako (by adoption).
Religion: Christianity – Devout Anglican/Church of Melanesia.
1946: Siota District School (6 months).
1946 – 47: Maravovo Junior Primary School
1948 – 50: Pawa Senior Primary School
1951: Aligegeo Government Experimental School
1952 – 1955: Queen Victoria Secondary School, [Londoni then, Matavatucou where QVS was relocated in 1953] Fiji.
1955 – 1956: Fiji Teachers College, Nasinu, Fiji.
1961: Birmingham University, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
1973: Mosman International College, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
- Certificate in Teaching – FTC, Nasinu, Fiji
- Diploma in Educational Administration – Birmingham University, United Kingdom.
- Certificate in Public Administration – Mosman International College, Australia.
1957 – 1979: He began as a secondary school teacher at King George Six (VI) Aligegeo in 1957, and retiring as a Permanent Secretary with the Government of Solomon Islands in 1979. A career Public Servant, a one-employer employee.
1981 – 1985: Appointed and served as the First Ombudsman of Solomon Islands. He declined a request from the then Prime Minister, Sir Peter Kenilorea to serve a second term.
HIGHLIGHTS DURING TERM IN OFFICE
As the one appointed to be the first in the growing list of Solomon Islanders to serve in this very vital constitutional office is a real challenge. Tasked principally with being an ‘independent’ watchdog on malpractices within the Public Administration; the pioneering task of setting up the office’s operational system [Investigative as well as office management systems] and human resources fell on me. Drawing from my years of experience in the public administration, the first important task to knock-off was the recruiting of a core investigation and office staff.
Assisted by the Prime Minister’s office, a team consisting of two investigation officers, one legal advisor, one administrative officer and one secretary/typist [who doubled up as receptionist and at times office driver] was quickly put together. Those in that initial team were; Mr. Sam Alasia (Investigation officer), Miss Roria Ta’asi (Secretary/typist), Mr. Emilio Bulu (Administration Officer). An Australian lawyer as the office’s legal advisor joined us. We had a succession of legal advisors during my term including a local legal counsel who preferred to stay home and sleep rather than show up at work so we had to get the Public Service to replace him.
My first six months in office was spent on preparing and establishing a system for investigation. I then spent two weeks in Australia and one week in Fiji consulting with my counterparts and getting prepared for the publicity work on the roles of the Ombudsman, which was the next big task ahead of my team and me. The office was a new development in our public administration and deliberate promotional program was necessary to educate and inform public servants and the general public of the roles of this new public institution; when and how it could be of help to them, and the extent of the assistance that can be rendered by the office.
In those initial years, I realize how important it was to get immediate rapport with the office chief clientele population. I noted the protocol claddings accorded to the holder of the post were going to be a hindrance. The 24 hours personal police security and chauffeur and Police protocol were in my judgment counter affinity building and too conspicuous for my personal taste. I convinced the government then to do away with such high society practices maintaining only the night home security service by police. But this also I had to asked my friend John Holloway, the then Commissioner of police, who was my neighbor up the road, one morning, to terminate immediately after one of my nephews almost stoned the silhouette figure of the duty officer next to our garbage bin the night before, thinking it was a stray dog working on the bin. He moved just in time to cancel the launching of the assault.
The office has come a long way over the last two and half decades I have every reason to believe that my successors have been able to build and expand on the foundation I laid back then. The government and the donor partners must be thanked for giving you along with other good governance bodies this beautiful office.
During my time, I was privileged to attend the Australian and New Zealand Ombudsman Conferences in Wellington, Darwin, Canberra and Melbourne and the International Ombudsmen’s Conference in Stockholm, Sweden.
Lastly, due to my declining health, I will not be able to attend your anniversary in person, but be assured of my sincere appreciation for inviting me to be part of it even by way of this short and brief note. Happy anniversary and May God richly bless your future with much success.