Samoa’s NHRI and APF network farewell Tracielei Mikaele
Graphic: Group photo at the welcoming ceremony
Tracielei Mikaele, former Director of Engagement and Communications at the Office of the Ombudsman, Samoa, has joined the Tari o te Kaitiaki Mana Tangata, the New Zealand Office of the Ombudsman, as the leader of Pacific engagement.
She was recently welcomed into her role with a mihi whakatau, a welcome ceremony to remove the tapu (sacredness) of the manuhiri (visitors) and make them one with the tangata whenua (the staff of the Office).
As is custom in Aotearoa New Zealand, Dr Jill Chrisp, APF Consultant, joined Tracey and her family to show support for the process by recognising Tracey’s move from the APF human rights family into her new role.
During her eight-years at the Samoan NHRI, Tracielei made significant contributions to human rights capacity-building across the Asia Pacific region and internationally. She is known for her community-led development approach to human rights issues, which emphasises supporting communities to identify and address their own human rights concerns. She believes in, and practices, ‘nothing about us without us’.
Through her work, she has contributed to our thinking about the link between human rights, indigenous rights and cultural and faith-based values and was a key member in the Samoa Office’s seminal inquiry into family violence, including the subsequent roll-out into village communities in Samoa. She has worked across multiple government, civil society and private sectors in the human rights space. We believe her experience and expertise will be invaluable in her new role.
Tracielei joins Charles Dean, who also worked for the Samoan NHRI until December last year and is now a member of the NZ Ombudsman’s Office complaints and resolutions team.
We hope that we will be able to continue the relationship with Tracey and the NZ Ombudsman’s Office as we continue the work to build human rights capacity in the Pacific. We wish Tracey, her family and Charles well.
Date: 2 May 2023
- Group photo at the welcoming ceremony - Courtesy of Dr Jill Chrisp