About the PSA

The Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi (PSA) is New Zealand's largest union.

About the PSA

As a trade union, the PSA represents and supports more than 80,000 workers across central government, state-owned enterprises, local councils, health boards and community groups. 

We are also a powerful public voice and a key player in New Zealand politics, arguing for policies that improve public services and the working conditions of those who deliver them.

Our Purpose is to build a union able to influence the political, economic, industrial and social environments in the interests of the membership of the PSA.

By joining the PSA, you're joining our community of more than 80,000 members. 

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Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi

Our full name is Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi, as chosen by Te Rūnanga in 2003.

Kaumātua Kiwhare Mihaka, the driving force behind choosing a Māori name for the PSA, describes pūkenga as the key word, referring to the skills of all the people in the PSA.

“Then we have tikanga – the good and correct way of doing things. And finally, mahi, which, of course, means work. This captures the essence of the PSA – the concept of skilled people coming together to create good conditions and ways of working." - Kaumātua Kiwhare Mihaka

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Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina

Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina represents and promotes the interests of Māori members. It provides a network to ensure Māori have a voice in the PSA, from the workplace to the union’s top decision-making bodies. All members who identify as Māori are part of Te Rūnanga o ngā Toa Āwhina.

The PSA is committed to honouring te Tiriti o Waitangi across the public sector and inside the union, and our structures ensure a Māori perspective can be heard at all levels of our organisation.

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Our Structure

PSA governance structure 2015 Copy

PSA Governance Structure

The PSA is democratically run by our members.

Members elect union representatives (delegates) within their workplace. These representatives help the PSA make decisions on things such as how the union is run and what to focus on during negotiations with employers. Delegates in each of our five sectors elect Sector Committees to lead the work of the PSA in their sector of work.

National delegates’ congress

The highest decision making body of the PSA, our national delegates’ Congress is held biennially. Bringing together representatives of all the sectors of the PSA every two years, it is our highest constitutional body and sets our overall direction.

Annual General Meetings (AGMs) provide constitutional oversight in between national delegate congresses, receiving reports from the treasurer and executive board. 

The Executive Board

The executive board is our policy-making body accountable to congress. It is responsible for overseeing PSA policy and making sure we spend our money wisely.

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PSA Strategic Goals

Our strategic goals set aspirational targets about where we want the PSA to be in 2027, with specific goals that look forward to 2024, along with plans towards achieving them.

Strong public & Community Services
Ratonga Hapori Tūmatanui Kaha

Strong and sustained political and public support for public
and not-for-profit community services as the heart of creating a better Aotearoa.

A strong, modern & influential union
He kaha, he whaimana, he uniana mō te ao hurihuri

Strong and sustained political and employer support for worker voice and participation through unions at the national, industry and organisation level.

Transformed Work
Mana mahi

Work is transformed so it is valued, secure, and influenced by strong worker voice to create wellbeing for all workers.

Equity in the workplace
Mana taurite i ngā wāhimahi

Workplaces are free from bias, discrimination and racism at the individual, organisational and system level.


Strategic Goals Whare 2021 simple

Click to see more on the Strategic Goals and download a PDF poster


Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Supporting these goals, and woven through them, is the PSA’s commitment to advancing Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles of partnership, protection and participation as they relate to the working lives of members.

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PSA Values

These values were adopted as policy by the PSA Executive Board as of 7 May 2018.

Solidarity - Kotahitanga

We champion members’ interests with a strong effective voice. We stand together, supporting and empowering members, individually and collectively.

Social justice - Pāpori Ture Tika

We take a stand for decent treatment and justice. We embrace diversity and challenge inequality.

Integrity and respect - Te Pono me te Whakaute

Our actions are characterised by professionalism, integrity and respect.

Solution focused - Otinga Arotahi

We are a progressive and constructive union, constantly seeking solutions that improve members’ working lives.

Democratic - Tā te Nuinga e Whakatau ai

We encourage participation from members. We aim to be transparent, accessible and inclusive in the way we work. 

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In New Zealand

New Zealand Council of Trade Unions – We are a committed affiliate of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (CTU), participating in CTU national and local forums and programmes and being represented at CTU biennial conferences and at CTU representative structure conferences. For more details on the CTU, click here.

IPANZ – We are a corporate member of IPANZ (the Institute of Public Administration New Zealand), a voluntary organisation committed to improving public policy and public sector administration and management. For more details click here.

Allied Health Aotearoa New Zealand – We are an associate member of Allied Health Aotearoa New Zealand (previously AHPAF), a forum for representatives of allied health professional associations. For more information click here.


Public Services International –  we are a member of PSI, a global union federation made up of more than 600 public sector unions. We participate in PSI regional and sub-regional meetings and are particularly active in supporting the development of union organisation in Pacific nations. For more details click here.

UNI Global Union – we affiliated to UNI Global Union in 2006. UNI is a global federation representing unions in the mass media, entertainment and the arts. One of its functions is sharing information between unions in the face of globalised media and broadcasting industries. For more information click here.

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