What we stand for

The PSA – the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi –is New Zealand's largest union, representing more than 75,000 workers in central government, state-owned enterprises, local councils, health boards and community groups.


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

PSA Values

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.

These values were adopted as policy by the executive board at their meeting of 7 May 2018.

Fair pay and good jobs

Collective bargaining is one of the key ways in which PSA members can work together to improve their living standards and the quality of working life. The PSA bargains for members in over 400 organisations that between them represent the full breadth and diversity of the public sector. Each sector has its own particular needs and the PSA's bargaining strategies are drawn up accordingly.

Strong union organisation

Effective recruitment and strong delegate structures are at the heart of union organisation in the workplace. The PSA has nearly 4,000 workplace delegates and runs a comprehensive programme of delegate development, including a series of courses on the skills and knowledge needed for the job.

Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi

The full name of the PSA is Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi. It was chosen by Te Rūnanga in 2003.

"We spent a long time looking at the work of the PSA, what we do and how we do it. We also talked to people outside to get their ideas from an external perspective," says kaumātua Kiwhare Mihaka, who was the driving force to choose a Māori name for the PSA.

The name was finally arrived at after hours of discussion, going on into the early morning, between Rawhiti Moses, then convenor of te rūnanga, and Mauriora Kingi.

Kiwhare explains its meaning: "The key word is pūkenga and that refers 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."