About the PSA

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

Logo PSA SeedAs a trade union, the PSA represents and supports more than 75,000 workers in central government, state-owned enterprises, local councils, health boards and community groups

Unions such as the PSA bargain with employers for collective employment agreements, as well as helping employees by providing information and advice about work-related issues.

By joining the PSA, you're joining our community of more than 75,000 members. 


Our Purpose

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

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.

About our strategic goals

Our strategic goals set aspirational targets about where we want the PSA to be in 2024, and within that has three year cycles where we set more specific goals and plan towards achieving them.

This is a whole of union approach, has been signed off by the executive board and has been developed through the governance structures of the union and after consultation with other interested parties.

To support the implementation of the goals, each sector within the union develops its own plan, in-line with the overall strategic goals, and each year the secretariat issues its operational priorities, which applies the strategic goals to annual objectives to guide the work of the union in that year.


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Our strategic goals:

Transforming our workplaces
Workplaces are transformed so that work is fulfilling, productive and satisfying.

Building our union
Membership of the PSA is strong and growing, and the
union is resilient and sustainable.

Advocating for strong, innovative and effective public and community services
Our influence has led to sustained political and public support for properly funded innovative public and community services.

Equal Pay
All PSA members are paid equally for work of equal value.


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.

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.

 Click on the chart below to enlarge, or click here for the simplified version.

PSA governance structure 2017

The full name of the PSA is Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi, as 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."