MOJ National Hui 2019

On 20-21 June, 75 Māori staff from the Ministry of Justice attended the first National Hui at Hungahungatoroa Marae in Tauranga to discuss Te Haerenga, the Ministry’s Māori Strategy.

This was an outcome of a 2018 PSA bargaining claim lodged by the MOJ Rūnanga Committee. For the first time in almost 20 years, Māori staff got the opportunity to meet and discuss their issues as kaimahi Māori in MOJ. 

Karley Nyman, MOJ Rūnanga Convenor, saw the hui as very positive, saying, “I found the opportunity we as Māori employees of the Ministry were able to take part in this hui, was fantastic! All attendees were on the same page, regarding issues we face daily.”

Rireana Kirkwood, from Christchurch, said, “I went to the hui representing Te Waipounamu, Rangatahi, Wahine and of course Māori. It was incredible to be around and meet other Māori kaimahi of MOJ. We shared ideas and solutions to help our workplaces and our customers, and it was energising to see the passion in our discussions. What I took from the hui was that as a young Māori from the South Island who is relatively isolated, I am supported by everyone at that hui.”


Kahu ūRipia, from Gisborne, said, “I found the highlight of the hui was the honesty in which everyone spoke regarding our integrity as the indigenous partner and how we should be treated within the Ministry. I also thought Andrew Kibblewhite’s time with us was uplifting, and hopefully that time spent will benefit us all in time to come.”

The main issues that the kaimahi had were around Te Reo, Tikanga, Māori recruitment and retention, building a network of Māori staff and continuing engagement with senior leadership. Staff members had the opportunity to directly address the Ministry Chief Executive on these matters.

Another outcome of PSA bargaining was the establishment of Te Haerenga Committee, where MOJ and PSA can engage jointly and implement the strategy.

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Michelle Beattie, a rūnanga delegate and committee member said: “It was evident that an event of this stature was long overdue for our Māori staff; and the opportunity to portray their issues, ideas and their contribution toward implementing Maori initiatives, spoke volumes. A resounding challenge that was portrayed was the difficulty many of our people encountered to attend the hui. Issues around release of staff due to operational requirements at their respective work sites and; whether management recognised and encouraged their Maori staff to attend. Therefore, it was telling that the attendance and representation of our Maori staff, across Aotearoa, could have been far greater, if such challenges, to attend a Hui (for the benefit and progression of Maori staff) were not in existence”

Glenn Barclay, PSA National Secretary attended the hui, and spoke to everyone about how we can all engage on various kaupapa, such as Hāpaitia Oranga Tangata (the upcoming justice reforms), State Sector Reform, and Mana Wahine, the PSA’s claim at the Waitangi Tribunal.

The end result was that the staff decided that we need these hui to run annually, and everyone is looking forward to next year’s hui!

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