PSA Youth - August 2016

Our monthly newsletter for PSA members aged under 35.

In this issue:

Convenor team back to full strength!

After last month’s call for expressions of interest we heard from a number of excellent and enthusiastic members. We were excited to have two great candidates for the national co-convenor (woman) role. Tireni Ratema, from the Department of Conservation was elected. The other candidate, Erina Stockman from the Young Workers Resource Centre, was elected to the provincial convenor role. Hannah James from Ministry of Justice is the new Wellington convenor, running unopposed. Congratulations to Tireni, Erina and Hannah!

Thanks to everyone who put yourselves forward and to those who participated in the vote. As always, we welcome anyone who is keen to be active, just talk to one of the convenors about your ideas and look out for activities in your area!

CTU Stand Up Conference 23 & 24 September

PSA Youth will be sponsoring fifteen members to attend the Council of Trade Unions (CTU) Stand Up Conference in Auckland on 23-24 September. We are calling for expressions of interest from interested members.

Stand Up is the youth wing of the Council of Trade Unions. It’s a network of young workers from the many different unions in New Zealand.

Every second year Stand Up organises a cross-union national conference of young unionists. This year’s conference is on the theme Solidarity for the Future: Union Activism is Social Activism and will be taking place in Auckland on 23 & 24 September.

We are focusing on engaging union members in the wider social justice movement through their union activism, as well as identifying and developing young leaders in our union movement. We will introduce participants to the world of social activism through presentations from our own committee, social justice activists and rank and file members from a range of unions. Stand Up is also working in conjunction with Unions Auckland to engage conference participants in a low level action on day two of our conference.

The conference will be catered to union members who are already active in their union and have a good understanding of unions. PSAY will sponsor up to 15 committed young unionists to attend - people who are already active eg. in a delegate role or in PSAY and who are keen to get more involved.

To submit your expression of interest to attend the Stand Up conference, you must click the link in the email version of this newsletter.

Note expressions of interest close at 10am on Wednesday 24 August, so you will need to get in quick.

For more about Stand Up, check out their Facebook page or email to receive their monthly newsletter.

Sector Committees Update

PSAY members have been busy with other elections as well. In our May newsletter we advertised the space on the Public Service Sector Committee and we are pleased to see that Kris Lal, from Parliamentary Service in Auckland, has joined the committee! It’s fantastic to see Youth members taking these opportunities. We'll let you know if any further positions become available on any of our five sector committees.

Zoe BrownlieStand Together

Our Stand Together campaign is profiling candidates in the upcoming local body and district health board elections, including PSA Youth's very own Zoe Brownlie, standing for Auckland District Health Board. Here's what Stand Together had to say about Zoe over on Facebook:

Zoe Brownlie is a PSA member who’s standing for election to the Auckland District Health Board.

She’s currently working at Auckland Sexual Health Service as a Community Health Worker. Zoe's passionate about supporting all people, but especially healthcare workers, young people, and the aging population.

Zoe wants to see an improved low cost system where every person in Auckland feels listened to and in control of their own healthcare.

Make Smokefree Aotearoa a reality

Our friends in the New Zealand Nurses Organisation have started a petition calling for the Government to reinstate funding for anti-smoking advocacy services and iwi health providers who help people quit smoking.

If you want to support making a Smokefree Aotearoa a reality, please sign and share the petition today!

Tireni Ratema2Member Q&A

Each month we talk to a PSA Youth member and find out about their work and passions. If you want to be involved in this feature let us know at

Tireni Ratema, community ranger/ Kaitiaki Manutataki at the Department of Conservation, and the new PSA Youth national co-convenor.

What were you initial thoughts on signing up to do this Q&A?

Humbled really, and shy. But ultimately a way of saying thank you to those that voted for me as National Co-Convenor.


What is your job and what do you do on an average day at work?

I’m a Community Ranger/ Kaitiaki Manutataki at Department of Conservation in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty.

I’m a wee bit of a health fanatic, so I arrive to work quite early after a 6am workout to porridge & lemon squeezed hot water in front of my computer catching up on intranet news and reading through emails before the rush of colleagues enter the office which can be chaos or calm depending which day of the week it is! My day is generally filled with people – planning, strategizing, informing and decision making about local conservation issues. There’s always an opportunity to get out in the field with our outdoors team to get back to nature and be reminded of why I do what I do.  


What was a highlight at work for you in the past month?

There was an Orca calf abandoned in the Tauranga Harbour recently, it was an extremely unique situation. I had the opportunity to work closely with national & international Orca experts, however the greatest highlight was being assigned a role alongside one of very few Tohunga Tohora – Maori Whale Expert.


What would you say is the hardest thing about your job?

The hardest things about the job is observing the masses of people that rely on the wifi setting on their electronic device to determine their “connected” or not. Being connected to nature reminds people of their place on the planet, who they are and what is important. I find it difficult to watch people clued to the screen of their phones/ computers not aware of the greatest the surrounds them.


What do you enjoy about being a part of PSA and PSA Youth, and what brought you to join?

As people get older, they take on more responsibility and therefore become more serious! The PSAY offers the opportunity to vehicle the rights, voice and pathways for young professionals to navigate the career. I’m keen to make sure that’s happening in a youthful way.


What is your vision for young members of the PSA?

My vision for young members of the PSA is to be valued in their workplace. A lot of the time organisations are directed by a corporate strategy that often doesn’t include succession planning that will ensure the continuum of their work. Making sure the relevant information is accessible to young members to able to exercise their rights to assert their place is absolute paramount.


How do you like to spend your time outside of work?

I love being active, meeting new people and learning new things! Where these three things are happening and there is Soy Chai around is where I will be.


What cause would get you out on the streets protesting and why?

Indigenous Issues - Indigeneity speaks to identity, it is my responsibility to maintain the ancestral practices of my heritage whether that be street protesting or speaking my native language. I am equally passionate about other native cultures.  


Which three figures from past or present would you invite to your place for dinner, and why?

Maggie Papakura – I look up to this lady for a number of reasons, mainly because she was the first female Maori Anthropologist, and absolutely beautiful. Most look to international superstars as role models, however Maggie is the epitome of natural beauty to me.

Dalai Lama – life is simple, many of the Buddhist principles are based on humanities innate behaviour and talk about how we over complicate our lives. I would love to sit down with the Dalai Lama and learn more.

John Key – no explanation needed.


What are your three pet peeves?

Straight sheets – I cant sleep in a bed with wrinkled sheets! Ive been known to re-make a bed before going to sleep for the night.

¾ filled Hot drinks – I will tipped a wee bit of a hot drink out so that it is only ¾ full, a cup filled to the brim is hard to drink, and can burn your lips or you end up leaving it on the table and slurping it until you can pick it up and drink it normally.

Earrings – I have to wear earrings of some sort on, I feel absolutely naked without them.


What advice would you give your 16 year old self?

Be humble, work hard, have fun and take risks!