PSAY Newsletter October

It's the PSAY October Newsletter!

Welcome to this month’s PSA Youth newsletter! It’s been a busy September, what with the election and a bunch of related campaign events. Let’s catch you up on what’s happened across the network.

In this issue:

  • Wrap-up: PSAY election events
  • World Mental Health Day - 10 October 2017
  • PSAY Planning day
  • Local Government sector youth representative role
  • Member Q&A – Sarah Bleaken, Investigator Inland Revenue
  • Stand Up – Cross Union Youth News

Wrap-up: PSAY election events

Low youth enrolment and voter turnout has been talked about a lot the last couple of elections so this year our PSAY team took it upon themselves to activate and engage youth members.

Thanks to the convenors and members in the regions for standing up and holding events – your efforts were awesome and appreciated. We hope there will be more of these kinds of things in the future.

PSAY Wellington forum

In Wellington we held an election forum with candidates from each of the major parties. PSAY member Zoe George facilitated the discussion, prompting robust debate around the issues that affect youth today.

You can watch the livestream recording here

PSAY Palmerston North event

PSAY Palmerston North members hosted a get out the vote night, getting together over pizza to talk about politics and power.

World Mental Health Day - Tuesday 10 October 2017


One in five New Zealanders will experience mental illness this year, so chances are there is someone around you right now who isn’t coping or is feeling alone.

The PSA and Stand Together are supporting the Mental Health Foundation's "Lockout" which invites to take some time outside to rest, relax and focus on your wellbeing on Tuesday 10th October from 12pm till 1pm.

PSAY is coordinating picnics in some of our main centres and we would love you to come along and join us.

If you can’t make any of the below invite your workmates to take a break with you at your nearest park or go for a walk, everyone can get involved in there own way.

We’ve created posters so you can plan your own Mental Health Day event and spread the word in your workplace.

Print your poster and get planning

PSAY Picnics happening in your area

All welcome, bring your lunch


Garden Place 12pm till 1pm

Contact Liam Russell for any enquiries.


Parliament lawn 12pm till 1pm

Contact Lauren Hourigan for any enquires.


In the Octagon from 12pm till 1pm

Contact Jacqueline Atkinson for any enquires.

If you’re not able to attend a picnic on World Mental Health Day, there are plenty of other ways to get involved. Visit the Mental Health Foundation here to see a schedule of activities throughout Mental Health Awareness Week (9-15 October).

Want action on mental health?

Hastings Mum Hana Ready is presenting her petition to Parliamentarians on World Mental Health Day and needs your support.

Hana, supported by YesWeCare.NZ, has gathered close to 30,000 signatures on her petition calling for an urgent inquiry into our mental health crisis.


Join us to present the petition at Parliament on Tuesday 10th October at 12pm.

Find out more details Here

If you haven’t already please sign the petition here

Share Hana’s story and brave video here

PSAY Planning Day

On the 27-29 September our youth convenor team and three PSA staff gathered in Auckland for training and planning. On the Wednesday we had the head of PSA education and training, Richard Chalkin, educate the team on confidence and how we can apply that to an educational setting.

Other themes included facilitation activities and how the PSA is structured. O n the second and third days the youth convenor team learnt about our roles as convenors, identified what our existing skills are and how we can apply them as a team to grow the future of PSAY. We enjoyed to be able to build, learn and grow as a team over the three days and I'm excited to see what we can do to represent and grow our network well.

Local Government sector representative role

The Local Government sector committee of the PSA are seeking a youth representative for their sector committee.

This is a full member of the committee with voting rights and must be a delegate working in the sector as well as a member of PSA Youth to be eligible. (PSAY are also creating observer positions on all sector committees so there will be at least two young members on the Local Government committee!)


“Kāwanatanga a Rohe / Local Government sector committee is one of five sectors within the PSA. It has its own sector committee made up of delegates who work in local government.

The committee provides advice and information to the PSA executive board on local government union matters. It plans and organises on how to grow the union, how to improve the PSA’s influence and bargaining outcomes and how to build a better working life for local government union members.

It meets three times a year (usually in Wellington), for two days at a time. Committee members may also have other responsibilities or projects within the union. Sector representatives are elected by delegates who work in local government and are elected for a two year period.  The PSA write to your employer to arrange your paid release to attend meetings and we take care of all travel, accommodation and meal arrangements.  Committee members also receive training and support for this role.

If you want more information you are welcome to contact PSA LG sector sonvenor: or

Upcoming events: Get active with activism

Do you want to be an activist but not sure where to start?

Unions Wellington and the Workers Education Association want to help! There will be a Union and Community Activist Day School on Saturday October 7 at PSA house, 11 Aurora Terrace.

This is for anyone who wants to help make a change between elections in their delegate or personal capacity. Just because the voting is over, doesn't mean politics stops. Whether its fighting for climate justice, or a living wage, we need activists to tackle the big issues. Open to activists old and new, so come along to learn something new, and share your experience with others. Whether you’re a new union delegate, or a long time community campaigner we'd love to have you along. Entry is free, but if you were able to make a donation to cover costs it would be greatly appreciated. Watch this Facebook page for updates including the full programme.

For more information email or call/txt Ben on 027 3111 989.

Member Q&A – Sarah Bleaken

sarah bleaken

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

Liam you owe me a coffee for doing this.

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

I’m a tax investigator at Inland Revenue and work predominantly in the hidden economy. I do work finding businesses and individuals that either operate outside the system or supress sales or have undeclared cash wages.  While we do execute warrants on private homes, search businesses and take witness statements, on a day to day basis I sit at my desk and analyse bank statements and other business records.

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

Being asked to do this Q&A.

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

 The hardest thing about my job is the effect it has on people. Even with your best efforts, audits can be disruptive.

What do you enjoy about being a part of PSA and PSA Youth, and why did youjoin?

I have always believed in unions, the power of the collective and the importance of protecting our rights. I am really worried that my generation is less interested in being part of unions as they are unaware of what unions have done for us. Obviously, the more people in the union the stronger it is.

What is your vision for young members of the PSA?

To have equal opportunities regardless of gender.

To stay in a union and support the union however they can.

To work to provide good services for the public and be remunerated fairly for that work.

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

I love to get outside and enjoy the spring sunshine whenever I can.

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

Any injustice – anything where there is a fundamental power imbalance and the underdog is getting a raw deal.

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

Helen Clark, Michelle Obama and Prince Harry. Obviously they are all inspiring people, with incredibly interesting lives, but I imagine they would also be easy to get along with.

What are your three pet peeves?

  • Wearing no shoes around the office
  • People that are late
  • Loud chewing

What advice would you give your 16 year old self?

You only have one life and you should live it how you want.