First milestone for Mana Wahine claim at Waitangi Tribunal

A claim lodged by Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Awhina – the rūnanga of the Public Service Association – to address employment inequities suffered by Māori women has now been officially registered by the Waitangi Tribunal as claim Wai 2864.

“It’s fantastic the Tribunal will hear our claim. It calls out the Crown for its failure to address injustices that have relegated generations of wāhine Māori to low paid jobs with working conditions that leave them extremely vulnerable,” said Georgina Kerr, one of four PSA members who lodged the claim on behalf of Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Awhina.

“This includes the failure of the education system to adequately prepare wāhine Māori for meaningful employment, the failure to eliminate bias and discrimination in the workplace, and the failure to consistently fund services that should be enhancing the lives of Māori wāhine and their whānau.

PSA Kaiwhakarite Māori Marcia Puru said “many wāhine Māori have been chronically disadvantaged by these breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi. That has to stop”.

Latest figures from the State Services Commission show while Pākehā women in the Public Service earn 13% less than their male counterparts, wāhine Māori earn 22% less than Pākehā men.

PSA national secretary Glenn Barclay said the union is determined the voices of wāhine Māori workers be heard loud and clear.

“Taking this claim forward by supporting Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Awhina as a principal claimant in the Tribunal’s Mana Wahine Kaupapa inquiry has been a priority for PSA’s executive board.

“We are eager to see the progress this will make now through a research phase and an eventual hearing by the Waitangi Tribunal.

“We also recognise this Government has made employment equity a priority and that it is open to direct dialogue with those representing wāhine Māori to address it.”

For further background see https://www.psa.org.nz/media/news/wl-july2018-8/