Tautoko our mana wahine claim

Our PSA Rūnanga is calling on wāhine Māori who have experienced injustices in their working lives to come forward and tell their stories.

The kōrero will help support our Waitangi Tribunal claim challenging breaches by the Crown including the failure to provide education that adequately prepared wāhine for employment, or to eliminate workplace bias and discrimination


Mana Wahine Claimants

Mana Wahine Claimants Georgina Kerr, Llani Harding and Paula Davis



Claimant and Rūnanga Kuia Georgina Kerr has been fighting to address the injustices that resulted from these breaches since she became a kindergarten teacher in 1967. 

“I observed the inequities suffered by wāhine Māori in regards to pay and conditions. So I joined the union to help lift the status of working families,” she says. 

“This priority continued for me during my career in the public service, but for wāhine Māori the journey has been difficult, with limited progress made over many decades.”



Claimant Paula Davis says seeing the pay gap persist for indigenous women despite campaigns for equal pay convinced her “it is more than just a women’s issue”. 

“That is what sparked the claim really, this is an issue that affects Māori women. It’s not that a Pākehā woman might get paid $50 a week more than me. It’s how that little amount per week affects you over the years, Māori don’t own houses, they can’t afford to go to the doctor. It has a lasting impact.” 

The Justice Ministry Māori enterprise delegate says there is still a lack of career paths and mentoring for wāhine Māori in the Public Service. 

“We often see Māori leave the public service and go into iwi roles if they want to achieve. They don’t get the same leadership opportunities.”



Claimant Llani Harding says as a young Māori mother she has had to work twice as hard to “prove I’m not just a dumb mum”. 

“You are prejudged. I missed out on jobs. People say ‘stay home with the baby’, but maybe that wasn’t what I wanted to do.” 

The council worker says the effects of colonisation also affect her whānau. 

“I still feel like I need to explain my reasons for sending my kids to kōhanga and kura kaupapa and whether it’s the right thing to do. It’s like we are playing catch-up, my generation and my kids.” 

Llani says she became a claimant to represent the wāhine toa who helped raise her. 

“I represent their struggles, their success and their hopes and dreams for the future.”



Action is stepping up on Claim Wai 2864 with stories of workplace injustice being gathered at sector hui during August and September.


Email to find out how you can tell your stories


Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina is also undertaking research to determine the nature and extent of employment inequities experienced by wāhine Māori.

The Rūnanga welcomes the announcement that part of $6 million funding allocated to the Waitangi Tribunal’s Mana Wāhine Kaupapa Inquiry, will support collaboration and research with claimants.


Find out more at https://www.psa.org.nz/about-us/te-runanga/mana-wahine/