Kua hinga te tōtara i te wao tapu nui a Tāne, te hunga kua mene ki te pō.
The tōtara has fallen in Tāne’s great forest.
It is with great sadness that we share with our members the news of the passing of our PSA Kaumātua Kiwhare Mihaka on November 17.
Our thoughts, prayers and aroha go out to his whaanau at this time of pouritanga.
Matua Kiwhare Mihaka has been a longtime unionist who gave dedicated service to the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi and the NZ Council of Trade Unions over many years.
Kiwhare had been the PSA Kaumātua since 1986, and Kaumātua for the Council of Trade Unions since 2008, before stepping down from his duties earlier this year.
He has provided leadership and guidance for the PSA Rūnanga, Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina, and given support and advice for Māori and PSA members across our union.
He always enjoyed seeing Māori delegates thrive in their roles across our Māori governance structures and has supported Māori staff (Te Whānau Atawhai) in their different roles.
Kiwhare has been a driving force behind choosing many Te Reo Māori terms used by the PSA, including the Māori name for the union, Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.
“The name captures the concept of skilled people coming together to create good conditions and ways of working,” he explained at the time.
At the CTU he was involved in the development of He Takawaenga, a relationship document between the CTU and its Rūnanga, which outlined treaty expectations.
This is a huge loss for the PSA, its members, and the wider union movement. We will miss his manaakitanga and aroha.
Nō reira, moe mai rā e te Rangatira, takoto mai i to waka wairua I ngā takotoranga o ngā mātua tupuna. Haere, haere, haere atu rā.
I roto I te manaakitanga
PSA Kaihautū Janice Panoho, Kuia Georgina Kerr, Kaumatua Hone Witana
Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina Tuakana Lesley Dixon, Teina Virgil Iraia
PSA President Benedict Ferguson
PSA National Secretaries Erin Polaczuk and Kerry Davies