• Posted on: 31/03/2021
  • 4 minutes to read

In our News in Brief, Pasefika representation is being implemented across our union, we announce a new Māori leadership role, and acknowledge the anniversary of the March 15 attacks.

PASEFIKA REPRESENTATION 

We’re moving to implement a decision made at Congress to ensure Pacific representation across the union.

This has been a very important step for the PSA Pasefika network towards ensuring that Pacific voices mandated by Pacific members are sitting at the table.

PSA Pasefika is working towards the introduction of Vā Moana delegates across all organisations.

These will be Pacific delegates elected by Pacific members to be their voice in their organisation.

The Vā Moana from each enterprise in each sector will then determine their Pacific sector representative. 

Another step taken to boost Pacific representation, is the appointment of a Pasefika Representative to the PSA Executive Board.

One or our PSA Pasefika co-convenors, Ulualofaiga Mareko has been chosen as the first person to hold this position.  

He will bring together the work of the board, sector representatives and Vā Moana. 

We’re also pleased to announce the appointment of Duane Leo to the position of PSA assistant secretary, the first Pacific person to take on this leadership role.

Duane has been a PSA organiser in Auckland for the past 18 years and brings a wealth of experience to his new position.

And while the PSA National Pasefika Fono was postponed in March due to the change in Covid Alert levels, we are working to confirm a new date for the event soon.

These are exciting times for Pacific members in the PSA and we are all looking forward to the journey.

Main photo caption:  Duane Leo, with Pasefika members Corina Alipate, Nat-Lîm McIvor (Kado) and Tania Siwatibau

NEW PSA MĀORI LEADERSHIP

The PSA Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi is also pleased to announce the appointment of longstanding PSA organiser Janice Panoho to the new leadership role of Kaihautū Māori.

Janice is well respected for almost four decades of advocacy on behalf of PSA members, and for her years of activism on behalf of Māori.

This is an historic appointment for the PSA, which will provide cultural, industrial and political leadership across the union, and help integrate our kaupapa Māori work programmes with the PSA’s general agenda.

We’ll have more on Janice and her new role in the next Te Mahinga Ora.

MARCH 15 ATTACKS ANNIVERSARY

As we acknowledge the second anniversary of the Christchurch terror attacks, we extend our aroha to the Muslim community and all those who suffered such tragic loss on that day.

Many of our members were at the forefront of the response to the events of March 15, 2019. We thank you for your service and think of you too on this anniversary.

In the wake of the tragedy, we as a nation and as a union came together to reaffirm the values of tolerance and kindness.

Our PSA Ōtautahi Leaders group of delegates provided support, and sought to ensure that employers across agencies were responding to the needs of their staff during that traumatic time.

The PSA developed a union-wide response, to advocate for an Aotearoa New Zealand where ‘We All Belong’, and strive for inclusive workplaces.

PSA Vice President Māori Lesley Dixon, who is a member of the Ōtautahi Leaders Group, says the value of unity in diversity has been embraced by the people of Christchurch and beyond.

“As we remember those who have gone and the bravery of those who remain, let’s continue to be kind to each other.

Tukua te aroha kia rere.

For further support go to www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/mental-health or www.allright.org.nz/.

You can download our ‘We All Belong’ poster at www.psa.org.nz/posters/.

MĀORI WARDS BILL WELCOMED

The PSA strongly backed a bill that will allow councils to establish Māori wards and constituencies.

The bill passed its third and final reading in February, meaning local referendums can no longer overturn council decisions to introduce Māori wards.

The PSA represents almost 9,000 members in local authorities, who want their institutions to be free of racism, prejudice and exclusion.

At a 2018 delegates conference, members called on their union to advocate for Māori wards and against referendum provisions that could block them.

The PSA presented an oral submission on the bill in February. Our written submission can be viewed at www.psa.org.nz/submissions/.

CLIMATE CHANGE CALL

The PSA supports the Climate Change Commission’s call for an equitable transitions strategy to minimise negative impacts on Māori, Pasefika, disabled and working class communities.

The Commission predicts significant increases in travel and vehicle costs for many households, not all of whom can easily afford an electric vehicle.

The PSA is campaigning to expand universal basic services as part of its Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment. A Government commitment to fund free public transport, with decarbonised bus and rail services, would be the fairest way to respond to the climate crisis.