PSA delegate Kelly Broerse says her colleagues at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) in Auckland are used to her showing up at work with black eyes and bruises.
That’s because when she’s not involved in a tough round of negotiations, or doing her day job as a forensic technician, Kelly is likely to be found in the Muay Thai kickboxing ring.
She has an impressive record of 14 wins from 17 fights, and currently holds one New Zealand and two South Pacific titles.
Kelly also fought unsuccessfully for an amateur world title in Brisbane in September. Not bad for a woman who got into the sport just to keep fit.
“It’s a really big achievement fighting for a world title. But I’m most proud of actually getting in the ring. The anxiety when you are waiting to get in there with someone who wants to smash you is insane,” Kelly says.
Muay Thai boxing is a stand-up form of martial arts and Kelly says it’s attracting a growing number of female fighters in New Zealand.
She says a competitive nature has helped her succeed in the ring, along with a strong work ethic.
Kelly brings the same determination to succeed to her “dream job”, processing DNA crime samples from all over New Zealand.
“It’s not glamorous, my team doesn’t attend crime scenes. But while the police and other teams are the frontline, it’s rewarding to know we are involved in finding the truth.”
Kelly says her workmates make jokes about ‘keeping her hands up’ when they see her fight wounds – but they are also extremely supportive, attending fights or watching them on You Tube. In turn, Kelly has shown her support for her colleagues in her role as a delegate.
“I’ve been on the negotiating team this year and have been involved in restructuring. So sometimes we are the middle men during all of that which can be challenging.
“But it’s also been great for my personal and professional growth, helping to develop my confidence in dealing with issues, and public speaking. And it’s been a great insight into ESR and other parts of our business.”
A survey of wāhine Māori in the PSA has drawn a fantastic response - with more than 900 members taking the time to tell us about their employment experiences.
Your salaries generally reflect the gender and ethnic pay gaps seen in the wider workforce with Pākeha men well out in front of other groups.
That’s why we’ve made a submission on the Government’s new discussion document on FPAs and have been encouraging members to make sure their voices are heard.
Their role is to organise and advocate for Māori members in their sectors. They also represent their sectors on Te Kōmiti o Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Awhina and on sector committees.
Staff from the Ministry’s policy teams have attended UN indigenous rights forums in Geneva and New York.