“Remember the loss but also remember the hope”


“Remember the loss but also remember the hope”

As we mark the anniversary of the Christchurch attacks the PSA has added its voice to a call for peace from the city’s Muslim community.

PSA delegate Benjamin Gresham says the Christchurch Invitation is a call to spread peace, reconnect, and feed the hungry - which draws on the teachings of the Muslim tradition.

“It’s also a call to remember how we came together last year and how we saw through the differences. It’s a call to remember the loss but also to remember the hope.”

UNITY IN DIVERSITY

Ōtautahi PSA Organiser John Stace says the Christchurch Invitation reflects the values of our union. “We too want to build unity and strength from our diversity.”

John says the PSA Ōtautahi Delegate Leaders Group which came together to support members following the attacks is keen for the response to be meaningful.

“We can’t just move on. Rather than succumbing to those who seek to divide us, we want to continue to show kindness and caring for others.”

WORDS OF THANKS

We All Belong poster

Ben Gresham is a member of the Muslim community who has also been part of the PSA Ōtautahi group while seconded to work for the Office of Ethnic Communities in Christchurch.

He says he’s been struck by how the fatigue felt by the Muslim community has also been shared by PSA members involved in the response to the attacks – highlighting how much we were all affected.

He says the community would like to pass on its thanks for what people and government agencies have done to support them.

“There were a  lot of good deeds, unwitnessed beautiful acts that people did that wouldn’t have been seen by others and it’s important to acknowledge that.”

CHALLENGES CONTINUE

John Stace says the March 15 anniversary has brought back memories for members, especially coming so soon after the February 22 earthquake anniversary.

He says the feelings of tiredness continue for some - along with workplace stress, and mental health challenges.

John would like to encourage greater understanding of workers who may be experiencing difficulties.

“We are seeing a lot of situations where the coping ceiling of people has been lowered and in those cases we’d like employers to think about what is really going on here.”

Also in this issue:


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The guiding purpose of Maranga mai o ngā whakangungu ā rohe is to enable Māori delegates to use their perspective and experience to advocate for Te Tiriti o Waitangi in their workplaces.

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"We have come too far to not go further"

The Public Service in its current form is failing Māori. This is abundantly clear as Māori are over-represented in all negative social statistics. We need a public service that delivers for Māori.

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As forty or so people gathered in the blazing Wairarapa sun, only two had ever joined a protest before in their lives. Within twenty minutes, they were leading their own chants and you could hear them for miles.

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The PSA made a change to its rules in 2018 by enabling contractors and labour hire workers to become members.

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“I had completed a conjoint arts and law degree so the position tapped into my passion for drama and the arts as well as my knowledge of employment law and policy,” the 31 year-old recalls.

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The stall gave us an opportunity to kōrero kanohi ki te kanohi with the wider community about the kaupapa of Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina’s Waitangi Tribunal claim.

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