Fearsome fighter

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.”


Also in this issue:

President's Message

Tēnā koutou e te whānau

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Obituary: Lynn Middleton

PSA’s first female national secretary and equal pay leader

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Working for Free

From November 18 New Zealand women effectively began working for free until the end of the year because of the 11.9% pay gap between men and women.

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Kindly leading the way to Equal Pay

As women began working for free in New Zealand on November 18, the PSA was working hard on a number of fronts to close the gender pay gap.

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Stand Up for Library Workers

Local government library assistants launched a campaign on November 22 to raise awareness of their equal pay claim and the work they do.

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Stark statistics help fight for equal pay and transparency

More than a third of PSA members or 27,291 of you shared your pay information with us in our first union-wide pay survey in September.

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CTU Conference: “We are delivering, but we have so much more to deliver”

The CTU Biennial conference in October was an opportunity to reflect on the significant gains made for working people during the Government’s first two years in power - and to challenge it to go further.

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Fair Pay Agreements will give workers a fairer deal

The PSA and other unions believe Fair Pay Agreements will offer a fairer deal for many of this country’s most vulnerable workers.

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Honours for workers on frontline

PSA members were to the fore as the Public Service Day awards
were announced in November.

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PSAY Hui Inspires Success

Inspirational speeches at this year’s PSA Youth Hui have propelled Elvisa Van Der Leden into a seat at the council table.

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Pasefika Voices on Climate Strike

“We must change our practices of ignorance and neglect”

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“It opens their eyes”: Sector Māngai elected at Hui

There’s a mix of old and new amongst the Sector Māngai elected at Public Sector, DHB and Combined sector hui in August and September.

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Reducing Māori Health Inequities

Appearing before the Māori Affairs Select Committee to speak to the Inquiry into Health Inequities for Māori was “awe-inspiring” for Allan Franks.

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‘It’s important to have Māori and female voices at the table’

From small town Aotearoa to the United Nations – it’s been a big year for one PSA member from Te Puni Kokiri.

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100 Years On - Labour is still not a Commodity

The 100th anniversary of the International Labour Organisation this year is a timely reminder of its continued relevance.

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Your voice, our system

The PSA is hosting regional and online health forums in December to give members another opportunity to have their say in the reshaping of services.

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A lifetime of discovery

Geologist, science communicator and PSA member Hamish Campbell can look back on forty years of “exploration, adventure and discovery” as he retires this year.

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Unity in Diversity

Out@PSA is getting active at Pride celebrations and beyond

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