"It's an eye opener"

"It's an eye opener"

The two researchers delving into the findings of our Mana Wahine Treaty Claim survey shared their own experiences of discrimination with Working Life.

As she’s made her way through the halls of academia and the corridors of government agencies, Dr Catherine Love has sometimes been labelled a troublemaker.

“It’s a way to marginalise and trivialise us, particularly if we speak up about treaty perspectives” she says. “But I have a responsibility to advocate for other wāhine Māori.”

Nō Te Ati Awa, Taranaki, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngā Ruahinerangi, Dr Love is one of the researchers working on Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina’s Mana Wahine survey.

She and Dr Liz Gordon are compiling a report on the employment experiences of 919 wāhine Māori members of the PSA Rūnanga who responded to the survey.

The report will support our submission to the Waitangi Tribunal as part of our Mana Wahine treaty claim against injustices suffered by wāhine in the workplace.


Dr Love’s credentials range from working on child and family protection issues for the Obama administration in Washington, to decades working with iwi, hāpori and rangatahi in Aotearoa to help them fulfil their potential.

Growing up on her papakāinga in Korokoro, Pito-one (Petone), she went on to help her whānau fight the cause of raupatu, became a treaty negotiator and a Māori land trustee.

That’s despite becoming a solo mother as a teenager, who worked blue collar jobs to help raise four children and 28 whāngai.



Liz Gordon thumbnail cropped2

Dr Liz Gordon

Dr Gordon says she was also “given hell” for being an outspoken feminist working in the field of women in education.

The wahine Ingarihi left England for Aotearoa at the age of 16 after “running away from home with a bloke” and had a baby by the time she was 20.

She went on to become an educationalist, a justice campaigner with a law degree, an Alliance Party MP in the 1990s, and a women’s pay researcher for unions.

It’s this combination of lived experience and impressive professional pedigree the pair bring to our Mana Wahine claim.


“Both of our hearts are really in this, it’s a brilliant piece of work, an eye opener for the public service,” Dr Gordon says.

The survey asked wāhine Māori Rūnanga members about their education, experiences of bias and discrimination in the workplace, pay equity, working conditions, and adherence to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

We’ll bring you more from the survey in a future issue, but the interim findings show our wāhine members facing significant challenges in all these areas historically and into the present day.

 Main photo caption: Dr Catherine Love


The report is being finalised as Te Rūnanga looks ahead to the first Waitangi Tribunal hearing in the Mana Wahine Kaupapa Inquiry at the Turners Centre in Kerikeri on February 3-5. PSA members and the community are welcome to come and support the claimants.

Read more about our claim at www.psa.org.nz/mana-wahine/





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