From small town Aotearoa to the United Nations – it’s been a big year for one PSA member from Te Puni Kokiri.
Staff from the Ministry’s policy teams have attended UN indigenous rights forums in Geneva and New York.
For policy manager Erin Keenan who grew up near Palmerston North it’s been an opportunity to become a “global citizen”.
“It’s a chance to learn from others and help others to learn from us.”
Erin says other countries are keen to hear about New Zealand as we are unique in having Te Tiriti and acknowledging there are areas that need improvement.
CONVEYING MĀORI EXPERIENCE
Erin spoke at the forums and participated in bilateral meetings. She says it was also a great opportunity for professional development.
“Te Puni Kōkiri is keen to make these kinds of experiences accessible to as many people as possible. It’s important to have Māori and female voices at the table.”
Erin, from Te Ātiawa ki Taranaki, says it’s also important to convey the real life experiences of whānau to forums such as the United Nations, and to bring back the ideas that are gained to make a meaningful difference for Māori.
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.