Leading the Way


Leading the Way

PSA member Pam Maha had never been fully aware of family violence before she joined the Ministry of Justice twenty years ago.

“As a child I thought everyone had a Mum and Dad who cared about them,” says the Ngāti Kahungunu wahine who grew up in a loving whānau environment.

But following a career in banking where she “got sick of making money” Pam decided she would rather be helping people.

That led to her “dream job” as a sexual violence court victim advisor based in the Hamilton courts.

It’s tough supporting families through the court system but Pam tries to give them some hope.

 “I do it because people and in particular our children didn’t ask for this. If it was someone from my family, I hope they would be treated with dignity.”

BECOMING A LEADER

Pam had to overcome her natural shyness to take on leadership roles within the Ministry and the PSA.

“I remember sitting at a MOJ senior leadership conference and thinking what am I here for? But then I felt I’m here to ensure staff are represented at the table.”

She says she fell into becoming a PSA rūnanga, site and national delegate, and MOJ national convenor.

“I didn’t think I had the qualities you needed for those national roles but I get the big picture.

“I enjoyed working  together with the people who made the decisions - because if we keep butting heads we won’t get anywhere.”

INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE

Pam was part of the MOJ bargaining team during their industrial dispute in 2018. She says she was a calming  influence during a time of high tension.

“It was a valuable learning experience but it was exhausting and personally challenging.

“I was proud of our team. We were well prepared and used technology to inform our members quickly. The campaign really brought us into the 21st century.”

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Last year Pam stepped down as MOJ national convenor but became the Ministry’s national health & safety representative.

As a health and safety site rep for the Hamilton District and High Court she won a Government award in 2017/2018.

Her achievements included ensuring systems were in place to make the site compliant and helping others to understand the importance of health and safety protocols.

“People come on board if they see it’s not just something head office told them to do. The important thing is for everyone to be  able to return home each night.”

Pam has also represented the PSA and Ministry of Justice during the Hāpaitia justice reform process and is “cautiously optimistic” it will bring about meaningful change. 

Also in this issue:


‘We thank you for your brave stand’

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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“Remember the loss but also remember the hope”

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.

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Leading the charge on contractor rights

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

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Make it Real

Their work often goes unnoticed - but they’re the ones that keep organisations running smoothly, the ones you turn to when things go wrong, the ones that are first to greet the public.

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Mana Wahine Claim goes to Waitangi

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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Opportunities and issues with new bill

The PSA welcomes most aspects of the bill - but there are issues it does not address and we drew these to the attention of the select committee.

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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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We Count

More than 30% of lesbian, gay and bisexual public service workers who responded to the State Service Commission’s We Count Survey last year reported being uncomfortable being open or out at work.

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The PSA’s greatest victory?

On 29 March 1974 more than 600 uniformed school dental nurses proceeded silently down Wellington’s Lambton Quay. It was, as one observer noted, “almost certainly the largest demonstration of women since the days of the suffragettes”.

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Maranga Mai

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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Pacific organisers speak of challenges and triumphs

The organisers from Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Australia, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands were attending the International Trade Union Confederation-Asia Pacific workshop in Nadi in November.

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Climate Talk

Tried talking to your Dad about the bushfires in Australia only to discover he’s a climate change denier?

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Holiday Home Snaps

The snaps from holiday home stays around the country show just how much fun and relaxation our PSA accommodation has to offer .

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The Marlene Pitman Award

This award was originally created in honour of Marlene Pitman, who passed away on 16th January 2010, to recognise her membership and service of 25 years. As an activist at Child Youth and Family, she was convenor of the Social Services sector committee and an executive board member for 2 years, a delegate for 23 years and a hardworking member of Te Komiti o Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina.

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Radio NZ

A groundswell of public and political opposition to that plan soon led to a backdown from the RNZ Board and management.

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Book Review: Pay Packets and Stone Walls

At the beginning of her memoir Elizabeth Orr pledges to tell the truth about the fight for pay equity for women, her reasoning being that it has lessons for the future.

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New CTU Secretary Looks to the Future

“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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On the Job

“I can help with mental and physical health problems. I want to provide a service where they don’t need to see lots of people.

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Te Reo o te Tari

*Good morning.* Mōrena/Ata mārie. *Welcome to (workplace).* Nau mai ki . *Are you busy?* He nui ō mahi? *I am very busy!* He tino nui aku mahi! *No. I am not very busy. Kāo.* Kāore i nui aku mahi. Kei te aha koe? *What are you doing? *Kei te tuhituhi au. *I am writing. *Kei te mahi au.* I am working.*

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