Mourning our Kaumātua

Mourning our Kaumātua

Kua hinga te tōtara i te wao tapu nui a Tāne, te hunga kua mene ki te pō.

Kua hinga te tōtara i te wao tapu nui a Tāne, te hunga kua mene ki te pō.

The tōtara has fallen in Tāne’s great forest.

It is with great sadness that we share with our members the news of the passing of our PSA Kaumātua Kiwhare Mihaka on November 17.

Our thoughts, prayers and aroha go out to his whaanau at this time of pouritanga.

Matua Kiwhare Mihaka has been a longtime unionist who gave dedicated service to the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi and the NZ Council of Trade Unions over many years.

PSA online journal9Kiwhare had been the PSA Kaumātua since 1986, and Kaumātua for the Council of Trade Unions since 2008, before stepping down from his duties earlier this year.

He has provided leadership and guidance for the PSA Rūnanga, Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina, and given support and advice for Māori and PSA members across our union.

He always enjoyed seeing Māori delegates thrive in their roles across our Māori governance structures and has supported Māori staff (Te Whānau Atawhai) in their different roles.

Kiwhare has been a driving force behind choosing many Te Reo Māori terms used by the PSA, including the Māori name for the union, Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.

“The name captures the concept of skilled people coming together to create good conditions and ways of working,” he explained at the time.

At the CTU he was involved in the development of He Takawaenga, a relationship document between the CTU and its Rūnanga, which outlined treaty expectations.

This is a huge loss for the PSA, its members, and the wider union movement. We will miss his manaakitanga and aroha.

Nō reira, moe mai rā e te Rangatira, takoto mai i to waka wairua I ngā takotoranga o ngā mātua tupuna. Haere, haere, haere atu rā.

I roto I te manaakitanga

PSA Kaihautū Janice Panoho, Kuia Georgina Kerr, Kaumatua Hone Witana

Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina Tuakana Lesley Dixon, Teina Virgil Iraia

PSA President Benedict Ferguson

PSA National Secretaries Erin Polaczuk and Kerry Davies

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President's message

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Members of the PSA Deaf and Disabled network say the new Ministry for Disabled People must employ, represent and consult with people with all disabilities.

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How unions can fight inequality

Unions can help reverse the growing class division in Aotearoa argues economist Max Rashbrooke in his new book.

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Here are some kupu hararei to add to your kōrero over the festive break!

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Kia Toipoto: Closing Gaps

An ambitious new plan aims to close pay gaps for women, Māori, Pacific peoples, and other ethnic groups across the public service and crown entities including DHBs.

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Equal pay delayed is equal pay denied

DHB members went to Parliament in October to push for the speedy resolution of their equal pay claims.

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More ambition on emissions

Last month on the eve of COP26, the government set out its updated international commitments to reduce emissions – which have been heavily criticised for outsourcing our responsibilities.

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Training together online

Every year the PSA educates hundreds of delegates to support members in the workplace, so being able to moving training online during Covid disruptions has been a priority.

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Thanks to the PSA winners of Public Service Day Awards who have shown outstanding service to their communities in 2021.

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A high trust relationship

The Department of Conservation has been praised for having one of the best industrial relationships in the public service.

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A safe world of work

Imagine a world where all of us, no matter where we work or what we do, are safe from violence and harassment.

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Transforming Health

The government’s reform of our health system is drawing closer.

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Leaving a lasting legacy

Changes to labour laws in Qatar in the leadup to the 2022 FIFA World Cup show how international sporting events can help promote human rights.

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“This medal is ridiculously well-deserved”

A wheelchair has proved no barrier to Dr Gerald Rys continuing a distinguished career in agriculture and science that’s been recognised with a Public Service Medal.

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Leading the way

When Sripriya Somasekhar received the NZ Public Service Medal, her citation declared she “lives and breathes” her commitment to inclusion and diversity.

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“The work is changing day by day”

The last few months have been amongst the toughest of the pandemic for Aotearoa, and our members have continued to go above and beyond to support their communities. Here are a few of your stories.

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