Nevertheless we're Persisting!

Nevertheless we're Persisting!

The theme for our Women’s Network Conference in March was to have been ‘Nevertheless She Persisted’.

Unfortunately Covid-19 is proving to be a persistent cause of disruption, and the change in alert levels forced us to cancel the event after an earlier postponement last year.

But our Women’s Network which represents about 55,000 women members is also persistent.

We’re looking forward to future events including Women’s leadership programmes and Regional Hub activities.


We’re also persistent in our determination to follow in the footsteps of those who have fought to improve the lives of generations of women in Aotearoa.

As we celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8, Women’s Network co-convenor Nancy McShane reflected on the achievements of those who came before us including Kate Sheppard and other New Zealand suffragists.

“I feel immensely grateful for the rights and freedoms I enjoy today because of their efforts, and grateful to have had so many opportunities to further their legacy through my work as a union woman.”


Women’s Network co-convenor Reremoana Sinclair is also inspired by the wāhine and tauiwi Pākehā who worked together to make the impossible possible.

“Māori women supported the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and sought the right to vote for members of the New Zealand House of Representatives. They also sought the right to vote and stand as members of the Māori Parliament, Te Kotahitanga.

“This gives me hope for the future. Just think what is possible with the diversity and power of our PSA Women’s Network.”

Another step forward for wāhine Māori has come with the first of the Waitangi Tribunal Hearings in the Mana Wahine Kaupapa Inquiry.

You can read more about how they’re laying the foundations for our PSA Rūnanga’s Treaty claim against employment inequities experienced by wāhine Māori in this issue of Te Mahinga Ora.


International Women’s Day was also an opportunity to reflect on our progress on achieving equal pay.

“We’ve pushed through pay equity claims for home care and support workers, Oranga Tamariki social workers, and an interim agreement for DHB admin workers,” says national secretary Kerry Davies.

Successful claims have led to pay boosts of 30% or higher for some workers, a sign of how far they had fallen behind.

“It’s great the current Government and Te Kawa Mataaho, the Public Service Commission have made clear commitments to support pay equity, and stronger equal pay legislation was implemented last year,” Kerry says.

“But there is a long way to go yet, particularly to close the pay gaps for Māori, Pasefika and Asian women.”

Get involved with our Women’s Network at or become an equal pay advocate at





Also in this issue:

News in Brief

In our News in Brief, Pasefika representation is being implemented across our union, we announce a new Māori leadership role, and acknowledge the anniversary of the March 15 attacks.

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President's Message

Kia ora e te whānau o Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi

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"I found it very easy"

A year into the global pandemic, the roll out of vaccinations is being welcomed by many workers on the frontline.

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Saving our Libraries

The PSA has helped defeat a proposal to partially-privatise Wellington library and slash its budget.

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Bridging the Digital Divide

Imagine a world where you can’t just jump online to apply for jobs, access services or communicate with friends or family.

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“It’s not easy opening your hearts up”

The opening hearings in the Waitangi Tribunal’s Mana Wahine Inquiry have heard powerful kōrero about the power, authority and status held by wāhine Māori in pre-colonial Aotearoa.

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Hard won recognition

An interim equal pay agreement for DHB administration and clerical workers is being greeted with a mixture of satisfaction and relief.

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“We’ve come a long way”

Ten years on from the February 22 earthquake we reflect on the challenges faced by our members in Canterbury as they helped their community to rebuild.

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Summer Snaps Competition

We’ve had a great response to our PSA Plus Holiday Homes Photo competition with some quality snaps making it hard to choose a winner.

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Fight back in Myanmar

The military coup in Myanmar has deeply shaken hopes for democracy but public servants and unions are fighting back.

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Plea for more sick leave

PSA home support members have told a parliamentary select committee they need more sick leave to keep themselves and their clients safe.

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What do we want from health & disability review?

As we await the Government’s response to the health and disability sector review, we asked our PSA Community Public Services and DHB sector committees what they’re looking for.

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"No fear factor" about disability

The formation of a network for disabled staff at Inland Revenue snowballed out of a desire to move beyond a “one click, one size fits all” mentality.

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Leading the Way

It may say something about Brad Hedger’s commitment to the union that he agreed to speak to Working Life about his role as a PSA delegate just days before his wedding.

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Climate Talk

New Zealand is stealing from the peoples of the Pacific. We are stealing their land, their homes, their water, and in doing so, we are jeopardising their future.

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Challenging the Norm

Working mum Pip Bennett decided to research gender norms after becoming frustrated that everything was being left to her.

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Men raising boys

A new book has inspired PSA member and stay-at home dad Aaron Packard to consider how we can help men to be more hands-on fathers

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#My Mihi challenge

Learning a language is about starting out small and taking that first step.

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Around & About

The Pride March in Auckland features among the events in our PSA picture page for this issue.

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Big Brother Bosses - should you be worried?

Imagine you’re using a computer. Someone else installed software on it, and uses it to track your keystrokes, learn your password and access your personal email account.

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