News in Brief

Protests at proposed cuts at Canterbury DHB, a campaign for home support with dignity, the PSA member card goes digital and other stories feature in our News in Brief.


PSA members have been showing their opposition on the picket line and online to a proposal to cut $56.9 million from the Canterbury District Health Board’s budget.

The PSA represents hospital administration workers, allied and technical health professionals and mental health and public nurses at the DHB, many of whom gathered to protest on August 26.

More than 5,000 people also signed up to the PSA’s online petition opposing the cuts.

Members were shocked by the proposal, which threatens jobs and health services. National secretary Kerry Davies said the cuts were dangerous at a time when the world is gripped by a deadly pandemic.

At the time of publication it was unclear if the cuts would go ahead.


The PSA and E tū have joined forces with Grey Power to launch the ‘They Deserve the Best’ campaign to fix our fragmented and failing home support system.

They Deserve the Best Montage FINAL resizedAn online petition has been launched urging politicians to invest in quality care and support support services so our most vulnerable people can continue to live with dignity in their own homes.

It also calls for decent jobs for home support workers, with permanent regular shifts and income, a proper wage for travel time and genuine access to breaks.

The petition can be signed at Campaign videos can also be viewed on our PSA Facebook page


The Women’s Network Conference has been rescheduled to March 10-11 next year due to the lockdown restrictions in August.

The theme will be Nevertheless She Persisted – Organising for our Future!  We hope to secure the current speakers giving us a range of politicians, Smashing the Ceiling speakers and much more!

Also congratulations to our new Women’s Network Committee elected for 2020 to 2022. They are Michelle Troup, Jennifer Laulala, Tina Corrigan, Nia Bartley, Jessi Abrams, Ingrid Dugand, Reremoana Sinclair, Robin Holland, Nancy McShane, Donna Wealleans, Carla Batista, Jacqueline Atkinson and Joanne Tindall.

Lastly, thanks to all of our outgoing committee members.  It has been inspiring to see you raising your voices and making a difference for our women members.


Our PSA Congress will still go ahead in Wellington on November 16-18.

The PSA Māori Congress, Hui Taumata will also proceed in Poneke on October 29-30.

We’ll update you if plans change due to the evolving Covid situation.


New PSA Komiti Members croppedThe PSA Pasefika Network has elected a new Komiti with a new structure.

Since 2018 the network had been operating under a working party structure made up of people who attended initial fonos in 2017.

Following consultation last year, the membership endorsed a new structure at the national fono in Wellington.

In June a new komiti was elected consisting of co-convenors Ofeina Manuel-Barbarich and Ulualofaiga Mareko, along with Kahu Louisale-Tahaafe, Nia Bartley, Āpeāfūsia Katalina Semisi, Key Frost, Anggie Tuifua, and Pasefika Network organisers Stella Teariki, Duane Leo and Sio Kasipale.

The new Komiti thanks the working party members and network organisers for their efforts to revitalise the Pasefika Network. We look forward to progressing the agenda of Pasefika members.


Te Rūnanga is excited by the appointment of two researchers to analyse the results of our Mana Wahine Survey. 

Liz Gordon and Catherine Love from Pukeko Research will undertake this mahi. We’ll have more on them and their research in the next issue of Working Life.

The survey asked our wāhine Māori members about their work experiences. The results will help support our Treaty of Waitangi Mana Wahine claim challenging employment inequities suffered by wāhine Māori.

Another judicial conference for the Mana Wahine Kaupapa Inquiry is scheduled for October, while contextual hearings are due to be held before the Waitangi Tribunal in February.


The PSA Members App has been updated, with the addition of a digital member benefits card.

Thanks to the card, you can explore and redeem benefits from your smartphone.

All you need is your MyPSA login and password to unlock a range of features on your phone including:

App Members Card Vertical

  • Updating your MyPSA contact details
  • Viewing your PSA Collective Employment Agreement
  • Browsing and redeeming PSA Plus member benefits
  • Booking a PSA Plus holiday homes stay
  • Accessing your digital PSA membership card
  • Contacting the PSA Organising Centre

More functions will be coming to the app soon, so keep an eye out for the next update.

To download search PSA Members App in App Store (Apple) or Google Play (Android). For app support go to



A flurry of legislation passed in the last few months will affect PSA members at work and at home.

Among other changes, a bill to increase pay for mental health and addictions workers was passed with strong support and advocacy from the PSA.

The Te Ture Whenua Māori Amendment Bill modifies succession, dispute resolution and some governance of Māori land.  Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Awhina and PSA members working at the Māori Land Court submitted strongly on this.

In local government, changes were made so councils can borrow for infrastructure, making it easier for them to finance building roads and sewage for new housing.

A provision was removed that stopped people paid as family carers from challenging discriminatory pay.

Kāinga Ora was given new developer powers to build more housing as part of the Kiwibuild programme.

And a new Crown water regulator was created to oversee more rigorous screening and testing of local water supplies to avoid contamination.

Changes to NZTA were approved, including a new structure and more powers to enforce and manage speed limits across the country.


Here at the PSA we are keen to minimise our impact on the environment so we're gradually cutting back on the paper copies we print of our journal, Working Life.

We encourage journal distributors and delegates to talk with members about whether they want to keep receiving a paper copy. If you are a member who no longer wishes to receive a paper copy let your delegate know.

Alternatively members can check out our e-journal newsletter, which now goes out to all members every issue or visit

Paper copies of the journal are also recyclable and are printed on environmentally friendly paper stock, which has been independently certified to have been produced using sustainable forestry management practices.


Also in this issue:

Let’s Do Even BETTER

As we count down to Election 2020 we face a choice.

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Committing to Wellbeing

This election we’re asking the politicians to commit to providing a collection of public services that will help ensure the wellbeing of New Zealanders.

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Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment: Key First Steps

So how can we build a better Aotearoa together? Here are the first steps towards fulfilling the Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment.

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Support Builds for Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment

PSA members and the wider union movement are voicing their support for the Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment.

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What do the politicians think?

Find out how the parties rate in our 2020 election scorecard:

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New Act affirms right to political expression

In the lead-up to the general election, the PSA welcomes the new Public Service Act’s affirmation that public servants have the same rights of political expression and freedoms as all other New Zealanders.

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New law a pathway for pay equity

It was a moment to savour for all of us who have been campaigning for pay equity.

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Supporting our Frontline Workers

The people who work on our border and in managed isolation and quarantine facilities are among those doing it tough as the battle against Covid-19 continues.

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“The virus doesn’t discriminate, neither should we”

PSA Pasefika union members have been voicing their support for the Pasefika community during the latest Covid outbreak.

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Reflections of a Webinar MC

Our Progressive Thinking webinar series has provided an opportunity for conversations about new ‘Perspectives on the Future of Public and Community Services’.

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Raising waka, not just yachts

Covid-19 has revealed how institutions in Te Ao Māori can react decisively and positively on behalf of their people, DR AMOHIA BOULTON and DEB TE KAWA write in their chapter in our Progressive Thinking series.

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Raising waka: Reflections from Te Rūnanga

Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina KUIA GEORGINA KERR supports the assessment of Progressive Thinking authors Dr Amohia Boulton and Deb Te Kawa that the overall Māori response to the initial Covid crisis was exceptionally well done.

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“We did good”

Union members are celebrating two new collective employment agreements in the community and public service sector

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Unions seek election commitments for workers

Here's what the Council of Trade Unons is asking the political parties to commit to this election:

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Safer Sick Leave

PSA delegate Bob Renshaw was among the essential workers who presented a petition calling for safer sick leave to Workplace Relations Minister Andrew Little on September 1.

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Attacks on Filipino Unionists Condemned

The murders of dozens of trade unionists in the Philippines sparked a protest in Wellington in July.

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Out of Office

He may be humble but honours have come the way of horticulture expert Murray Dawson.

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On the Job

Donna Wealleans says support workers are told they shouldn’t get attached to their clients. But she believes you shouldn’t be doing the job if you don’t care.

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An amazing four years

Tēnā tātou katoa

It is with mixed feelings that I sit down to write my last message to you all as PSA President.

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Climate Change is a whole of union issue

Kia ora PSA members!

Climate change is something that will impact every living thing on our planet. Should we as union members be actively working to fight it? Should climate change be one of our Strategic Goals?

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Te Tohu Reorua: Bilingual Signage

While we've just celebrated Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, there are many ways we can help promote the language all year round.

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Around and About Pics

Photos from protests against proposed cuts at Canterbury DHB, and attacks on Filipino unionists, along with the presentation of the Safer Sick Leave petition feature in our Around and About pages.

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