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.


We’re moving to implement a decision made at Congress to ensure Pacific representation across the union.

This has been a very important step for the PSA Pasefika network towards ensuring that Pacific voices mandated by Pacific members are sitting at the table.

PSA Pasefika is working towards the introduction of Vā Moana delegates across all organisations.

These will be Pacific delegates elected by Pacific members to be their voice in their organisation.

The Vā Moana from each enterprise in each sector will then determine their Pacific sector representative. 

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Ulualofaiga Mareko

Another step taken to boost Pacific representation, is the appointment of a Pasefika Representative to the PSA Executive Board.

One or our PSA Pasefika co-convenors, Ulualofaiga Mareko has been chosen as the first person to hold this position.  

He will bring together the work of the board, sector representatives and Vā Moana. 

We’re also pleased to announce the appointment of Duane Leo to the position of PSA assistant secretary, the first Pacific person to take on this leadership role.

Duane has been a PSA organiser in Auckland for the past 18 years and brings a wealth of experience to his new position.

And while the PSA National Pasefika Fono was postponed in March due to the change in Covid Alert levels, we are working to confirm a new date for the event soon.

These are exciting times for Pacific members in the PSA and we are all looking forward to the journey.

Main photo caption:  Duane Leo, with Pasefika members Corina Alipate, Nat-Lîm McIvor (Kado) and Tania Siwatibau


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Janice Panoho

The PSA Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi is also pleased to announce the appointment of longstanding PSA organiser Janice Panoho to the new leadership role of Kaihautū Māori.

Janice is well respected for almost four decades of advocacy on behalf of PSA members, and for her years of activism on behalf of Māori.

This is an historic appointment for the PSA, which will provide cultural, industrial and political leadership across the union, and help integrate our kaupapa Māori work programmes with the PSA’s general agenda.

We’ll have more on Janice and her new role in the next Te Mahinga Ora.


As we acknowledge the second anniversary of the Christchurch terror attacks, we extend our aroha to the Muslim community and all those who suffered such tragic loss on that day.

Many of our members were at the forefront of the response to the events of March 15, 2019. We thank you for your service and think of you too on this anniversary.

In the wake of the tragedy, we as a nation and as a union came together to reaffirm the values of tolerance and kindness.

Our PSA Ōtautahi Leaders group of delegates provided support, and sought to ensure that employers across agencies were responding to the needs of their staff during that traumatic time.

We All Belong poster3The PSA developed a union-wide response, to advocate for an Aotearoa New Zealand where ‘We All Belong’, and strive for inclusive workplaces.

PSA Vice President Māori Lesley Dixon, who is a member of the Ōtautahi Leaders Group, says the value of unity in diversity has been embraced by the people of Christchurch and beyond.

“As we remember those who have gone and the bravery of those who remain, let’s continue to be kind to each other.

Tukua te aroha kia rere.

For further support go to or

You can download our ‘We All Belong’ poster at


The PSA strongly backed a bill that will allow councils to establish Māori wards and constituencies.

The bill passed its third and final reading in February, meaning local referendums can no longer overturn council decisions to introduce Māori wards.

The PSA represents almost 9,000 members in local authorities, who want their institutions to be free of racism, prejudice and exclusion.

At a 2018 delegates conference, members called on their union to advocate for Māori wards and against referendum provisions that could block them.

The PSA presented an oral submission on the bill in February. Our written submission can be viewed at


The PSA supports the Climate Change Commission’s call for an equitable transitions strategy to minimise negative impacts on Māori, Pasefika, disabled and working class communities.

The Commission predicts significant increases in travel and vehicle costs for many households, not all of whom can easily afford an electric vehicle.

The PSA is campaigning to expand universal basic services as part of its Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment. A Government commitment to fund free public transport, with decarbonised bus and rail services, would be the fairest way to respond to the climate crisis. 


Also in this issue:

President's Message

Kia ora e te whānau o Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi

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Nevertheless we're Persisting!

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

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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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