On the Job


On the Job

As the first Pasefika person to become a mental health nurse practitioner, Makoni Havea is determined to make a difference for her community.

“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.

In her role the PSA member undertakes comprehensive assessments, diagnosis and prescriptions.

The holistic care she provides can be seen in the assistance she gave to a patient who was running out of medication but struggling to get an appointment with a doctor.

“I was able to consult with the GP over the phone and provide a script so they didn’t have to wait for another appointment and pay another fee.”

HUGE NEED

Working at Counties Manukau DHB Child & Adolescent Community Mental Health, Makoni sees a huge need for mental health services in Pasefika communities.

She says she has experienced some of the stresses in her own life that are affecting the mental health and well-being of Pasefika people.

“We immigrated when I was a teenager. We were raised by my Dad and extended family, living in overcrowded housing.”

But Makoni says mental health is often an unspoken issue for Pasefika people.

“It’s tapu in some families to talk about mental health. It is challenging to speak with them but I say you can get help, you don’t need to feel ashamed. It is ok to talk about these things.”

However, Makoni also felt a sense of tapu about telling her family she was working in mental health as it was not a subject that was discussed growing up in Tonga.

EMPOWERING JOURNEY

It was a “difficult journey” for Makoni to complete the advanced training to become a mental health nurse practitioner while working full-time over four years.

“I lost count of the number of times I gave up. It was a huge commitment to work, study, church, family and being a mother to my daughter.

“But now I feel empowered to know I can do anything. I hope my story will inspire more Pasefika people to go down this path.”

And after losing a family member to suicide several years ago, it’s rewarding to be able to give something back and help others.

“You work with someone in crisis and see them recover and get discharged. You see the successes.”

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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Leading the Way

“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.

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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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