"Our Māori membership stands proud"

"Our Māori membership stands proud"

Delegates at Hui Taumata came away feeling inspired and empowered to make a difference for their workmates and their people.

More than 100 Māori delegates attended the 2020 PSA Māori Congress in Te Whanganui-a-Tara from October 29-30.


The hui featured stimulating guest speakers.

Heather Baggott2 cropped3Te Kawa Mataaho Deputy Commissioner Diversity and Inclusion Heather Baggott

These included Te Kawa Mataaho Deputy Commissioner of Diversity and Inclusion Heather Baggott, who spoke about work underway to strengthen the leadership and cultural capability of the Public Service, build beneficial relationships with Māori, and improve services and outcomes for Māori.

Commissioner for Children’s Office Kaihautū Kathy Irwin gave a powerful account of her experiences with institutional racism as a wahine Māori and how this affected her working life.

She touched on issues relevant to Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina’s Mana Wahine Treaty claim, including the racism and sexism of government educational policy.

“We all got very emotional listening to Kathy,” says Kāinga Ora delegate Sheree Peti.

“Sometimes Māori don’t feel able to show emotion openly but thanks to Hui Taumata we were allowed to be emotional together.”

Delegates at the hui also attended workshops on topics including Lifting Māori Delegate Capability, which considered how this can be done and what support is needed to make it happen.

Other workshops discussed our Mana Wahine claim, engaging Rangatahi across our union, and increasing Māori wards in local government.


Janet with Georgina cropped resized

PSA Kuia Georgina Kerr (right) farewelling outgoing President Janet Quigley

The hui was also an opportunity for Māori delegates to farewell outgoing national secretary Glenn Barclay and outgoing President Janet Quigley.

The outstanding mahi of DHB Sector Māngai Allan Franks was also acknowledged with the presentation of the Marlene Pitman Award. 

“It was an honour to be part of those farewells and acknowledge those legacies,” Disabled Persons Assembly delegate Rodney Bell remarked.


But alongside the hui programme, delegates found the opportunity for whakawhanaungatanga with delegates from other sectors hugely beneficial.

Hui Taumata kapa haka resized

Kapa haka at Hui Taumata

“It was empowering to have conversations with other people who are going through similar struggles,” says Rangatahi Rep Lance Westrupp.

Lance and other delegates say they also valued the opportunity to learn from experienced delegates. “We should do it more often.”

Rūnanga Tuakana Lesley Dixon agreed the hui was a great opportunity to learn and strengthen networks within Te Rūnanga.

“Our Māori membership stands proud as they continue to grow and develop as competent and capable unionists.”


Lesley says organising the hui this year tested everyone, with kanohi ki te kanohi meetings not always an option.

But she praised the awesome efforts of the organising Komiti, Kaumātua, PSA staff and everyone who contibuted to the event.

Delegate Dave Kohai, from MSD's Ngā Kaitūhone roopū, extended their thanks to the hui organisers and all who attended.

“E ngā kaiwhakahaere ō tēnei hui, ka nui te mihi atu ki a koutou katoa. E te iwi e huihui nei ki te manaaki i te karanga tēnā ra, tēnā hōki koutou. Tō tātou mokopuna te take! Ka whawhai tonu mātou!”

And Sheree Peti added her mihi to the whakangahau.

“I loved the disco. It was good to get the dancing shoes back on.”


Next year we will be asking our Māori members to consider standing for Rūnanga delegate roles in their workplaces in delegate elections.

It’s an opportunity to tautoko your Māori workmates and get on board the waka of Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina, which will open up opportunities for you to help influence positive change for our people in Aotearoa.

Also in this issue:

Building Our Future

It was our biggest Congress ever, with more than 200 delegates gathering in Wellington to debate, network and make plans that will guide the future of our union.

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Welcome to our New President

We extend a warm welcome to Benedict Ferguson who has been elected as our new president by delegates at Congress 2020.

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News in Brief

An interim offer for the DHB admin pay equity claim, new collective agreements in the Public Service, and a new leadership line-up for our union feature in our News in Brief.

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What can we expect from the new Government?

With a new Government now in place it’s timely for the PSA to consider what we can expect, and what we would like to achieve in the next three years.

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"A Champion of the Vulnerable"

Allan Franks says he felt “privileged and a bit overwhelmed” to receive the Marlene Pitman Award at Hui Taumata, the PSA Māori Congress.

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Delivering on Equal Pay

The PSA is taking a two-track approach to delivering on pay equity - using the force of new law to settle claims and new guidance to end discrimination.

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Rebuilding a Spirit of Universalism

Thanks to all our members who supported the PSA’s Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment during the election campaign. We’ll be continuing this campaign for a commitment to universal basic services.

Here’s why writer and campaigner Max Harris believes universalism is so important.

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Unions Unite for Home Support

The wider union movement has thrown it’s support behind the They Deserve the Best Campaign for home support that gives dignity to our most vulnerable people.

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PSA members were among the winners in Te Kawa Mataaho's Public Service Day Awards this year.

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Bring On the Holidays!

After the most challenging of years, many of us are counting the days until we can take a well-deserved break.

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HealthCarePlus brings Bikes for Good

Christchurch kids and their bikes will benefit from a PSA HealthCarePlus Grant for Good.

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"It's an eye opener"

The two researchers delving into the findings of our Mana Wahine Treaty Claim survey shared their own experiences of discrimination with Working Life.

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Saving Livelihoods

The Covid-19 pandemic is estimated to have claimed the equivalent of 235 million jobs across the Asia Pacific region.

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"There is a fear of being open about who we are"

The right to work is a fundamental human right - but people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics (SOGIESC) continue to experience discrimination in workplaces which can sometimes force them to leave.

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Rostering for Wellbeing

Members at a mental health unit in Auckland are “stoked” about their new roster system.

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Out of Office

Writing a waiata fit for a Prime Minister might seem daunting.

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He Uiui Raumati

Nau mai ki tēnei Uiui Raumati - Summer Quiz

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Around & About

Pink is the theme for our photo pages this issue thanks to the anti-bullying Pink Shirt Day and the DHB admin pay equity claim Pink Tuesdays.

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The Last Word

Retiring national secretary Glenn Barclay looks back on a time of growth and change at the helm of New Zealand’s largest union

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