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.
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.
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.
“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.”
RUNANGA DELEGATE ELECTIONS
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.
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.
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