President's Message

President's Message

Mā ngā huruhuru, ka rere te manu
It is the feathers that enable the bird to fly

Tēnā koutou e te whānau

It’s hard to know where to begin when I look back on everything that has happened since my last President’s Message.

The Covid-19 lockdown turned the personal and professional lives of so many of us upside down.

Our survey of members shows that 95% of you continued working, during that time either in essential services or working from home.


Like a number of workers, I was redeployed from my role as a health promoter at Regional Public Health Canterbury. Along with many of my colleagues, we were tasked with the daily monitoring of people who were confirmed Covid cases or contacts.

That involved calling people everyday, checking on their symptoms and welfare. During that time we developed real relationships with people who were often waiting for our call.


Many of you were also called on to step up and adapt to an extremely challenging situation to help out your fellow New Zealanders.

In this journal we bring you just a few of the stories of our members’ experiences over that extraordinary time.

I would like to thank all of our members and staff for your efforts, those of you who kept working and those who stayed home and stayed safe. You have all helped to get us to Level 1!


The lockdown has also given many of us a time to reflect on what’s important.

I am blown away by how whānau have enjoyed spending more time together, without always having to be rushing from place to place.

It’s opened up the opportunity to have conversations about new more flexible ways of working, which we need to keep having.


The lockdown has also shown how reliant we are on each other for wellbeing in our workplaces and communities.

That’s why I’m pleased to see our PSA Let’s Do Even BETTER election campaign calls for the Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment, a collection of public services that will enable all New Zealanders to thrive. 

That’s also why we’re starting a discussion with members about the New Normal, how we can rebuild and recover in a way that works for everyone. 


Finally I would like to wish all the best to the candidates who are running to be the new PSA President at Congress in November. 

It's great to see people are keen to contribute to the great mahi of our union.

Kia haumaru, kia atawhai

Janet Quigley, PSA President

Also in this issue:

Life in Lockdown

Home became a workplace for thousands of PSA members during Level 4 lockdown.

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The Story behind the Fight for PPE

It was “humbling” for PSA delegate Jacob Crown to see how everyone stood together to campaign for PPE for care and support workers during the Covid Crisis.

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Stepping Up in a Crisis

Thousands of PSA members showed the value of what they do as they responded to a global pandemic by delivering essential services during the lockdown.

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From exploitation to empowerment

Within months of arriving in New Zealand, Mandeep Bela was being exploited by his employer.

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The New Normal

The Covid-19 pandemic will change our future in ways we cannot yet know.

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A big idea for unprecedented times

The Covid crisis has shown us that when New Zealanders pull together we can achieve amazing things.

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Our candidates for PSA President

A new PSA president will be elected by attendees at the PSA Congress in Wellington on November 16-18. Here are the candidates:

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Challenging Times for Local Government

Thousands of PSA members work for local authorities around New Zealand.

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Building Better Together

As we emerge from the COVID crisis, Working Life asks Council of Trade Unions President Richard Wagstaff how we should rebuild for a brighter future

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From Crisis to Resilience

The challenges the world faces to rebuild from the Covid crisis have been laid bare by International Trade Union Confederation General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

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Mana Wahine goes to Parliament

Te Runanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina members spread the word about their Mana Wahine treaty claim when they met with some of Labour’s Māori Caucus at Parliament in March.

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Doing the Mahi

Delegates at the first hui of the Inland Revenue Rūnanga came away inspired to “do the mahi”.

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Hoea te Local Government Waka

A new Local Government Rūnanga held its first hui in March.

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Leading the Way

If a meat inspector from Invercargill can become a PSA President then anybody can.

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On The Job

Rose Lee is not your stereotypical librarian.

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Climate Talk

As we grapple with the upheaval caused by Covid-19, I see people asking whether now is the right time to talk about climate change.

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News in Brief

In our briefs section we reveal what you did in the lockdown, preview the Women's Network Conference, and much more...

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PPE for PSA Photos

PSA care and support workers took part in a Global Day of Action to demand personal protective equipment, pay and respect in April.

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Pets of the PSA

PSA members showed some love for their pets during lockdown - proudly sending in photos of their new office buddies to our PSA Facebook page.

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Te Reo o te Tari

In this issue we bring you some handy kupu for your workspace - whether you're working in the office or at home.

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