President's Message

President's Message

Kia ora e te whānau o Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi

Welcome to this edition of Te Mahinga Ora.

I am writing this message from home, along with all of us in Tamaki Makaurau who are in Covid-19 Alert Level 3.

It reminds me how fortunate we are to live in Aotearoa, the relative freedom we had during the summer holiday period, and how fast our lives can change during a global pandemic.

Life goes on albeit a little different. Thanks to all of you who are working hard to keep our borders safe and ensure public service continues to be delivered.

Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 level changes, the PSA National Pasefika Fono and the Women's Network Conference could not go ahead as planned. Plans are underway to look at how we can hold these again either face to face or online.


At our February Executive board meeting, DHB board representative Stacey Muir was elected as your new Vice President, and Public Service board representative Athol Ringrose was elected as your next Treasurer.

They join Lesley Dixon, who following a rule change at Congress is our Māori Vice President. We’ve also welcomed Ulualofaiga Mareko to the board as our Pasefika representative, following another change made at Congress to introduce Pasefika representation throughout the union. Congratulations to you all.

Board Myanmar1 croppedMYANMAR CONFLICT

Also at our recent board meeting, we heard from UnionAID's Michael Naylor about the fightback against the military coup in Myanmar. Our union sends its support to public servants and unionists there who are risking their lives to fight for democracy and a better life.


The union is continuing the process of reviewing our strategic goals. Our current plan had goals for 2021 and 2024. They are transforming our workplaces, building our union, advocating for strong, innovative and effective public and community services, and equal pay.

Over the past three years, our union has been focussed on achieving these goals and it was great to see results coming through including the settling of more equal pay claims, the passing of new public service legislation, and growth across the union.

As we move into the review phase Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina, sector committees and networks will be feeding their ideas and issues back to the board for decision time in April.


We recently acknowledged the ten year anniversary of  the Ōtautahi February 22 earthquake and as we go to print will be marking the two years since the March 15 terror attacks. We dedicate some of this edition to reflecting on these.


Finally, please feel free to get in touch if you have any feedback on what you would like me to cover in future issues of your journal.  For those of you on Facebook, feel free to follow my newly created @PSAPres page. I will be doing weekly Facebook live sessions on Mondays and many other things to come!

Ngā Mihi

Benedict Ferguson








Also in this issue:

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.

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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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