President's message

President's message

Welcome to this edition of Te Mahinga Ora, I hope you enjoy reading about the mahi your union has undertaken over the past three months.

Kia ora e te whānau o Te Pukenga Here Tikanga Mahi

Reflecting on the last three months, it shows what is possible when we work together. Thank you all for working so hard to bring about improvements to our working lives.


The wage guidelines announced by the Government early in May required a significant effort from across the PSA.

Members sent in over 300 pages of comments! Delegates and the PSA leadership spoke out against it on radio, television, print and online.

We also had the public on our side with many commentators questioning the Government’s stance.

Following meetings with the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister of Public Service and Minister for Workplace Relations, and the Public Service Commissioner, supported by the CTU and other state sector unions it appears we have reached an agreement on a way forward.

I would like to extend a huge thank you to all those involved in this campaign. It makes me proud to be part of a movement that is not afraid to challenge the government publicly.


On a more positive note, Cabinet has approved a framework for drafting Fair Pay Agreement legislation. The CTU is leading a campaign supporting this legislation, including ensuring union members can attend the Minister’s Fair Pay Agreement roadshow, and providing resources for delegates. We are expecting the legislation to be passed in 2022.


Over the past five months your Executive Board has been leading a project to refresh our strategic goals for the next few years.
I would like to thank Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina, sector committees, networks and staff who helped us shape the refreshed goals. Following final approval at the June board meeting we will share the refreshed goals with everyone and focus on implementing and delivering on their aspirations.


Finally, on March 24, I attended a Poroporoaki for Kiwhare Mihaka who has decided to step down from his duties as PSA Kaumātua. It was great to see Kiwhare and his whānau and be able to thank them in person for their contribution to our union. 


Please feel free to get in touch with me at or follow me on Facebook @PSAPRes where I do a weekly Facebook live video most Mondays.

So, congratulations to you all

Benedict Ferguson

Image: Benedict with DHB sector group co-convenor Stacey Muir at the nurses' strike march.

Also in this issue:

"Thanks for making a difference"

We’ve been making sure your right to negotiate for pay increases is respected in the corridors of power and at the bargaining table.

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News in brief

A first for PSA Pasefika, a Budget 2021 update, news on our case against Inland Revenue, and more...

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Long road to fair pay and conditions for support workers

Our home support workers have some of the worst employment conditions in New Zealand, and the PSA is determined to help change that with a Fair Pay Agreement (FPA).

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Fair Pay Agreements – what are they all about?

All too often, employers compete for contracts by holding down pay and undermining conditions in an endless race to the bottom.

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One Public Service

Common terms and conditions for all

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Unsung heroes reach well-deserved pay settlement

Our members at ESR are some of the unsung heroes of New Zealand’s Covid response.

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A massive contribution

Our PSA Kaumātua is stepping down from his duties after a lifetime of mahi for our union and Māori workers.

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Fighting for a better life

Janice Panoho has been fighting for a better life for Māori since she joined the 1975 Land March and is still pursuing that goal in her new leadership role with the PSA.

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Protect yourself, protect your community

Many of our members in health and community services are among those to be receiving their Covid-19 vaccine as the rollout continues across Aotearoa.

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“We always have tamariki at heart”

Supporting tamariki and whānau to thrive is something we all want to strive for - but some of Aotearoa’s most needed workers are undervalued for this important mahi.

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Wearing purple for library workers

Library workers and their supporters wore purple on May 13, to mark the second anniversary of our library assistants pay equity claim.

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Building back better?

Nobody anticipated the scale of extra spending in this year’s budget, but CTU economist Craig Renney asks where is the vision for building back better?

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Social insurance - an idea worth discussing

A new scheme to cover a chunk of the wages of people who lose their jobs is an idea worth considering argues Sam Gribben of E tū.

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Ināia tonu nei: The time for climate action is now

The PSA welcomes the Climate Change Commission’s advice that workers and unions help design a strategy that ensures the costs of transitioning to a low-emissions Aotearoa are shared fairly.

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A giant whose shoulders we stand on

Elizabeth Orr was a leader in pay equity and equal pay in Aotearoa for more than 50 years.

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Leading the way

When asked what attracted her to the study of marine macro-algae, NIWA delegate Wendy Nelson joked about getting paid to go to the beach.

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Kia Kaha Te Reo Hangarau!

Technology is an essential tool in modern workplaces. Here are some kupu and phrases that could come in handy at work or at home

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Signing for solidarity

As we marked NZ Sign Language Week, Janet Stokes, one of our first Deaf delegates, told Te Mahinga Ora about her mahi for the union and Deaf community.

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Health and safety awards

Celebrating the exceptional work of our health and safety representatives across the public sector.

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"A perfect storm"

As the effects of Covid and rising authoritarianism ravage much of our region, UnionAID’s Michael Naylor asks us to dig deep for their appeal.

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Around & About

In this issue our photo page features the Nurses' Strike, Pink Shirt Day and much more

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