Raising waka: Reflections from Te Rūnanga

Raising waka: Reflections from Te Rūnanga

Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina KUIA GEORGINA KERR supports the assessment of Progressive Thinking authors Dr Amohia Boulton and Deb Te Kawa that the overall Māori response to the initial Covid crisis was exceptionally well done.

She says she felt well-looked after herself during the Covid lockdown.

“We got regular phone calls from Whānau Ora Navigators. It worked really well. I know lots of kaumātua felt the same way.”

She says another example of this were the roadblocks which helped to keep communities safe in the rohe of Ngāti Porou where Whaea Georgina comes from, and other regions around the country.


Georgina agrees there needs to be a more whānau-led approach to public service policy making and delivery.

Georgina file pic cropped

Te Rūnanga Kuia Georgina Kerr

“The old way of central Government going out to communities to seek advice has to change.”

She supports the requirement for public service officials to meet core competencies including “understanding our history”.

“The whole mindset has to change. We have an amazing group of rangatahi in our Rūnanga who have different expectations to what we did.

“They have a clear idea about what sort of competencies they require from others so they feel good in the workplace.”

Whaea Georgina recently attended the Oranga Tamariki Waitangi Tribunal hearing, where she says she heard examples of a lack of cultural understanding.

She says inequities in funding and resources for Māori providers also need to be addressed, while there is a wide gap between government policy and delivery by providers.

“The overarching message from providers and witnesses at the hearing is that the system is broken, and that children and whānau are suffering as a result.”


Georgina says the union has a role to play in supporting change in public and community services.

“The challenge for us is how do we have these conversations, and work with our members to come up with solutions.”

She says the union also needs to consider how it can support Māori and other vulnerable groups in the workforce who will be hard-hit by Covid-19.


Also in this issue:

Let’s Do Even BETTER

As we count down to Election 2020 we face a choice.

Read More

Committing to Wellbeing

This election we’re asking the politicians to commit to providing a collection of public services that will help ensure the wellbeing of New Zealanders.

Read More

Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment: Key First Steps

So how can we build a better Aotearoa together? Here are the first steps towards fulfilling the Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment.

Read More

Support Builds for Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment

PSA members and the wider union movement are voicing their support for the Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment.

Read More

What do the politicians think?

Find out how the parties rate in our 2020 election scorecard:

Read More

New Act affirms right to political expression

In the lead-up to the general election, the PSA welcomes the new Public Service Act’s affirmation that public servants have the same rights of political expression and freedoms as all other New Zealanders.

Read More

New law a pathway for pay equity

It was a moment to savour for all of us who have been campaigning for pay equity.

Read More

Supporting our Frontline Workers

The people who work on our border and in managed isolation and quarantine facilities are among those doing it tough as the battle against Covid-19 continues.

Read More

“The virus doesn’t discriminate, neither should we”

PSA Pasefika union members have been voicing their support for the Pasefika community during the latest Covid outbreak.

Read More

Reflections of a Webinar MC

Our Progressive Thinking webinar series has provided an opportunity for conversations about new ‘Perspectives on the Future of Public and Community Services’.

Read More

Raising waka, not just yachts

Covid-19 has revealed how institutions in Te Ao Māori can react decisively and positively on behalf of their people, DR AMOHIA BOULTON and DEB TE KAWA write in their chapter in our Progressive Thinking series.

Read More

“We did good”

Union members are celebrating two new collective employment agreements in the community and public service sector

Read More

Unions seek election commitments for workers

Here's what the Council of Trade Unons is asking the political parties to commit to this election:

Read More

Safer Sick Leave

PSA delegate Bob Renshaw was among the essential workers who presented a petition calling for safer sick leave to Workplace Relations Minister Andrew Little on September 1.

Read More

Attacks on Filipino Unionists Condemned

The murders of dozens of trade unionists in the Philippines sparked a protest in Wellington in July.

Read More

Out of Office

He may be humble but honours have come the way of horticulture expert Murray Dawson.

Read More

On the Job

Donna Wealleans says support workers are told they shouldn’t get attached to their clients. But she believes you shouldn’t be doing the job if you don’t care.

Read More

An amazing four years

Tēnā tātou katoa

It is with mixed feelings that I sit down to write my last message to you all as PSA President.

Read More

Climate Change is a whole of union issue

Kia ora PSA members!

Climate change is something that will impact every living thing on our planet. Should we as union members be actively working to fight it? Should climate change be one of our Strategic Goals?

Read More

News in Brief

Protests at proposed cuts at Canterbury DHB, a campaign for home support with dignity, the PSA member card goes digital and other stories feature in our News in Brief.

Read More

Te Tohu Reorua: Bilingual Signage

While we've just celebrated Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, there are many ways we can help promote the language all year round.

Read More

Around and About Pics

Photos from protests against proposed cuts at Canterbury DHB, and attacks on Filipino unionists, along with the presentation of the Safer Sick Leave petition feature in our Around and About pages.

Read More