"We have come too far to not go further"

"We have come too far to not go further"

‘Tawhiti rawa i tō tatou haerenga atu te kore haere tonu’ - Sir James Henare

The Public Service in its current form is failing Māori. This is abundantly clear as Māori are over-represented in all negative social statistics. We need a public service that delivers for Māori.

In our submission on the Public Service Legislation Bill, Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina recommended the purpose of the new Act be amended to recognise the public service’s role in supporting the Crown in its relationships with Māori under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

By weaving the intention of Te Tiriti through the Public Service, we can enhance the relationship between Māori and the Crown and work together to design and deliver services that achieve better outcomes for Māori.


Under the new bill public service leaders are responsible for developing capability of the public service to better engage with Māori.

But it is disappointing it is not more explicit in codifying their responsibilities. We need stronger legislation that spells out expectations to deliver for Māori.

Chief executives should also be required to give practical effect to the Crown’s Te Tiriti obligations in their employment relationship with Māori working in public services.


We  recommend the appointment of a Deputy Commissioner Māori to provide visible leadership on public service outcomes for Māori.

Māori leadership ensures better outcomes for Māori , primarily because with leaders at the table we can influence fundamental decisions.

We also recommend the establishment of a Māori standing advisory committee to assist the Commissioner with their responsibilities. The committee would include representation from Māori leaders within the public service and the Māori structures of the unions of Māori working in public services.


Rūnanga Rangatahi rep Rireana Kirkwood gave a hearfelt personal submission  on the new bill:

I have found working for Māori in the Public Service to be fulfilling. I feel I am achieving change in the community even if it is just a small change. When the bill refers to the ‘spirit of service’ I understand this fully.

However, being a 22 year-old woman in the Public Service, I would like to see more opportunities for young aspiring leaders in our community.

In my career my ultimate aim is to help stop the vicious socio-economic cycle Māori find themselves in. So I want outcomes that benefit Māori workers in the Public Service and Māori in the community I serve.

I understand how important this bill will be. It needs to be bold, especially around Te Tiriti o Waitangi to attract more young people to work for the public service.

PS Rununga2

Also in this issue:

‘We thank you for your brave stand’

PSA members and local communities joined forces in February to protest restructuring that threatened hundreds of jobs and quality client care.

While the restructuring by HealthCare NZ is now set to go ahead the protests have thrown a spotlight on issues besetting the home care and support sector.

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“Remember the loss but also remember the hope”

As we mark the anniversary of the Christchurch attacks the PSA has added its voice to a call for peace from the city’s Muslim community.

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Leading the charge on contractor rights

Our union is leading the charge to strengthen rights for contractors and labour hire workers in public and community services.

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Make it Real

Thousands of admin workers in the Public Service are asking to be paid what they’re worth with the launch of their pay equity claim.

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Mana Wahine Claim goes to Waitangi

The Mana Wahine team was up before dawn on Waitangi Day erecting our stall at the famous Treaty Grounds.

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Opportunities and issues with new bill

We’ve been making our voices heard on the new Public Service Legislation Bill with submissions from the PSA, Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhina, network and delegate committees and individual members.

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We Count

The results of a survey of rainbow public servants suggest a significant proportion still don’t feel comfortable being out in their workplaces.

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The PSA’s greatest victory?

Former PSA staffer Noel O’Hare explains why he wrote Tooth & Veil, a history of school dental nurses and the day they stormed the corridors of power.

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Maranga Mai

A groundbreaking course is empowering Māori delegates and contributing to a surge in Māori membership across the PSA.

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Pacific organisers speak of challenges and triumphs

Union organisers from the Pacific have spoken about the challenges some face while trying to improve conditions for workers in their countries.

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Climate Talk

Nā Alex Johnston, Oxfam New Zealand campaigns coordinator and PSA EcoNetwork member

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Holiday Home Snaps

Thanks to all our members who entered our PSA Holiday Home Photo Competition over the summer.

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The Marlene Pitman Award

Nominations are now being sought for the Marlene Pitman award.

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Radio NZ

In early February, RNZ announced its new music strategy which included a proposal to axe over 18 of our members’ jobs and move the station to AM radio.

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New CTU Secretary Looks to the Future

The new CTU Secretary Melissa Ansell-Bridges was drawn to the union movement when a job as industrial officer and organiser at Equity New Zealand caught her attention.

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Leading the Way

PSA member Pam Maha had never been fully aware of family violence before she joined the Ministry of Justice twenty years ago.

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On the Job

As the first Pasefika person to become a mental health nurse practitioner, Makoni Havea is determined to make a difference for her community.

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Te Reo o te Tari

Why not try out some of these simple phrases in the workplace?

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President's Message March 2020

He waka eke noa – We are all in this together

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