A relationship accord, or Takawaenga, signed by Te Rūnanga o Ngā Kaimahi Māori o Aotearoa and the Council of Trade Unions Te Kauae Kaimahi (CTU) signals an historic moment in Te Tiriti o Waitangi journey of trade unions.
Signed this week at the CTU biennial conference, Te Takawaenga commits Te Rūnanga and CTU affiliated unions to maintaining and advancing a mutually beneficial relationship with Te Tiriti o Waitangi as its foundation. This includes recognising the role of the CTU kaumātua and acknowledging the role of whānau, hapū and iwi as an essential part of Māori unionism and kaimahi Māori.
Te Rūnanga and CTU affiliated unions have also committed in Te Takawaenga to working together to develop a Māori employment wellbeing strategy. Both parties will also ensure open kōrero and the use of te reo Māori me ngā tikanga in all aspects of their mahi together.
Under the terms of the accord, CTU affiliated unions will be required to take part in regular Te Tiriti education and prioritise Tiriti relationship at conference.
“The signing of Te Takawaenga is an important step on the journey towards recognising Te Tiriti o Waitangi as underpinning the relationship between unions and kaimahi Māori. It is a long road ahead, but Te Takawaenga goes some way towards making sure Te Tiriti is integrated into the structures, policies and work plans of all unions,” Bill Rogers, Te Tumu Arataki o Te Hautū Kahurangi (Tertiary Education Union), said.
Lee Cooper, Te Pou Tuarā o Te Hautū Kahurangi, added: “Te Takawaenga signed this week represents an historical time in the union movement’s Te Tiriti journey. It is great that the CTU is playing its part to advance Te Tiriti relationship and we hope Te Takawaenga will help union affiliates follow suit.”
Te Takawaenga replaces the inaugural Te Ture Whakawhanaungatanga, which formalised the relationship between Te Rūnanga and the CTU in 2006.
Te Rūnanga is the representative body for Māori workers whose unions are affiliated to the CTU.