The union’s two Tumu Āwhina, James Houkāmau and Ngaroma Williams are both standing for the position of TEU Te Tumu Arataki (Māori vice-president). The election opened this week and will continue throughout the summer until 1 February.
James (Hēmi) Houkāmau from Whitireia Polytechnic says his commitment to unionism was founded when he was bullied as an apprentice carpenter.
“I soon found myself confronting our foreman for myself and two other apprentices.”
He says his commitment to unionism and to his cultural beliefs is expressed in the whakataukī;
“Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi engari he toa takitini kē”
Ngaroma Williams from Te Tari Puna Ora, the New Zealand Childcare Association says she is a passionate advocate for Māori education.
She wants to focus on education for TEU’s Māori membership of union mahi and advising members of the political, industrial, education and economic issues that are continually challenging them within our workplaces – “ensuring that our voice is heard, our aspirations are realities.”
All financial TEU members who identify as Māori on the membership database are eligible to vote in the election.