The election of a new TEU national president and other elected positions will take place between Monday 8 October 2018 and Friday 19 October 2018. This week’s Tertiary Update profiles the two candidates.
Bill’s priorities for the TEU are a commitment to Te Tiriti and recruitment, closely followed by maintaining and strengthening members’ terms and conditions.
He says that it’s time to improve tertiary education. “With the change of government, we see a light at the end of the tunnel. Now we are in a situation where the TEU is trying to change the tertiary education system. I want to be part of that change.”
Bill has a strong commitment to enhancing Te Tiriti relationships in the union and in TEU workplaces. He wants to help achieve “kotahi mano” Māori membership. “Currently we have about 10,000 TEU members. About 900 identify as Māori. We want to get 1,000 Māori members.”
Bill’s reo skills brought him into the union (“if you have te reo you get shoulder tapped”). He became the co-chair of the TEU NorthTec branch and since then he’s held many roles, including council and executive member, national vice-president Māori and co-chair on Te Tiriti Relationship Group.
It was Bill’s early years growing up in the Matawaia marae area that instilled in him the importance of standing up for the underdog. He studied at Auckland University, School of Architecture and returned north to work as an architect. NorthTec offered him a teaching job and he has been there nearly 20 years. Standing on a platform of “Attitude With Experience”, he says his broad experience of the sector means he will represent both academic and general staff TEU members.
“I’ve been around awhile. My experience is broad. It is all about relationships. I have project managed new buildings and schools. I know how to manage funding, time and people.”
He believes TEU can make a difference in the current political climate. “We’ve seen what the profit driven education system has delivered: cuts in staff numbers, increased workloads, and experienced people leaving. I would like to reverse that trend. Look at what is happening with ITPs. The funding model has to change. One size does not fit all when it comes to funding. Tertiary institutions have a social obligation to support rural communities.”
Bill says maintaining connections with the CTU and international unions is important. He is keen to support NZUSA and student representation on councils: “real representation, not tokenism. That’s important”. His aim is to keep TEU and its members safe and to prioritise Te Tiriti. “Being a union member means well-being, a living wage, support and Te Tiriti across the sector which is a win-win for all.”