Pasifika Staff Representative on National Women's Committee.


Nominations have now closed and Helena Cook has been elected unopposed.

My name is Helena Cook and I am standing again for the Pasifika representative on the National Women’s Committee. It has been a pleasure to be part of the NWC for the last two years, and in that time, I have been reminded of the importance of the mahi of our union and especially of our women. The NWC is a place where voices can be heard and it has been an honour to serve and help ensure the perspectives of Pacific women are heard in the union.

I was raised in Ōtautahi to a Samoan father and an Irish mother. I have spent much of my adult life living in Te Whanganui-a-Tara and in the UK, but it has been a joy to recently move back to Ōtautahi with my husband. I am deeply committed to the values of the TEU and come from a family of union delegates. Values of social justice, alofa and manaakitanga are vital to who I am and the NWC allows me to help support women’s voices across the union, but especially those of my Pasifika aiga. Pacific women still earn 73c to every dollar earnt by a Pakeha man and union work is needed more than ever to advocate for the closing of this pay gap. We need to make sure all women’s stories and journeys are heard from throughout our sector, especially those which may often go unheard.

If re-elected, I will continue to advocate for equality, dignity and solidarity for all women in the TEU and remain committed to ensuring there is a voice for Pasifika women at the national level of the TEU.