Pine Southon

Pine Southon
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Tēnā koutou katoa

Below is my statement for the nomination of Māori General Staff Representative on Te Toi Ahurangi.

I am the current Tertiary Education Union (TEU) Māori General Staff delegate at Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington. My role is Hautohu Matua (Principal Adviser) in the Faculty of Education.

I have worked at the university for 22 years, currently my portfolio centres around engagement and relationship building with visiting scholars, external stakeholders, communities and iwi, and to ensure cultural acknowledgement, awareness and practice is at the fore front of our work. I advise staff and students of the Faculty of Education on tikanga, te reo, na mea katoa i roto i te ao Māori, as it relates to their studies, teaching and research.

I am a past Co-Chair of Te Hauhiku, a forum for Māori general staff here at Te Herenga Waka, who work collectively to advance, champion and provide a support network that encourages engagement and collaboration across the University. I have very strong ties to our university marae, Te Tumu Herenga Waka and help service the marae as one of the Kaikaranga.

In this nominated role on Te Toi Ahurangi, I would advocate for Māori general staff, ensure we are valued as Māori and as general staff, that our voice is heard on relevant issues and to help find solution-based outcomes for Māori and by Māori. I want Māori knowledge, tikanga and practice to be part of the structure in our workplaces, not an after-thought or add on. The expectations that are placed on us as Māori, the cultural workload that must be taken on in order to preserve our tikanga, our ways of being, need to be acknowledged with more than just a smile or a ‘kia ora’. Our knowledge and expertise we bring are part of our uniqueness, and will transform the way we work and engage to have equitable outcomes for all.

The TEU framework, Te Koeke Tiriti, includes the same values I believe in. As Sandra Grey said in May, 2019 “Māori need access to a tertiary education system where Māori can fully participate and achieve as Māori”. Our pathway forward is about building relationships and standing strong together. I look forward to working alongside members of Te Toi Ahurangi. “There is a place for you here” are not just words to me, let me show you through my actions that you belong, that we belong in these institutions.

Ko wai au? He uri ahau o Te Kohu. I tipu ake ahau ki nga whārua o Te Waimana me Ruātoki. Ko au te peke poho o tōku whanau. Inaianei, e noho ana au ki Orongomai. Ko Pine Southon ahau.

Kia ora koutou katoa.