Kia ora koutou,
I am standing to be considered for the privilege of representing my fellow taitamariki as U35
representative on the TEU Council.
I am Deputy Programme Director of the Bachelor of Business degree at Massey University –
alongside being an Assistant Lecturer and Doctoral Candidate in the School of Management.
My research is in the area of employment relations and health and safety – with a particular
focus on precarious, insecure employment, and psychosocial risk in the workplace. I am also
U35 representative on the Massey Branch Committee, now in my second term.
I am fiercely passionate about ensuring representation for youth in the workplace – a
kaupapa that I currently work to advance as Co-Convenor of Stand Up – the Council of Trade
Unions’ U35 network. My activities as part of this have included meeting with politicians to
lobby in relation to young workers’ issues, undertaking research on the impact that COVID is
having on young workers, and attending National Affiliates’ Council meetings to ensure
youth have a voice in decisions made among senior union officials.
As a proud TEU member from the start of my academic career in 2017, it would be a
privilege to continue to advocate for young workers in our sector, in the same way that I
have done at a national level to date. I am immensely proud of the progress that the TEU’s
U35 network has made to date, driven significantly by outgoing U35 council representative,
Joshua James. I have worked closely with Joshua in the TEU U35 space and would seek to
continue his commitment to frequently engaging with you all, and making your voices
Looking to the future, I am conscious that the tumultuous times ahead will be particularly
harsh on more vulnerable groups of workers, including young workers. The overrepresentation
of younger workers in non-standard, precarious employment, must now be
of greater concern than ever before. Our sector also faces significant change. At the risk of
using a cliché, taitamariki like us are literally the future of our sector’s workforce. The
changes made now will have implications our careers, and those who come after us, for
years to come. It is imperative that we ensure dedicated youth representation in the
decision-making processes that will surround these changes. As the U35 representative on
my branch’s 2019 bargaining round, I have experienced firsthand the importance of
providing young workers, quite literally, with a seat at the table.
It can be incredibly challenging to speak up and be heard in a sector like ours where so
many institutions rely on hierarchy. Belonging to the TEU acts as an microphone for raising
our voices above the noise of academia’s hierarchy. As the U35 council rep, I would ensure
that the youth voices coming through that microphone are heard.
Mā te tuakana te teina e tōtika, Mā te teina te tuakana e tōtika
The older will lead the younger, and the younger will lead the older.