Zoe Port

Zoe Port
Campaign link

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.

Zoë Port