Last month, the Eastern Institute of Technology TEU branch, together with TIASA, marked International Working Women’s Day 2021 with an act of solidarity and giving by collecting koha for the local Te Whare Whānau Pūrotu – Māori Women’s Refuge.

International Working Women’s Day (IWWD) 2021 was a day to honour the many and varied achievements of women and to call for action on gender equity.

TEU women’s representative and EIT senior lecturer Louise MacKenzie was instrumental in facilitating the food drive, alongside TIASA branch president Helen Pirie, and says support for vulnerable women is of particular importance at this time,

‘Every year our branch is really active in celebrating IWWD in meaningful ways, and this year we wanted to do something that gave everyone at EIT the opportunity to make a difference in our community, and in support of vulnerable wāhine Māori. One of our members even donated some handmade soaps she had made, which were just amazing, and having dropboxes across campus meant all staff and students were able to give what they could’.

For Gordon Reid, EIT branch president, the successful initiative was an example of how members can work together in ways that reflect TEU’s core whāinga – awhi atu, awhi mai and tātou, tātou e – while supporting women in the community,

‘The effort was a great example of TEU cooperating and working with TIASA, and of members in a position of relative strength helping more vulnerable members of the community. The refuge had a full house at the time, with 5 wāhine and 17 tamariki in their care, so Te Whare Whānau Pūrotu was really grateful for the support extended by TEU and TIASA members’.