Reflections from Branch Presidents’ Hui 2023.

Hau Taki Haere | Tertiary Update Vol 27, No 19

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union held its annual Branch Presidents’ Hui in Pōneke | Wellington last week. Sessions included topics such as aims for the next few years, engagement with institutional leaders, and activating members. But for those in attendance, networking and forward planning were the highlights of an engaging and useful two days.

Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa | Massey University branch president Te Awatea Ward said it was “invaluable to spend time with other branch presidents from different parts of the sector and share knowledge about both the similar and different challenges we face. It’s always a pleasure to network and connect with diverse colleagues, share information and plan for the weeks, months, and years ahead.”

While Shand Edwardson from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa says he enjoyed the two days, he is challenging the union to do more in the wānanga space. “The universities and Te Pūkenga are the big fish – we are just the whitebait. I would like to see more planning and action for wānanga members, who are some of the lowest paid in the tertiary sector yet play an important role in educating a lot of students who have dropped out of the mainstream system.”

For Mary-Liz Broadley, branch president at Kuratini Tuwhera | Open Polytechnic, the hui was “about regrouping and listening to the strengths and stresses evident within each branch. Many branch presidents spoke of their branches' experiences, strengths, and hopes for 2023-24, and they also shared their own experiences of engaging with the membership and upholding the collective values of our union and greater profession. It was very inspiring and a good reminder of what matters – he tangata, he tangata, he tangata – and also upholding academic quality and ethical integrity within our tertiary professional roles and responsibilities.”

“I would like to thank the TEU team for the mahi surrounding this full two-day hui – it was productive and joyful – a winning combination.”

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