Te Mana Hakahou – Reshaping TEU.

By Lee Cooper (Te Pou Tuarā)

Since our formation in 2009, like our predecessor unions before us, Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union has advanced mahi to recognise and honour our commitments to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

In 2014, Dr Moana Jackson undertook a Tiriti Audit of our union to gauge the progress in our Tiriti commitment. In 2015, Dr Jackson presented his report to Conference, complete with 13 recommendations – including the need to develop a framework to advance our Te Tiriti relationship.

As a result of Dr Jackson’s recommendations, Te Koeke Tiriti was developed by our Tiriti Relationship Group through hui and kōrero with members and staff and endorsed by Conference 2019. However, of the 13 recommendations within the Tiriti Audit, five are still outstanding – all pertaining to the TEU rules/constitutional amendments.

Dr Jackson’s report states:

“The ultimate test for Tiriti compliance then is whether there is a constitutional enabling of rangatiratanga and the other expressions of authority….the Constitution therefore needs to be specific in the authority that it recognises in Māori members as part of its commitment to implement Te Tiriti.” (p20)

So in 2020, Council agreed to take the logical next step in our continual journey towards becoming a truly Te Tiriti-led union – a process to conduct a ‘transformative’ rules review that embeds Te Tiriti in everything we do while ensuring our constitution continues to serve and fit all of our objectives well into the future. This work needed to be delayed a little due to the impact of COVID-19, however, 2022 will be a big year for driving this project forward.

Over the next few months, Te Mana Hakahou workshops will be occurring in every branch ahead of Conference in May. The workshops will cover:

  • Why we are conducting a review?
  • What is needed to live our commitment to Te Tiriti?
  • Our purpose as a union
  • What structures support a Tiriti-led union?
  • What behaviours foster strong Te Tiriti-led relationships in TEU?

Your participation is crucial, so please keep an eye out for the workshops near you, or ask for one to be run, attend, and participate.