TEU welcomes Andy Hipkiss.

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union has welcomed a new Kaiwhakahaere | Organiser to our Tāmaki Makaurau office. Andy Hipkiss comes to us with a wealth of experience, most recently from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment where he was an employment relations mediator and prior to that that he has worked as an organiser at the Public Services Association and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation.

Andy says he’s excited to be coming to the TEU: “I am passionate about tertiary education. When I left school, higher education didn’t seem like an option. But at 49 I started study at AUT, and loved it. I really connected with the academic staff who taught me and inspired me to keep learning – thanks to them I am now working towards a Masters in human rights.”

“I have been a union member my entire working life. When I came to Aotearoa from the United Kingdom, and started working in hospitals, I immediately joined the PSA and became a workplace delegate. This enabled me to see the work of the paid staff national bargaining team for the DHBs and I was so impressed with the work they did that when an opportunity came up to join them as an organiser, I jumped at it!”

Andy says his recent experience as a mediator will be invaluable as he returns to organising. “As a mediator, I often found myself going toe to toe trading analysis with KCs and other senior members of the legal profession. To be effective in that space you need a strong depth of knowledge, you have to be to be on top of everything, and meticulously prepared. And before I became a mediator, I had always wondered what happens in the other room – now I know.”

Andy will primarily be organising the University of Auckland, Massey Albany, and Unitec.