A fortnight ago, we highlighted the fact that 8 October was the date from which Pasifika women work for free until year end due to the gender and ethnic pay gaps – based on figures from Te Kauae Kaimahi | Council of Trade Unions.

Today marks the equivalent day of wāhine Māori working for free – who, on average, are paid 20.1% less when compared to the average wage of men.

Te Tumu Arataki Hūhana Wātene says pay equity for wāhine Māori is an important kaupapa: ‘Why is it, however, that a problem we have been aware of for a very long time is still occurring in 2021? The kaupapa must be taken to boardroom tables, put on hui agendas, spoken to, and raised at the highest levels. Change is essential and urgent.’

‘Obviously, this is not something that can be fixed overnight, but we must seriously address the systematic problems in tertiary education that see so few kaimahi Māori employed in tertiary institutions.’

‘Universities and polytechnics often say they want to follow a kaupapa Tiriti, yet many do not truly understand what this means nor are they prepared to back it up with a true Tiriti relationship-based approach. There are still too few Māori in management and governance positions, or in roles where we are able to advocate for and effect change. Until we have meaningful Tiriti relationships and Māori at all levels of tertiary institutions, I fear these behavioural and structural issues will not be addressed and we will see little improvement in the pay gaps.’