Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


First for Maori women - Adress to ILO


First for Maori women in CTU Vice President's Address to International Labour Conference

Council of Trade Unions Maori Vice President Sharon Clair achieved a first for Maori women when she addressed the 95th Session of the International Labour Organisation in Geneva earlier this month.

Ms Clair, who has recently arrived back in the country from the conference, is understood to be the first Maori women speaker representing workers to address the conference plenary, and received a special mention from the ILO Director-General for her contribution to the 95th Session (see note).

In her address, Sharon Clair called on all worker, employer and government members of the ILO to reaffirm their commitment to a living planet where decent work is enjoyed by everyone.

"I pay homage to all those who throughout history have done so much to promote and defend the rights of working women and men, create social justice and fight for equality, human rights and democracy.

They have taught us that Trade Unions play a vital role in ensuring that we must continue to create a tomorrow that our grand children will value. It means workers must mobilise by applying a rights based approach that integrates the environmental and social dimensions of sustainable development.

Maori people understand our duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. To do this we must have keen and unhurried thinking which resides in good heart. The sacredness of this is respect. The choices we make affect our evolutionary process. If we live unconsciously we evolve unconsciously, if we live consciously we evolve consciously.

A major priority for workers in New Zealand is supporting joint union campaigns to increase wages, end low pay and improve training and skills and investment in people because workers want a fair go to decent work to achieve an end to poverty.

Our young need to be able to have freedom from poverty so that they can be the leaders we will need tomorrow. Poverty and impoverishment must end so that a strong, healthy, dynamic workforce can blossom," Ms Clair said.

Note: ILO Director General, Provisional Record 25, "Reply by the Director-General to the discussion of his Report" "...Allow me however to quote one speaker in particular whose words captured much of the spirit that inspires the commitment of delegates to the International Labour Conference. Sharon Clair introduced herself as the first Maori Vice President of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and introduced us to some of the philosophy of her people about the relationships we should have between ourselves, with our environment and in our work. She said that "work is one of the most important avenues by which we come to know ourselves as people".

I think we would all agree with that, and it is why the ILO is such an important place for people from all over the world to meet and come to know and respect each other" Source: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/relm/ilc/ilc95/pdf/pr-25.pdf

Sharon Clair's full speech is available on the CTU website here: http://www.union.org.nz/about/maori.html


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Press Conference: Pike Re-Entry Agency

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little to announce plans for the new agency for re-entry of the mine.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, will be officially established on 31 January 2018 and will work with the Pike River families with the intention of manned entry of the drift before March 2019. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election