NZCTU MEDIA RELEASE 25 August 2006
Te Ture Whakawhanaungatanga Working Out Our Future Together in Solidarity
Unity, solidarity and respect were the underlying principles behind the signing yesterday of the Te Ture Whakawhanaungatanga / Relationship Agreement between Te Runanga o Nga Kaimahi Maori and the National Affiliates Council of the CTU Te Kauae Kaimahi.
"The goal of the agreement was to reflect the Treaty of Waitangi partnership relationship in our work as a union movement, as well as defining the role of the Vice President Maori and the Runanga itself," CTU president Ross Wilson said.
"Our constitution has recognised the Treaty of Waitangi for some years, and this agreement was an important step in actually putting this recognition into practice."
"I want to warmly acknowledge current Runanga convenor Syd Keepa and the work of the Runanga, past present and future, in giving voice to Maori workers," Ross Wilson said.
"The agreement is the result of hard work, and an underlying commitment to unity and shared purpose in the movement between the Runanga and the Council," CTU Vice President Maori Sharon Clair said.
"The country stood still for several days this month mourning the loss of Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, and during that time we as a country experienced and witnessed the driving force of the Kingitanga movement - unity between all peoples," said Ms Clair.
"We acknowledged Dame Te Ata in opening our national meeting yesterday. In paying respects to the Kingitanga movement the CTU Te Kauae Kaimahi and the Runanga were reminded of the importance of the agreement that they were embarking on and the values behind it, particularly tolerance, trust and the will to understand" said Ms Clair.
"Now the challenge to both the Runanga and the CTU is to fulfill their responsibilities to this agreement in our work, and we take this responsibility seriously," said Ross Wilson and Sharon Clair.