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Maori union leader to receive TEU life membership

Description: NZTEU

Media Advisory

5 November 2009

Maori union leader to receive TEU’s first life membership

Mereiwa Whakaruru Broughton, QSM

Te Âtiawa, Ngâti Awa, Tûhoe, Ngâpuhi, Te Arawa, me Kahungunu

Whaea Mere has spent over a decade as the kuia for the Tertiary Education Union Te HautûKahurangi o Aotearoa and its predecessor the Association of University Staff.

Next Monday evening she will be honoured as TEU first ever life member for her unstinting service to the union.

Through the early 1990s Whaea Mere served on the executive of – and eventually became kuia for – Te Matawhânui, the Mâori staff association at Victoria University. In 1993 the recently-formed Association of University Staff met formally with Te Matawhânui and it was decided that Te Matawhânui representatives would attend AUS meetings. Three years later AUS appointed its first ever Mâori vice-president, and soon afterwards Te Kahurangi Whâiti, the Mâori caucus of AUS, was officially launched. Whaea Mere served as kuia for both AUS and Te Kahurangi Whâiti from 1998 to 2008. Along the way she also spent periods as kuia for two other major unions, the PSA and the SWFU. For the past two years she has been one of the three kaumâtua for the Tertiary Education Union, Te Hautû Kahurangi o Aotearoa.

The life membership ceremony will be Monday 8 November at 5pm in the Kauri Room, Brentwood Hotel, Kilbirnie, Wellington. Media are welcome to attend.

TEU president Dr Tom Ryan says Whaea Mere has played an instrumental role in tertiary education unions' efforts to be truly bicultural organisations.

"Her rich history and knowledge is something that Mâori and Pâkehâ members of the TEU and its predecessor unions have learnt from," said Dr Ryan.

Me kôrero ngâ kairîpoata ki Te Uepû o Te Hautû Kahurangi o Aotearoa i roto i te reo Mâori, te reo Pâkehâ rânei / Journalists may interview Te Uepû members of TEU in Mâori or English.

ends

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