NZNO is the first to admit that it can no longer rest on its laurels. It must walk the talk, and make equity a reality for its staff and members. NZNO cannot play catch up – it needs to lead from the front.
NZNO’s board of directors is committed to equity and has supported the development of an equity framework. NZNO has also commenced an equity implementation project and is currently delivering stage one – socialising the equity framework with NZNO staff. The goal is that staff should understand what equity is. They should be able to assess, advocate, apply and embed equity into the work that is being undertaken across professional, industrial and corporate services. This is a courageous step the board and organisation has taken, with a mission to extend this to members.
This will be a challenging task but the benefits are far-reaching for the wider whānau, hapū, community and iwi. Principles of collective action, and solidarity, or kotahitanga, will help inform NZNO on this equity journey.
Sphere of influence
NZNO has been fortunate to engage and work with Professor Heather Came-Friar on equity training for staff. Came-Friar talks about being a driver for change and that requires us to have the tools to aid us in our work, and to act within our sphere of influence. We need a plan – equity is the way forward. How we use it in our practice is the key.
Each of us can contribute to achieving equity by doing the things we do better, by being open to look at new ways of doing things, and by challenging our own preconceptions about how things should work. The aspiration for all NZNO members and staff is to become staunch equity advocates.