Tahia te Marae

Purpose

NZEI Te Riu Roa commits to providing a safe and harassment-free experience for everyone regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, ability, physical appearance, size, race, religion, economic status, immigration or refugee status, body size or occupation.  Harassment of any kind reduces the experience and purpose of annual conference for everyone and we want the opportunity to address it at the earliest opportunity. 

While we are united in working within the education sector we acknowledge that across the union we hold diverse ideologies and experiences.  We commit to listening, learning and respect the experiences of others.  There are many pathways to our shared goals and all have a part to play in making our conference safe and successful for everyone. 

In 2020 the Marae Model, Hui-ā-Tau provides a framework for annual conference.  Our values are: 

  • KotahitangaWe are all on the same team 
  • Rangatiratanga: Members have greater ownership over their plans and actions 
  • Manaakitanga: Everyone has a role to play and all roles are important 
  • Whakawhanaungatanga: We connect through our pasts, together we shape our future. 

Definitions

What is inclusion?

We want NZEI Te Riu Roa to be a place where members and paid workers feel safe to bring their whole self to union activities and feel valued, respected and able to fully contribute.  To do this we need to remove barriers that exist to ensure everyone has equal opportunities and can participate. Inclusion empowers people to contribute their skills and perspectives and contribute to our strategic framework. 

What is a safe space?

A safe space is an environment curated to ensure that everyone attending feels safe and able to contribute.  To do this well can mean deliberately challenging traditional power structures.  For people part of groups that are traditionally marginalized physical and psychological safety needs can be very powerful.  This is the origin of safe spaces. It is a place where you can be free to be yourself without societal judgement or minimization of a part of your identity.  It can mean both a physical space set up (common in universities or at large events) or it can mean a process of deliberately creating psychological and physical safety at any event by setting tikanga to ensure everyone feels safe to participate. 

What is privilege?

Social privilege is having an advantage or benefit related to an unearned status:  such as gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation.  We acknowledge that these privileges are based in power structures and that they can be compounded by intersections (two or more factors).  As an example, women have been historically paid less then men due to women’s work being traditionally devalued.  Māori or Pasifika women are paid less than Pākehā women – showing compounding disadvantage on pay. 

Roles and responsibilities at conference

This policy applies to all representatives, observers, guests and staff.  Invited speakers, guests and contractors to the event should be oriented to this policy in advance of attending in informed that our roles and process apply to them as well. 

For everyone: 

  • Debate ideas/ strategies not people.  Ask how the question aligns with our current strategy or could be built on to meet the needs of particular groups.
  • Assume that ideas have been contributed in good faith and that the best outcome is one where everyone feels safe to contribute, not that the one, right answer is met.
  • Create deliberate space for groups traditionally disenfranchised in communities
  • Consider how much space (contribution) you are taking up/ not taking up during conference.  Privilege and identity impacts people’s power to contribute.  How can you lift the ability of your union whanau to contribute?
  • If you are running a session, discuss with relevant identity groups how you might facilitate that session to help them safely participate.
  • Holding privilege means that you may not recognise when you are contributing from a place of privilege.  It can uncomfortable to have this pointed out – be thankful when held accountable for your privilege and focus on the learning potential in the encounter.
  • If you see something that you are uncomfortable with you can discuss it with a Kaitiaki without making a formal report.
  • Intoxication during the event carries a number of risks to the organisers and attendees of the event.  Intoxicated attendees will be supported in making safe arrangements to return to their accommodation until able to participate safely in the event again.
  • Understand and respect the tikanga for sessions.

 

For facilitators/ session hosts: 

  • In session design and briefings consider how you will make the session accessible.  Consider the digital divide (access to devices and internet connection) as well as meeting the needs of people attending the session.  This could include ensuring that your sessions have screen reader accessible information.
  • Consider sign language interpreters for main sessions and on request for breakout sessions. Auto transcription services may be appropriate.
  • Harassment can look different online.  Consider carefully whether chat features are making sessions more engaging/ accessible and or are being used to undermine the speaker/ other attendees.  See also Appendix One.
  • Be clear at the start of the conference/ event what is unacceptable – establish the boundaries of the environment you are creating.  Giving specific examples can be useful.
  • Hold a safe space at the conference.  Consider an online room/ chat or email that can be used to instantly provide support if needed during the event.
  • If you are running a session, discuss with relevant identity groups how you might facilitate that session to help them safely participate.
  • Have you considered tikanga in your session? If you have karakia or waiata planned do you need to consult with someone about what is appropriate for your session.  Who is best to lead?

 

Area Council chairs: 

  • Making all delegates from your region feel involved and connected starts prior to conference when people are selected to attend.  Is there anyone new, attending for the first time or who may need extra consideration to experience a safe conference?
  • Agreeing to regularly check in during conference can allow for low level resolution of problems and provide a support mechanism to those attending.

 

NZEI Te Riu Roa staff: 

  • Be familiar with this policy and be able to guide people to support if required 
  • Identify developing unsafe situations and work with colleagues to put in place strategies to keep people safe 

What can I do if there is a problem?

We have arranged for Kaitiaki at annual conference to assist people who have concerns about aspects of safety at conference.  These kaitiaki are available to either have a chat about something you have seen or witnessed or manage reports made on the Annual Conference website.  

You have an option to discuss something with a kaitiaki if you want to unpack something that you have witnessed or heard.  If you have experienced harassment you can make a report either anonymously or giving your name on our website or through our email. 

How to make a report

If you are being harassed/ or feel unsafe or see someone else being harassed please contact a designated staff member (Kaitiaki) as soon as you can or make a report online. 

  • In person (physical events) – contact designated staff members listed on the Conference website and displayed on the poster at the conference desk.  We have tried to provide for a range of people able to receive a report and you should feel that you can make a request for a particular person without risk of offence. 
  • Online – the online form allows for anonymous reporting, however you are able to leave your contact details if you like. Please note wcan’t follow up an anonymous report with you directly, but we will fully investigate it and take whatever action is necessary to prevent a reoccurrence. 

We respect confidentiality requests to protect victims of harassment. 

How will we respond to a report?

Our emphasis in reporting is creating a safe space for all conference attendees.  This means that our immediate focus is ensuring that anyone reporting a breach is listened to, given options supportive of their safety and informed (where relevant) of actions taken in response to their report.

Reports

  • People reporting will be offered the opportunity to discuss their report in a confidential space and with any support people they require present.
  • The National Secretary will be notified that a report has been made (at the time of the report) by email.  This does not contain identifying details, but allows the National
  • Secretary to get an early indication if further support or resources are required.
  • NZEI kaitiaki may request a colleague to sit in to hear/ discuss the report and suitable next steps.
  • All people making a report will be offered information on other relevant supports, such as counselling.
  • We will gather information relevant to the report.  This will include information on the people present and what happened to prompt the report.
  • Anonymous reports will be reviewed, analysed and used to review the safe space policy for the following year’s event.

What is harassment?

NZEI Te Riu Roa will not tolerate harassment. Harassment includes (but is not limited to)

  • Offensive written or verbal comments
  • Offensive social media posts
  • Cat-calling or sexual harassment
  • Deliberate intimidation
  • Stalking or following (both in person and online, including repeated, unwanted requests for contact details/ to connect online)
  • Unwanted physical contact
  • Verbal abuse (including shouting at someone or derogatory statements)
  • Posting images or statements that are based in the oppression of a traditionally marginalized group.
  • Taking screenshots/ recordings for the purpose of harassment/ and or when requested not to do this.
  • Sustained disruption of speakers or participants in workshops (in person or via chat)

Intoxication, ignorance or “jokes” do not excuse inappropriate behavior.

This policy applies to the meeting and associated events.

Outcomes from a breach of the safe space policy

Everyone is responsible for maintaining safe space at Annual Conference. If you are being harassed or see someone else being harassed please report it as soon as you can.

The annual meeting team will endeavour to maintain the safe space by providing escorts, contacting security or police if necessary. Online events may also involve reports to Netsafe. Anyone who is unwilling to discuss and correct inappropriate behaviour will be excluded from the conference.

While the priority for conference is to have a safe space, we want to hold space for members to return to participation, particularly when they have been unaware of the offence they are causing. This restorative approach is at the discretion of the National Secretary.

Designated staff members will recommend the outcome of any report based on the information in the report and any further information obtained while reviewing the report. If the reporter does not wish any action to be taken this will be respected.

  • Potential outcomes can include, but are not limited to:
  • Providing NZEI staff escorts to/ from an event
  • Mediating between parties
  • A restorative approach with agreed mentoring/ learning goals
  • Contacting venue security or the police
  • Cancelling the right to attend the conference immediately without refund
  • Stand down/ exclusion from particular sessions/ events related to conference
  • Reporting to line manager for management through the NZEI TRR Staff Collective Agreement principles if involving NZEI staff
  • Report to National Executive/ Te Reo Areare

To ensure that the conference is a safe space, outcomes may be quick and are in the sole discretion of the National Secretary or someone acting under their delegation.

NZEI Staff with the role of reporters will be offered EAP/ Supervision if required to support them during/ after Annual Conference.

In line with the Privacy Act, we will only hold or store information relevant to a report for the purposes that it is collected – to give effect to this policy. All reports will be treated with confidentiality. Kaitiaki should ensure that the environment in which a report is discussed allows for the discussion of confidential information. Check with the person reporting as to where they would feel comfortable discussing the report. Usually, it is better to go to a different place.

Who is subject to this policy?

This policy applies to all representatives, observers, guests and staff.  Invited speakers, guests and contractors to the event should be oriented to this policy in advance of attending.  Ideally, adherence to this policy will be noted in relevant documentation securing their presence.

Acknowledgments and history

The first version of this policy (Version A) was created in 2019  and acknowledged by similar codes from WWGSD, Play by Play and Geek Feminism.   

2019: Training was developed and given to Kaitiaki before the conference.  After the conference the policy was reviewed by kaitiaki, Area Council Chairs and the Rainbow Network.  Recommendations were developed and included in this version of the document.   

2020: Document updated and revised for online context.  NZEI Te Riu Roa has commenced work on Moku te Ao and this will necessitate this policy being reviewed through the lens of this work in 2021. 

Appendix one: Tips for being a great participant in Annual Meeting

For attendees:

  • Debate ideas’/ strategies not people. Ask how the question aligns with our current strategy or could be built on to meet the needs of particular groups.
  • Assume that ideas have been contributed in good faith and that the best outcome is one where everyone feels safe to contribute, not that the one, right answer is met.
  • Create deliberate space for groups traditionally disenfranchised in communities
  • Consider how much space (contribution) you are taking up/ not taking up during conference. Privilege and identity impacts people’s power to contribute. How can you lift the ability of your union whanau to contribute?
  • If you are running a session, discuss with relevant identity groups how you might facilitate that session to help them safely participate.
  • Holding privilege means that you may not recognise when you are contributing from a place of privilege. It can uncomfortable to have this pointed out – be thankful when held accountable for your privilege and focus on the learning potential in the encounter.
  • If you see something that you are uncomfortable with you can discuss it with a Kaitiaki without making a formal report.
  • Intoxication during the event carries a number of risks to the organisers and attendees of the event. Intoxicated attendees will be supported in making safe arrangements to return to their accommodation until able to participate safely in the event again.

 

For facilitators/ session hosts:

  • In session design and briefings consider how you will make the session accessible. Consider the digital divide (access to devices and internet connection) as well as meeting the needs of people attending the session. This could include ensuring that your sessions have screen reader accessible information.
  • Consider sign language interpreters for main sessions and on request for breakout sessions. Auto transcription services may be appropriate.
  • Harassment can look different online. Consider carefully whether chat features are making sessions more engaging/ accessible and or are being used to undermine the speaker/ other attendees.
  • Be clear at the start of the conference/ event what is unacceptable – establish the boundaries of the environment you are creating. Giving specific examples can be useful.
  • Hold a safe space at the conference. Consider an online room/ chat or email that can be used to instantly provide support if needed during the event.
  • If you are running a session, discuss with relevant identity groups how you might facilitate that session to help them safely participate.

 

For staff:

  • Kaitiaki should be prepared to receive reports/ discuss safety of attendees at any point during the event.
  • Staff not acting as katiaki need to be familiar with the processes in this policy.

Appendix two: Producing and moderating safe sessions

When designing your session, consider safe spaces for your speakers and viewers.  Moderation of chat and Q&A is essential to maintain safety of participants. 

Speakers and panel sessions

When we invite people to speak in our sessions we have an obligation to host them as visitors. This can look like:

  • Giving them a thorough briefing and informing them of relevant tikanga (such as who might need acknowledgement in greetings).
  • Confirm panelists preferred names and pronouns prior to the start of the session.
  • Advising them to turn off chat and Q&A during the session (it is distracting). If your session has questions or chat available, decide who will pull out questions for them to answer
  • If the session is live, and they are not used to public speaking, ensure they know how to set up their name in Zoom, choose a well lit location and arrange their location on the screen so that they are visible to viewers (e.g. head and shoulders visible)
  • Consider pre-recorded sessions
  • Offer an optional debrief afterwards for panelists

Producing Teams/ Zoom sessions

  • Consider registration for sessions and sending out the link only to those registered
  • Understand how to use ‘mute all’ and close chat if necessary
  • Determine how likely it is that you will need a dedicated chat moderator. You are more likely to need a moderator for sessions that are open to the public, heavily advertised or have content centering traditionally marginalized groups.
  • Offer to hold debriefs for production teams after events.
  • If using breakout rooms consider whether representatives need to be in each breakout rooms or if it is sufficient to let people know
  • For a lot of reasons people may not wish to be recorded. If a session is being recorded, it is important that it is clear to everyone so people can opt out of the session.
  • Plan for the most appropriate moderator for each session. Does the moderator need to be bilingual? Do they need to be a member of a traditionally oppressed group to understand that groups understanding of safety.

Monitoring/moderating chat or Q&As

Linktree

Moderation of chat or Q&A sessions is focussed work that helps contribute to a session. A way to create a safe space in chat or Q&A is to put up a message at the start of the session where you:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Remind people of the Safe Space policy
  • Provide a contact email if there are any problems
  • Use the NZEI Event linktree to link through for support resources for those who feel the session raised issues of concern for them. This linktree has a list of relevant resources covering most issues that could come up.

In your session briefing the purpose of the session should be explained to you. As the session progresses it is your job to manage chat/ Q&A to facilitate relevant questions through to the speaker and to ensure that the chat space is safe for everyone.

Ideally, we would leave all chat and questions to run without monitoring, however, this opens us to the possibility of people hijacking chat or using it as a space to promote agendum that make people unsafe.

It is OK to delete chat comments that constitute harassment. If doing this, it is usual to advise the person who made the comment that their post was deleted due to a breach of the safe space policy.

It is not OK to delete comments that represent unpopular ideas or strongly held positions (unless those positions are based on harassment of the groups mentioned in the harassment definition section).