Table of contents Print friendly version

Brief historical background

The PSA’s proud history

In 1890, 400 public servants met in Wellington to form an association to promote the ‘welfare of the service’.

This first group didn’t survive in a political climate marked by deep distrust of any kind of organised labour. However, by 1913 public servants were willing to try again, and together they created the New Zealand Public Service Association. Today, with more than 58,000 members, the PSA is New Zealand’s largest union, making a significant positive contribution for members.

The PSA has represented members through two world wars, a major depression, the development of social services, the establishment of full political rights for public servants, a shift away from colonialism, massive restructuring in the 1980s and 90s, and the realities of the global economy in the twenty-first century. All of which have had profound implications for public servants.

In 2013, the PSA celebrates its centenary.