Association of Administrative Professionals NZ Inc


Keystrokes Per Minute 

What is it?

The Keystrokes Per Minute podcast series is the culmination of interviews recorded since the project commenced in 2017 capturing the voices of Public Service typists from 1945 to today.

Why is this important today?

It’s 2022 and gender pay inequity still exists, and still the lack of status accorded to much of women’s work means major issues for our societal wellbeing. 

Recording and publishing this oral history will enable the voices and experiences of women from the Public Service Typing Pools since 1945, to join the dots for today’s audiences when asking ourselves ‘How did we get here?

The unheard voices of women’s experiences of the inequity and sexism through the ages, interrupted and disrupted education, the power of the class and religious bias, so often unspoken and therefore unchallenged. Let us change that.

Tell me more...

Throughout the post WW2 period (1945 onwards), the New Zealand Public Service relied on the work of women employed in the typing pool and associated administrative activities.

For most of this period, these women worked largely in collective groups or “pools” located in each State department.  In addition, many were engaged or promoted from the typing pool, from time to time, as the secretaries and personal assistants to senior managers in those agencies.

Although rarely acknowledged, without their work the Public Service and executive Ministers to whom the Service was accountable could not have operated.

Using various modes of document production such as shorthand-based typing, typing from handwritten notes, dictaphone typing and word processing, as well as event managing and providing a range of support services for the managers, the women from the typing pool were indispensable to the operation of the Public Service – and, indeed the wider public.

Virtually no other public servants were trained in or competent to undertake the widely varied task carried out by these comparatively low paid women.

Where can I listen to the Podcasts? 

Keystrokes Per Minute episodes will be broadcast on Wellington Access Radio 106.1FM starting 2pm on Tuesday, 8 March 2022, for eight weeks, last episode airing on 26 April 2022.  Episodes can be heard via thAccess Radio podcast page at accessradio.org.nz.

The AdmiNZ Connection

As well as being a significant piece of history on our profession in New Zealand, we are so proud of the huge contribution Life Member and former National President Eth Lloyd  MNZM, AdmiNZ (Life, Fellow, Cert) has made in producing the podcast series and related material.  Eth has been one of the researchers interviewing typing pool members from across the country including many current and former AdmiNZ members. 

The Storycollective website
Go to www.storycollective.nz to listen to the Podcast Trailer and meet the Research Team behind the Keystrokes Oral History project. 

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