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National Student Unit: Objectives, Structure and Role

The National Student Unit (NSU) represents the student members of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO).

Its objectives are:

  • To protect, promote, further, and enhance the interests of nursing/midwifery students at international, national and local levels, including their professional, industrial, social, cultural, economic and political standing.
  • To actively foster student involvement in NZNO affairs at national and local level and, where appropriate, in the workplace.
  • To support the objectives and the Strategic Plan of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation.
  • To act as a resource body in conjunction with National Office providing advice and information to students where appropriate.

Where does the National Student Unit fit into NZNO?

The National Student Unit, like the rest of NZNO, is made up of members who vote for delegates as follows:

  • NZNO regional delegates
  • NSU regional delegates
  • Te Runanga Tauira delegates
  • The student representatives link into the wider NZNO by attending regional council meetings. Te Runanga Tauira representatives link into regional councils by having two representatives on Te Runanga National Komiti.

The National Student Unit meets three times each year. This group is made up of:

  • National Student Unit Chairperson
  • National Student Unit Vice Chairperson
  • Te Runanga Tauira Chairperson
  • Te Runanga Tauira Vice Chairperson
  • one NSU regional representative and one Te Runanga Tauira representative from each school of nursing

Other students can attend but do not have voting rights.

The NSU committee elects:

  • a chairperson (this can be any NZNO student member and is elected by the National Student Unit members).
  • The National Student Unit chairperson becomes a member of the NZNO Membership Committee and represents students' interests.
  • a vice chairperson (is elected by the National Student Unit members)


Te Runanga Tauira elects:

  • a Chairperson (this can be any NZNO Māori student member and is elected by Te Runanga Tauira members)
  • a Vice Chairperson (is elected by Te Runanga Tauira members)

Both the TRT Chairperson and TRT Vice Chairperson become members of the Te Poari Komiti.

Role of the National Student Unit

The role of delegate combines opportunities with responsibilities. NZNO provides support.

Key tasks:

  • get other students involved in the NZNO student unit
  • recruit new members and representatives
  • build up the profile of NZNO on campus by distributing information
  • Things that may impact on a delegate's effectiveness include how NZNO is seen by other students and staff, delegate workload and their personal circumstances.

Role of a Local Student Unit

Local student units are committees based in education institutes that support the work of the representative to the National Student Unit. These local delegates do not attend national student unit committee meetings, but help disseminate information and consult with NZNO student members.

National Student Unit Logo

The redesign of the National Student Unit logo emerged from discussions that the exisiting design did not provide a connection to NZNO, partnership and a representation of issues relating to students.

The design was reworked and Te Runanga Tauira took the designs to Te Runanga for consultation  that reflected kaupapa Maori and partnership with the National Student Unit.

The NZNO Board of Directors and Te Runanga both endorsed the logo in 2008.


The bottom koru depicts a 'putake' or 'root' that represents a solid foundation for the NSU to grow, sustain and flourish.

The upper koru depicts a 'pitau' or fern frond that represents growth sustenance and the ability to strive for higher learning.

Together the two koru combine to make the 'mangopare', or hammerhead shark design.  The mangopare represents stability and direction.