Media release 1 May 2018
NZNO kaiwhakahaere addressed UN Forum on Indigenous Rights about Māori health workforce issues
Back from the mid-April United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Rights, NZNO Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku has called for the government’s full commitment to development of and planning for a growing Māori nursing workforce.
At the forum Kerri Nuku requested a UN intervention to ensure indigenous womens’ voices are included and heard at the decision making level of health and a health system that recognises the value in having a nursing workforce, which reflects the Māori population demographic.
“An aspirational Māori nursing workforce goal with no further commitment, funding or implementation strategy is unacceptable,” Kerri Nuku said.
“The underfunding of the public health sector means nursing is far less attractive at a time when we only have 7 per cent of the nursing workforce being Māori, which is under representative of the Māori population.
“Retention and recruitment of Māori nurses is vital for the future health and wellbeing of our whānau, hapū and iwi and a Maori Nursing Strategy is urgently needed to address this.
“Whilst commitment has been made to form some regional partnerships to achieve the goal of a Māori nursing workforce that matches the percentage of Māori in their population by 2028, there is no supporting operational strategy to make this happen.
In addition, Kerri Nuku draws attention to the fact that nurses working for Māori health care providers are paid up to 25 per cent less than their counterparts in district health boards, yet it is generally the DHBs that fund Māori providers.
“This situation, although complex could be remedied by different contractual arrangements, if there was the political will to do so,” she said.
Media enquiries to: NZNO media adviser, Karen Coltman 027 431 2617.