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NZNO calls for unity and respect

New Zealand Nurses Organisation media release, 6 May 2020

New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku is calling for an end to personal attacks and for unity after a petition was launched today asking for the NZNO Board to stand down and for a new Board to be re-elected.

“We want to make it very clear to our members and to the public that this petition has its source in the findings of serious misconduct against the former President Grant Brookes which led to two Special General Meetings . One involved the Board calling for Mr Brookes to be removed from office (which he survived by less than 51 percent). The second was a vote of confidence and support for Mr Brookes which he lost by 66 percent.

“The organisers of the petition and supporters of Mr Brookes have launched it on the basis of the one-sided account provided by him. We believe this is actually a personal attack by Mr Brookes on the role of the Kaiwhakahaere and on myself personally. It’s also an attempt to undermine NZNO’s bicultural foundation, our democratic processes and our union and professional values. This is not how union members behave and is a direct attack on our solidarity.

“The petition is extremely divisive in attempting undermine member confidence in the union and professional association at a time when we need to be working with and supporting our members in the fight against COVID-19 and in their ongoing important work to meet the health needs of the people of Aotearoa New Zealand.  I am calling on these actions to stop and for people to stop putting their personal agendas first.  We need to be united at this time.

“We are disappointed that this small group is using this time to grandstand and push their own views and agendas.”

A media release accompanying the petition launch says, “Four of the six remaining board members have been in the role for less than six months. It simply isn’t fair to expect them to govern our venerable organisation.”

Kerri Nuku said NZNO members have elected people to the Board who are experienced nurses and perfectly able to fulfil their governance roles.

“It’s incredibly disrespectful to these Board members who are working really hard at the moment and also to the members who elected them.

“The Board has already announced plans to hold by-elections to replace the President and departed Board members, and NZNO has democratic processes in place for this to happen where everyone will have a voice.”


Media inquiries: Rob Zorn, NZNO Media and Communications Advisor: 027 431 2617.

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