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Waitangi Tribunal decision just a first step towards equality for Māori women

New Zealand Nurses Organisation media release, 30 January 2019

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) applauds the decision of the Waitangi Tribunal to accept a claim lodged by Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Awhina – the rūnanga of the Public Service Association (PSA) – to address employment inequities suffered by Māori women. NZNO has also had a claim accepted under the Waitangi Tribunal's Mana Wahine Kaupapa inquiry.

However, NZNO Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku says this is really just the beginning of a process that should have been settled years ago.

“We agree with the PSA that for too long there have been well-documented inequities for Māori and for Māori women in particular. This is especially true for health outcomes.

“Nurses see this every day, so we’re not just fighting for equality in pay and employment, but also for equal access to acceptable health services and health outcomes.”

Kerri Nuku said it is imperative that the voices of Maori women will be heard, but that this was about much more than that – it is mana to wahine.

“This struggle is actually about taking action to restore the well-defined role and rangatiratanga of Māori women, something that has been consistently eroded over time to their detriment.

“So while we’re happy with this decision, we wonder why things have taken so long. We look forward to the Inquiry results and to concerted action to restore the equality and mana of Māori women in Aotearoa.”

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