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Nurses and health workers agree to keep moving

New Zealand Nurses Organisation media release, 19 October 2020

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) congratulates the Labour Party on its historic election win and promises to work with the new Government so that progress in health can “keep moving” in Aotearoa New Zealand.

NZNO President Heather Symes said both NZNO and the Government have a lot on their agendas in the coming year.

“We both want the same thing – a first rate health system where people are cared for as best as possible, and in which every health worker is safe and fairly paid.

“The Government has a clear mandate to progress with its agenda and NZNO is keen to work together in good faith on issues such as how improvements in health funding will keep moving forward and how the Government will address the findings of this year’s Health and Disability Commissioner’s report.”

NZNO Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku said NZNO has worked steadfastly with the Government on these issues and pledges to continue doing so.

“We also share a commitment to pay parity for nurses and all health workers across the sector, and an end to persistent discrepancies in pay levels between those who work in district health boards and those who work in Primary Care.

“People working for Māori and Iwi health providers often work for 30 percent less than those working in public hospitals, despite having the same qualifications, experience and commitment to their employers and patients. This sort of historic injustice has to end right now.”

Ms Nuku and Ms Symes said that on NZNO’s agenda at present are several high level multi-employer collective agreements (MECAs) and, together with other unions, a pay equity initiative through which nurses will be paid the same as those working in similar but male-dominated professions.

“COVID-19 has ushered us all into a brave new world and that means we have to be brave and face our issues squarely so we do what’s right and just without delay. That’s what keeping moving means,” they say.


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

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Karen Howarth
027 725 2680  |  04 494 8242


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