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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern must hear nurses on their own terms

New Zealand Nurses Organisation media release, 12 February 2021

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is urging Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to invest time into hearing real stories from frontline MIQ nurses and other health workers.

The Prime Minister has stated publicly that frontline MIQ workers are being prioritised, but NZNO believes the Government is not listening to nurses’ voices so there is little trust on the part of these health workers.

“During the first and second waves of COVID we don’t feel that the Ministry of Health responded to the matters we raised in a timely way. NZNO has repeatedly alerted the Government to issues of concern to our members but these don’t get addressed until a crisis occurs,” said NZNO Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku.

“We have nurses and other health workers who are working long hours, feeling unsafe and burnt out – and many are leaving the workforce. There are others being given inadequate training coming into poorly managed facilities.”

Ms Nuku says NZNO members can’t wait for another crisis for there to be action.

“As Professor Michael Baker and others have said, we are at a crucial time for the rollout of the vaccine and our MIQ workers are central to ensuring the safety of us all.

“And nurses must be allowed to speak up without fear of retribution from their employers.

“We invite the Prime Minister to engage with us and understand our stories. The Government needs to understand the realities for our workers, listen to them and hear their solutions.”


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

Direct Media Enquiries To:

Please send all media requests in writing to

NZNO communications and media advisors are:

Rob Zorn
027 431 2617  |  04 494 8242

Samesh Mohanlall
021 240 3420  |  04 494 6839

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