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NZNO Award of Honour recognises invaluable enrolled nurse leader

New Zealand Nurses Organisation media release, 23 September 2021 

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is pleased to announce that the 2021 NZNO Award of Honour (presented every two years) has been awarded to Waikato-based nurse Leonie Metcalfe.

The prestigious Award of Honour recognises long-standing NZNO members who have helped make the organisation what it is today. This year’s recipient is Leonie Metcalf, a passionate, lifelong advocate for NZNO, and especially for enrolled nurses.

In putting Ms Metcalfe forward, her nominator, present chairperson of the NZNO Enrolled Nurses Section Robyn Hewlett, said, "She has enabled nurses to feel proud of being a nurse through her enthusiasm, and her energy has provided impetus to others to become involved and take part in their organisation."

Ms Metcalfe trained as a registered community nurse at Wairoa Hospital. After moving to Waikato in 1982 she worked as an enrolled nurse for 35 years before retiring in 2021.

Over her time Ms Metcalfe chaired both the Midlands Regional Enrolled Nurse Section and the national Enrolled Nurse Section NZNO where she worked to elevate the status of enrolled nurses in all areas.

Ms Metcalfe was also an active delegate engaged in bargaining as well as sitting on groups including the Waikato District Health Board Bipartite Action Group (BAG) NZNO/DHB as well as sitting on the joint NZNO/PSA/DHB Nurses Pay Equity Working Group and NZNO’s work around pay equity.

In her retirement she remains an outspoken advocate, raising awareness about the impact of unhealthy buildings on health care workers.

The award was presented at the virtual NZNO AGM on 16 September. 

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