New Zealand Nurses Organisation media release, 13 July 2022
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa (NZNO) is calling on the Minister of Health to acknowledge there is a nursing and health crisis, and for an immediate Conference of health sector spokespeople to focus on the crisis and potential solutions.
The call comes after what NZNO says is a series of inaccurate and disparaging remarks made in the media by Heath Minister Andrew Little about NZNO and other organisations speaking out about the crisis.
NZNO Chief Executive Paul Goulter said the continued comments are unhelpful.
“Just one example is the matter of the DHB Pay Equity back pay, which is before the Employment Relations Authority – exactly where the Government’s legislation says such disputes should go.
“To say NZNO reneged on the deal is inaccurate because no deal can be accepted until it is voted on by members, and to accuse the organisation of lying (speaking with a forked tongue) is misleading and inflammatory. It is unhelpful and ignores the wishes of the 35,000 DHB NZNO members who voted overwhelmingly not to proceed with the proposed settlement’s ratification.”
He said the Minister’s continued comments have upset and angered members, only adding to the disillusionment they feel over his denial that there is a crisis and because their desperate pleas for help have been ignored for years.
“Member feedback on the Minister’s comments today has been swift and angry, and they want to speak out.
“We are asking our members to use an online tool to let the Minister know directly what they face every day in their workplace to help him form a further view on whether or not there is a crisis.
“We’ll compile member responses and present them to the Minister and this will be a useful basis for a whole of sector Conference on the crisis and the urgent need to work together to find real solutions.”
Media inquiries: Rob Zorn, NZNO Media and Communications Advisor: 027 431 2617.