Nurses on the march

July 1, 2021

Aotearoa turned purple in June as NZNO members went on strike around the nation.

Dad and daughter holding a 'Fair pay for Nursing' sign


The strike by district health board (DHB) members aimed to gain better pay, conditions and boost patient safety. It followed lengthy negotiations, and an effective public sector pay freeze that came as a slap in the face to members.


Mum and daughter with 'Good health needs valued nurses' sign

In Wellington, hundreds marched to Parliament to hear from MPs – including Health Minister Andrew Little.

NZNO members carrying hand-lettered signs on the steps of Civic Square, Wellington


Leading off the march were NZNO kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku and acting president, and vice president, Tracey Morgan.

A sea of purple as nurses march in Wellington

Nurses with 'Safe staffing saves lives' signLittle fronted on the steps of Parliament to a crowd of hundreds, who eventually drowned out his attempts to explain the Government’s position.

But far away from politicians in Wellington, NZNO members and their supporters were gathering outside hospitals and clinics, and marching on the streets in the four corners of the whenua.

Enthusiasm and feelings were running high – but with the nation’s health tied up in the negotiations, so were the stakes.

Young nurses in Civic Square with a placard that reads 'We're just statistics until it's your child who needs care'

Placard that reads 'Hey Aussie! How you doin'? Fair conditions or we fly'

A line of hospital nurses, fists raised, carrying protest signs