But Health Minister Andrew Little told Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand he is anticipating appointment of the three elected members later this month. “The Ministry [of Health] has drafted the appointment paper, which is currently going through sign-out and is expected to go to the Cabinet Committee for noting shortly,” he said.
Voting in the elections – the profession elects three council members every three years – closed on September 4. Byrne said the council’s election process was on the same cycle as general elections and this created a delay to any appointments from the Health Minister.
Little concurred. “With the general election intervening in the process, followed by the Christmas parliamentary break, there was unfortunately a significant period between the Nursing Council election and progressing the appointment of the successful candidates,” he said. “It is fair to say there has been a backlog of health-sector appointments that the Ministry [of Health] and I have between working through since the beginning of the year.”
Byrne said the delay had been frustrating for both the council and the 31 election candidates, but the successful candidates had recently been “confidentially informed”.
The council was fortunate the remaining elected members were continuing with their governance duties until new members were appointed, Byrne said.
The minister said the ministry had treated the appointment of the elected members as a priority paper for 2021.
“Though with other significant appointment work required, such as the PHARMAC Review, Health Practitioner Disciplinary Tribunal and district health board vacancies, there has been a short delay,” Little said.