Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku said Little and NZNO shared similar philosophies of kotahitanga – collectivism – and an interest in equitable outcomes. “We look forward to meeting him at his earliest convenience to progress Wai 2575 (Waitangi Tribunal claim into health services) and pay parity for Māori nurses.”
President Heather Symes said she hoped the new minister would get up to speed quickly with NZNO’s nursing manifesto, which outlined its priorities. After years of underfunding and a global pandemic, there were many challenges, she said.
“Investment to build up the capacity and capability of our health services is ever more urgent if we are to make significant improvements which affect working conditions of our members and the health and wellbeing of people of Aotearoa, New Zealand.”
NZNO’s key manifesto challenges were around supporting the health sector’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and reducing inequitable access to health care.
NZNO also welcomed Peeni Henare as Associate Minister of Health (Māori health), Chris Hipkins as Minister for COVID-19 response and Ayesha Verrall as Associate Minister of Health.