West Coast nurse’s last stand

July 1, 2021

For one dedicated West Coast nurse, going on strike for a safer workplace was among her final acts of solidarity.

Barbara (Barb) Roberts died suddenly on June 22, less than two weeks after being out on the picket lines.

NZNO organiser Linda Boyd said Roberts, 65, was an enrolled nurse from the maternity ward, who had worked at Grey Base Hospital (now Te Nīkau) for more than 40 years.

She was a committed nurse, who was passionate about newborn hearing screening, Boyd said. “Her colleagues told me she would on occasion come in on her days off to ensure a newborn had their test done – especially if they lived far from the hospital.” Roberts had also previously served as an NZNO delegate.

She is survived by her husband Neville and sons Nigel and Jared and their families.