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'Maori Nurses deprioritised by this govt'

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern has made some significant announcements this week saying that data shows that Labour has lifted 18,400 children out of poverty since they have been in government and seen across the country rolling out food in schools.

Kerri Nuku, Kaiwhakahaere of the NZ Nurses Association is representing the Māori Nurses claim in the Health Inquiry. Mrs Nuku argued in the Waitangi Tribunal Inquiry last year that structural racism was the root case of Maori health disparities and demands pay parity issues for Maori nurses who are often the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

"Of course it’s great to see Jacinda making instrumental changes to help our tamariki out of poverty, however Māori nurses are at the frontline of Māori health care across the country in Māori health providers and are still being ignored by this governement. I have Māori nurses leaving the profession in droves because they can’t survive on their wages" says Mrs Nuku.

"Maori nurses working within some of the Maori and iwi providers work over-time and weekends to make ends meet, often holding down two or more jobs and sleeping in the carpark for shift work because travel costs to commute are unaffordable"

Mrs Tureiti-Moxon is also fed up and has lost patience with the government over ongoing delays to negotiations over a stand-alone Maori Health Authority, as part of the recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal Report for the health Inquiry.

"The power, decision making and the resources are all in the hands of the government and they won't move," said Moxon.

"Yet, our people are still suffering. A number of them are dying needlessly. It's just phenomenal. And yet no one seems to care.

"It's wrong, they shouldn't be dying. If we don't pull this one off then nothing is going to happen."

The Associate Minister of Health, Peeni Henare has said he’d been clear with the claimants that they would have too wait for the Health and Disability Review due in March and that he was on a trust building exercise with the claimants.

"Well that sounds all very nice, but the Māori Nurses have written to the Minister for a hui and we have never even had the courtesy of a reply. So basically, he hasn't even met with us yet" says Mrs Nuku.

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