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Auckland nurses to picket for safe staffing – NZNO

Nurses, midwives, health care assistants and kaimahi hauora will come to Manurewa from all over to Auckland to picket in support of safe staffing on Thursday 5 October.

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa (NZNO) members will congregate holding signs at 131 Hill Rd, Manurewa at 1.30pm and will also approach members of the public to talk about the importance of the health workforce this election.

Auckland NZNO delegate Ben Basevi said the point of the picket was to call on the public to vote for Health at the ballot box on 14 October.

“We are calling on the public to support those political parties that will commit to resolving the staffing crisis in health care, in particular the urgent need for 4000 more nurses.

“People, including our politicians, may not yet fully realise the impact the nursing shortage has on our health system and how this will affect their care, and the care of their loved ones and whānau when they need it.

“The incoming Government, no matter what its composition, must take urgent action to reduce the nursing shortage. That means making the profession attractive to new students, and addressing frontline needs to ensure we keep the nurses we already have.”

He said parties needed to develop policies around issues such as more Māori and Pasifika nurses so people get culturally appropriate care and need the health system less; funded free training for nursing students so they don’t start work with a massive debt; decent wages and Pay Parity across the health system so every nurse everywhere is equally valued; and legally mandated staff-to-patient ratios to help ensure the safety of nurses and the people they care for.

NZNO’s scorecard of political parties’ health policies(1) will be distributed from a stall at the picket and will also be handed to members of the public in one-on-one conversations.

“We’ll be encouraging people to enrol and vote with health foremost in their minds because we simply cannot carry on as we are,” Ben Basevi said.

“People need to enrol and vote for the good of their whānau and communities.”

The picket is expected to conclude at around 3.30pm.


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