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Wellbeing Budget initiatives will require nurses

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) commends the Government for a good start towards a Wellbeing Budget for people living in New Zealand. In particular it commends the significant increase in Vote Health, and meaningful allocations in key areas such as: mental health and addictions; child wellbeing; family violence; and Māori and Pasifika wellbeing.

NZNO Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku said that more specifically, significant investments have been promised in areas such as school-based health, homelessness, early learning to improve wellbeing; infrastructure support; and kaupapa Māori services. She said there is still more to be done.

"Nurses and nursing services will be key to each and every one of these extended services, but we agree with the Government’s observation that currently the required workforce needed for them is not in place."

NZNO President Grant Brookes said NZNO was therefore pleased to see the Government identifying specific workforce targets such as the primary mental health services workforce (which must include nurses) and pathways to employment for the Māori and Pasifika health workforce.

"We are particularly pleased that the importance of supporting students to enter into nursing and midwifery practice has been recognised."

However, Kerri Nuku said the glaring disparity in earnings between the DHB nursing workforce and those working in Māori and Pasifika, Aged Care and Community services should have been more clearly identified as a target in the Budget.

"NZNO looks forward to continuing to work with Government to develop the required nursing workforce and helping to ensure that working conditions and remuneration levels continue to improve so nursing remains an attractive option for young people seeking a professional career in health. Investing in the wellbeing of the workforce remains a priority."

ENDS


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