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What do Maori want? Pay Parity is a good start

What do Maori want? Pay Parity is a pretty good start

Hon Tariana Turia, Health Spokesperson of the Maori Party

Thursday 29 May 2008

Tariana Turia, health spokesperson for the Maori Party, today congratulated Maori, iwi and non-profit primary health care providers on their success in working in partnership with the New Zealand Nurses Organisation for a multi-employment collective agreement (MECA).

“I was very disappointed to not be able to be present when the petition was presented to the Minister of Health today” said Mrs Turia, “But I am extremely pleased that the Minister accepted it and welcome his support”.

“The Maori Party has been right behind this petition, since work began on it over two and a half years ago” said Mrs Turia.

“The expert skills and strategies held by kaupapa Maori health workers are absolutely vital in addressing the disparities between the health outcomes of tangata whenua and other New Zealanders”.

“We urgently need action for the not-for-profit sector” said Mrs Turia. “We simply cannot afford to continue lose staff to mainstream PHOs and DHBs”.

“The Maori Party welcomes the initiative taken by NZNO and Maori and iwi health care providers and looks forward to seeing their petition being fully considered by Parliament”.

“To us it’s a question of Treaty rights – honouring that health is a taonga, to be cared for and protected, and that Maori and iwi health providers deserve the same opportunities and conditions as all other primary health care providers”.

“We are delighted with the emergence of Te Rau Kokiri and think of it as a document which truly represents a partnership approach which other sectors could well follow” said Mrs Turia.

“Te Rau Kokiri represents the commitment to develop Maori service providers alongside a recognition that they are best placed to address some of the most critical health priorities in our current health system”.

“We congratulate the New Zealand Nurses Organisation in the process they have gone through, in their negotiations with some sixty Maori and iwi health care providers” said Mrs Turia.

“Pay parity has a precedent – with the 2004 fair pay settlement with DHBs which brought nurses, midwives and other healthcare professionals into a comparable rate of pay but it left primary health care workers and nurses in the not-for-profit sector behind”.

ENDS

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