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Filipino – Kiwi Nurses to Seek Help of MPs

September 18, 2018

The happiest of migrants are scheduled to seek the help of Labour MPs for various issues. Filipino-Kiwi community leaders will meet with members of Parliament on Saturday, 22 September in a gathering at the New Lynn Friendship Club in West Auckland. The meeting is expected to be attended by numerous Filipino students, workers and professionals. Members of Parliament based in Central and West Auckland will be present in the meeting. The Filipino community will raise issues in relation to migrant exploitation, immigration, housing, education, health services, including Filipino nurses’ experience in obtaining New Zealand nursing registration.

Filipino nurses’ plight

A group of Filipino nurses led by Monina Hernandez, president of the Filipino Nurses Association of New Zealand, Inc, will talk about Filipino nurses’ recent concerns when applying for New Zealand nursing registration. Filipinos comprise the fastest growing and the third largest ethnic group (8%) in the overall NZ nursing workforce, after NZ European/Pākehā (62%) and other European (14%). As of 31 March 2017, New Zealand has 52,711 practising nurses according to a publication released by the Nursing Council.

Monina said that she is thankful that the government is listening to feedback from migrant communities. She, however, said that she will seek the help of the MPs because some of the issues that affect migrant nurses are beyond the jurisdiction of the Nursing Council. “Issues that affect migrant nurses such as visa applications and the third-party agencies offering to "process" Nursing Council competency assessment programme requirements for a fee needs to be addressed. The integrity of the nursing profession is important to us, that’s why we also want to protect it from various angles.”

Monina further said that she has a list of concerns that she will discuss with the MPs on Saturday. “The list focuses mainly on fair recruitment of migrant nurses and we also have recommendations on how to resolve these concerns. We are hopeful that government will not only listen, but also remedy migrant nurses’ issues.”

Migrant Filipinos in New Zealand

The Filipino population has more than tripled since 2001. Census figures showed that from 11,091 in 2001, the number of Philippine-born migrants increased to 40,350 in 2013. Filipinos comprise 8.6 % of the 471,708 who identify as Asians. In 2013, 50.8% of Filipinos lived in Auckland, 12.7% in Wellington and 12.1% in Canterbury (Statistics New Zealand, 2014). The 2018 census is yet to report on their current numbers and geographic distribution.

Migrants from the Philippines are known to be the happiest of migrants, ahead of South Koreans and people from the United Kingdom, in a survey published in 2017. Filipinos rated their happiness levels at 8 out of a possible 10, up from 6.8 when they first arrived in New Zealand.


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