Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Petition Launched To ‘Get Vets’ Into NZ

As New Zealand faces a dire shortage of veterinarians, a petition has been launched urging the Government to reclassify veterinarians as critical workers so we can Get Vets into NZ.

“New Zealand desperately needs veterinarians from overseas to counter our shortage here, and the single measure that would make the biggest difference is reclassifying vets as critical workers,” says Julie South, spokesperson for the Get Vets campaign.

“Designating vets as critical workers would enable veterinarians of all experience levels and all salary bands – not just those earning more than $106,080 as currently required – to work here.

“Current veterinary staffing shortages are at extreme levels and are dire for animals, for people and for our agricultural sector.

“They are putting animal welfare at risk – from the wellbeing of your cat or dog at home through to the health of our production animals like dairy cows, sheep and horses. They are also placing an enormous strain on the exhausted and stressed vets we have, at a time when they are more important than ever.

“Despite the strong advocacy of the New Zealand Veterinary Association, the Government has made the right noises, but its actions have yet to measure up and make any material difference.

“Its initial exception in September 2020 for 30 workers was limited to farm animal vets and we don’t know how many have even arrived.

“The Government’s pre-Christmas announcement only reconfirms its existing and public-stated policy: that only vets earning over $106,080 pa will be eligible for border exceptions.

“We desperately need the Government to reclassify veterinarians as critical workers so vets of all skill levels, salary rates, experience levels and disciplines can be eligible to apply to enter New Zealand.

“I’m urging New Zealand’s vets, and everyone who cares about the wellbeing of their family pet and the people who look after them, to sign my petition at getvets.nz and to let the Government know that we need more overseas vets to be able to work here urgently.”

Notes for editors:

A link to the parliamentary petition can be found at getvets.nz. Signatures close on 31 January 2021.

Why is it crucial that vets are classed as critical workers and what effect will that have?

It will mean that veterinarians of all levels of experience, pay brackets and hours worked per week, will be able to work in New Zealand:

  • ‘locums’ (relieving veterinarians) – these are essential to cover sickness, illness, continued professional development absences and annual holidays of veterinarians. The current criteria excludes these veterinarians (hours worked + $/pa earned).
  • those with fewer than 8-10 years’ experience (because of the current threshold of $106,080 pa).
  • new graduates – straight from university.

Why do we need overseas vets and why aren’t there enough New Zealand vets available to fill roles?

  • Approx. 100 vets graduate from Massey each year – it’s not enough to meet the current shortfall
    • it takes approx. 3 years before a veterinarian has the skills necessary to be able to work in a clinic sole charge (without another vet supervising them)
    • so even if Massey doubled its intake in 2021 (which won’t happen), we’re not going to see any benefit of that for another 8 years or so (5 year degree + 3 years’ experience)
  • Approx 800 registered veterinarians in NZ are currently overseas qualified – this is still not enough
  • Companion animal (dogs, cats, pets) ownership in NZ is growing:
    • NZ is second highest owners of companion animals worldwide (63%) to US (67%)
    • Pets (like humans) are living longer because of advances in healthcare = more visits to the vet over their lifetime.

Each year the veterinary sector relies on a number of overseas workers to complement New Zealand vets.

Since COVID-19 border restrictions came into place, these overseas veterinarians have not arrived at their usual rate.

New Zealand can’t produce enough vets overnight to ease the shortage and, like in any other sector, overseas vets have experience, qualifications and specialised expertise that recent graduates in New Zealand understandably cannot match.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Some Of The Moral Objections Being Levelled At Covid Vaccines

Quite the switch. Barely three months ago, the government was priding itself on cannily spreading its vaccine bets between Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Novovaxx and the Johnson and Johnson vaccine being produced by its subsidiary, Janssen. It had seemed like a good idea to have supply contracts in place with almost the entire field given the uncertainties... More>>


Earthquakes: Tsunami Activity – Cancelled

The National Advisory issued at 2:48pm following this morning's earthquakes near the KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION is cancelled.
The advice from GNS Science, based on ocean observations, is that the Beach and Marine threat has now passed for all areas... More>>

Joint Press Release: Dirty PR Exposed In Whale Oil Defamation Trial

Three public health advocates are relieved that their long-standing Whale Oil defamation trial against Cameron Slater, Carrick Graham, Katherine Rich and the Food and Grocery Council has finally concluded and they are pleased that the truth has come out... More>>


Government: Next Stage Of COVID-19 Support For Business And Workers

The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend... More>>


Maori Party: New National Executive

This morning the Māori Party confirmed their new National Executive including Che Wilson, Fallyn Flavell, John Tamihere and Kaiarahi Takirua: Rawiri Waititi and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer... More>>

Government: Balanced Economic Approach Reflected In Crown Accounts

New Zealand’s economic recovery has again been reflected in the Government’s books, which are in better shape than expected.
The Crown accounts for the seven months to the end of January 2021 were better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU)... More>>

Covid-19: Auckland Back To Alert Level Three After One New Community Case Revealed

Auckland will move to alert level three for a week at 6am tomorrow morning after two new Covid-19 community cases announced this evening could not be directly linked to earlier cases, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
The rest of the country will move to level two.... More>>

NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels