Thursday May 25, 2017   Last updated 09:30AM
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Maori nursing workforce strategy missing
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The New Zealand Nurses Organisation says the continuing pay gap between nurses working for Maori health providers and those in district health boards is a human rights issue.

Organisation kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku has just got back from reporting to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York on the lack of progress in recruitment and retention in the Maori nursing workforce.

Maori make up just 7 percent of the workforce, which means there needs to be an extra 10,000 Maori nurses by 2028 to meet the Health Ministry’s own target of 15 percent.

Ms Nuku say that needs to be done in line with International Labour Organisation criteria of equal remuneration for equal skills, because the gap now is as much as 25 percent

"Therein lies the issue around pay parity. We would love to see 10,000 nurses employed by 2028 but we also don't want them going into the lowest paid jobs which currently are within Maori and iwi provider groups," she says.

The Nurses Organisation raised the same issues at the United Nations two year ago, but the government still has no Maori nursing workforce strategy.

KERRI NUKU INTERVIEW

 

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