• Video: Nurses rally on Hawke's Bay's street to bring message of need for resourcing and funding in health

Video: Nurses rally on Hawke's Bay's street to bring message of need for resourcing and funding in health

Nurses took to the streets in Hastings and Napier today to raise awareness of the crisis facing the country around resourcing and funding in health, according to New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO).

Chief Executive of NZNO Paul Goulter was out on the streets of Hastings and Napier with the nurses today spreading the message that the New Zealand health system has been badly under-resourced for years.

"Its means that Kiwis aren't getting the care that they need," said Goulter.

"And our workforces, our nurses, our doctors, allied health, can't provide the healthcare that they know is needed.

"They're upset about that and they're calling on the Government to fund it, to resource it, so we can do it properly."

The rallies in Hastings and Napier today are part of NZNO's Ratio Justice Bus Tour, an 11 day trip around New Zealand raising awareness of the health crisis facing New Zealand.

NZNO President Anne Daniels says the organisation was calling on the Government to increase health funding and implement culturally appropriate nurse-to-patient and midwife-to-patient ratios in all health care settings.

"We can't solve the understaffing crisis unless the Coalition Government puts more money into health," says Daniels.

"However, in Budget 2024 the bulk of health funding that was announced was committed to meeting cost pressure funding.

"This means there is limited funding for new initiatives in health and nothing concrete announced for nurses, midwives and health care assistants."

Goulter said it was important for the NZNO Ratio Justice Bus Tour to bring this message to those outside the major cities.

"Because we know that their medical services suffer probably more than in the cities themselves," said Goulter.

And so our nurses in these areas are really passionate about bringing that message out to their communities.

"We can hear from the noise around us that those communities are right behind them."

But with the junior doctors, national blood service workers, and now members of St John Ambulances striking, will nurses from NZNO be the next to take industrial action, slowing up our health system even more.

Goulter pointed out that NZNO was not in the middle of their collective agreement negotiations for their hospital nurses, which is expected to take place in a few months time.

"It'll be up to them to make that call," says Goulter.

"But they're pretty brassed off."

Goulter says NZNO would like to see the Government announce that they will provide the funding needed to fix New Zealand's health system right across the board.

"It's not just the hospitals," says Goulter.

"I think everyone knows how hard it is to get into GP practices, how expensive they are, there's a difficulty in aged residential care, there's lots of shortage in nursing there, and then we've got Māori and iwi providers who are also under the pump.

"So it needs to be fixed right across the board, it won't happen overnight, we accept that but we've got to start now."