Anne Daniels, President
NZNO, Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa
Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku’s last blog (23 December 2022) includes a quote…“We have come too far not to go further, we have done too much not to more.” – Sir James Henare.
These words reflect the many challenges we (NZNO) are grappling with, right now. NZNO (members and staff) is invested in meeting members’ expectations around Pay Equity, Pay Parity, eliminating exploitation of a female dominated profession and securing a culturally safe work environment across the health care system.
Many of these campaigns started years ago, and some, such as the Pay Equity campaign, are tantalising close to becoming a reality. But we remain uncertain about the future. However, we can and must increase the likelihood of success through collective planning and action. As the election looms, NZNO members must decide what their priorities are in terms of our union and nursing as a profession. Why? There is no certainty that whoever wins the election will understand our needs or have them at heart unless we work together to influence what will be best for us and those we care for.
Now is the time to actively work in engaging every member to become informed about our priorities so that we can make sure every vote will count. Our large membership of more than 56,000 has the potential to make nursing and health key to influencing both our members and the public at large.
To do that every member, everywhere needs to be informed on the positions of the various political parties and every member everywhere must vote. Our current infrastructure of members, delegates, regional councils, Colleges, Sections, Te Rūnanga and many other specialty groups, working with NZNO staff, can make this happen, by working collectively.
Our priorities are clearly laid out in Maranga Mai! We cannot be certain we will have a Government willing to commit to NZNO’s priorities unless we make it clear that our votes will go where our interests lie. We must Rise Up and lead the debate about what is important for voters whilst making our politicians accountable for their positions on health and nursing.
Last year NZNO engaged a Director of Organising and experienced campaigners to support NZNO members everywhere to engage in the political process. Why? To challenge those in power to do right by us and the health and wellbeing of our nation.
Each one of us has a responsibility to understand the issues, know which politicians and political parties will commit to our Maranga Mai! priorities, and vote. More than that, we must all have conversations with our friends and family about the issues.
Currently New Zealand’s population is more than 5 million. That means there is approximately one NZNO member per 92 people living in New Zealand. Conversations with our families and friends have the potential to create a ripple effect. Our union is well positioned to influence the outcome of the election, but only if every one of us gets involved.
We must do this. Let’s make the uncertain, certain.