NZNO's Blog

An open letter to New Zealand voters.


blog banner open letterPictured- NZNO members and Registered Nurses Phoenix and Michael.


This year, we are asking for your help.

This isn’t something people working in healthcare would normally do – it’s usually the other way around. We help you in your time of need – in your hospitals, your Plunket office, your home, your marae and in your community. We love our skilled work, and turning your worst day into a better day. When you are sick, injured or in need of support, you can turn to us for healing, comfort and safety. We help no matter who you are, where you come from, how much you earn or where you live. Knowing we can help is what drives us to work in health.

Right now it’s getting harder to do the work that we trained for. We want the best for everyone who comes into our care, but health underfunding means that sometimes we’re not able to give you the best. We are often short staffed, rushed, and need a little more time to give you care. We are sad sometimes because of what we couldn’t do for your tamariki, your grandparents or your neighbour. Many of you are feeling frustrated by delays in getting the healthcare you deserve and expect. We are frustrated too.

Together, we can fix this. If health was funded sustainably now and into the future we could improve that service for every New Zealander. We can have a health system where every patient knows that when they need care, they will see the right health professional, with the right skill, in the right place, at the right time. This is the proud tradition of our country.

It is election year. Who you vote for is your personal choice, but we are asking you to use your vote to help us give you and your loved ones the best care. Make sure you are enrolled to vote now, and that the people you know are enrolled . Check out which political parties are committed to increasing health funding. Pay close attention to what they say about resourcing us to give you quality care.

We are asking you to make health funding your first priority this election. Talk to your friends and family about voting for health. Without an increase to health funding we are all in serious trouble. With your vote, we can improve and save lives.

Yours sincerely,

NZNO Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku, NZNO President Grant Brookes, the undersigned nurses, caregivers, midwives, healthcare assistants, kaiāwhina, and the people they care for.

You can add your name, where you’re from and message of support as a comment on the blog. Your nursing team would really appreciate it.

Authorised by Memo Musa, New Zealand Nurses Organisation,
Crowe Horwath House, 57 Willis Street, Wellington
PO Box 2128 Wellington

75 thoughts on “An open letter to New Zealand voters.

  1. Short staffing often put the nurses and patients into risk, it is true. Something should be done to improve staffing.

  2. Health and safety of the New Zealand population must be one of the top priorities of the government and must reflect well in the financial budgets.

  3. Sadly, I am leaving a large public hospital after working as a RN for many years – the pressure being put on nurses is incredible – more complex patients to care for and increasing frustrations as having to “prioritise” care because of short staffing and lack of support. I see new graduate nurses coming into the wards full of enthusiasm and becoming overwhelmed by their work situation. I value the times I was able to care for my patients holistically – hold their hand while they spoke of their experiences and wishes. We must address what is happening – it is already becoming too late.

    • Totally agree with the above comment, the only way the public and/or any government will take note of our plight is to STRIKE, nurses have to take a stand, we have talked the talk, nothing is done, now we need to walk the walk….

  4. it is so important to vote for health this election, it is our only chance to be heard. We have to get this right

  5. Really hope to see some innovation and change to current political dialogue telling us how much is being spent on health care. What we need to see is what the breakdown in funding health care administration vs health care delivery is. I think that would show the quoted increases are not consistently getting to front line staff. I feel anxious for the future of nursing and health in this environment. So many great nurses choosing to walk away – burnt out and cynical.

  6. We really need your support NZ! Every single day the patient to nurse ratio is getting worse. Often we are expected to have one nurse to 10 or more patients. We need your help to say this is NOT ok. ❤

  7. I just want to thank our nurses. You do such a fantastic job. Thank you for caring and for giving what you can – even a smile can make a difference to vulnerable people in your care. I will certainly vote for health this election. Stay well and look after yourselves.

  8. Being understaff, over worked, and totally exaushted. Is not a good look or standard of professional nursing care. We know this is NOT OKAY. Its time to put pressure on our health system and VOTE for BETTER HEALTH SYSTEM TO SUPPORT NURSES…….to benefit a better safe and wellness to all patients and their family/whanau…..whilst delivering their care….

  9. It is very important for govt to increase health funding. Ple of nz deserve better care. Safe staffing can only be improved if the pt and nurse ratio can be changed. Nursez get very exhausted and deserve to have a break at work. Patients will have more effective care delievered on time as well.

  10. I am just starting my career in the health field and firmly believe prevention is better than cure. This is true financially as well. We need health funding to increase and go to the right places!

  11. Nurses have been the glue that has held an ailing health system together for a long time. The constant pressure to “do more with less” (and less, and less, and less) means that nurses are no longer able to sustain this. Our health system is in crisis at the coalface, impacting on health professionals, and ultimately patient safety. I no longer work at the coalface as there is no time to care, and that is the true heart of nursing. We talk about putting the humanity back into healthcare, the answer is not doing more with less but supporting health professionals with the resources they need (adequate staffing, remuneration and recognition) to do their jobs so that they can do more, and “be” more.

  12. For a caring profession who cares for the professionals, we want a healthier future and without adequate funding this will not happen. Investing in the health sector will yield health benefits for all and ensure there is an adequate, caring work force who are not disillusioned, overworked and understaffed. I’m sure there are days when many of us feel that we are putting own wellbeing at risk as well as possibly causing unnecessary risk to the patients and their family/whanau because of inadequate staffing

  13. Its is so obvious how backwards health services have become. So much for working towards healthy communities, healthier homes more jobs for new nurses, etc, etc, etc. It is time to be heard, and it is time to make a stand, and it is time for our politicians to be accountable – that’s where the buck stops.

  14. Health Funding needs to be returned to the areas that need it. Your causing more debt by not investing where it’s needed to prevent chronic illnesses, identify and prevent the health of people getting worse. They are presenting to hospitals in droves and the hospitalsecond can’t cope. Your cutting vital funding to those agencies that make the difference in health care.

  15. As a RN in critical care, myself & colleagues are experiencing increased pressures, heavier workloads, higher acuity with less resources. This challenges us to provide the best care that your family, friends & colleagues deserve. We work hard and are very competent but how are we meant to give optimum care with dwindling resources. Healthcare and housing needs more funding.

  16. Short staffing problem is worsen than 3-4 years and this is compromised our patient care. The government shouldn’t plan to cut funding for DHBs. I will cast my vote to those who prioritise the healthcare for all New Zealanders

  17. Pingback: At this election, rise like lions! – Your Choice. Your Voice | Grant Brookes for NZNO President

  18. Yes We Care!

  19. All health care workers in New Zealand-wide facilities need continuing support of the Government, whichever party is in power. – Not just promises at election time.

  20. The health care of the general population is way at the top of my decision making. We have an amazing range of health care providers, doctors, nurses , etc etc who work at the coal face under dire conditions. Doing their best with limited resources. Keeping a close eye on election promises.

  21. Phoenix I remember you as a baby last time I saw you. It’s amazing to see you grow into the caring young lady you are today. As someone who has suffered due to short staffing in hospitals I will totally support you and your fellow colleagues . Our country has a pretty shitty system we need to keep our health care professionals in NZ ✌

  22. I want to see more preventative measures, like hubs for information and education re healthy food choices, exercises etc. This will hopefully print a lot of diseases down the track!

  23. Who would like to work for 1 week in my role as caregiver? It would certainly be eye opening!

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