NZNO's Blog

Maranga Mai! – Rise up and act together

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Anne Daniels, President
NZNO Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa

On 12May 2022 NZNO launched the Maranga Mai! campaign. Central to Maranga Mai! are the “Five Fixes” which form the charter of demands for the campaign:

  1. Te Tiriti o Waitangi actualised within NZNO and across the health system
  2. More nurses across the health sector
  3. Pay and conditions that meet nurses’ value and expectations
  4. More people training to be nurses (in New Zealand)
  5. More Māori and Pasifika nurses

These fixes have a number of areas of focus.

In her recent blog,, NZNO Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku said our work and lives are political. She encouraged members to “get political”, and indeed, it is our professional responsibility to do so.

The third fix, more specifically the conditions needed to meet nurses’ values and work conditions, demands political critical thinking, collective power and action to meet our responsibilities to ourselves, our future selves and those we care for.

So what is the” WHY” in our Maranga Mai! campaign?

Our why is to win the necessary political and resourcing commitments needed to address the nursing, midwifery, HCA, support worker and kaimahi hauora shortage crisis permanently, across the whole health sector.

“WHAT” are we aiming to achieve?

1. Mandated minimum nurse-to-patient ratios supported by a fit for purpose tool that can increase appropriate skilled and experienced nurse resourcing when and where it is needed.

Mandated means legislation, which means political and collective power and action is needed. This is an outcome of the remit passed by the membership at the 2020 AGM.

Going forward, nurses must have appropriate levels of experienced and skilled resource available, built on data driven information to ensure patients and nurses are not put at risk. Nurses must not have to struggle to do the best they can, fearful of what may meet them when they go to work. This must be worked through across all sectors of the health system, not just the DHBs – and the Māori and iwi sector is the most urgently in need of attention.

2. All nurses, regardless of their sector must receive pay equity/parity and work conditions that: reflect the true value of nurses everywhere; attract people to the profession; and support nurses’ work choices.

While the Minister of Health has already signalled this will happen, the questions are when and which sector first? Māori and Pasifika nurses in primary care have, for a long time, been marginalised, more so than many other nurses in different sectors.

Making our commitment to te Tiriti o Waitangi a reality is a real opportunity for us all. Raising up our Māori and Pasifika colleagues will drive parity of pay and conditions for all.

“HOW” are we going to do this?

Our national Maranga Mai! campaign strategy is being developed by our great team and it will be up to us, the nurses at the coal face, to make it real for ourselves locally. Our expectation that the recent Budget would deliver on some of our goals has not been realised. Therefore, we have to to take the lead.

The Care & Support Worker rallies we held across the country (together with the PSA and E tū) on 23 May were our first ‘on the ground’ and publicly visible Maranga Mai! action, and I was proud to lead and speak at the one held in Dunedin. We will do many more of these sorts of activities.

The power to create change is in our hands. Every nurse everywhere must Maranga Mai! – Rise up and act together.

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