News bulletin 15 March

on 15 March

elcome to the College of Nurses Aotearoa News Update.

No. 633 Wednesday 15 March 2023

Weekly news round-up of nursing and health information in New Zealand and internationally


New Zealand news

College of Nurses Aotearoa and Nurse Practitioner NZ response to RNZCGP NP statement

Mātanga tapuhi /nurse practitioners (NP) have been providing highly skilled care to patients and whanau for over 20 years – many choosing to work in primary and community care. More and more New Zealanders are now enrolled with an NP as their primary health care provider.


Verrall promises extra funding if community nursing pay disparity found | RNZ News

The government has asked the health authority to reinvestigate the pay gap for community nurses, who are leaving their employers in droves for better paying roles in public hospitals.


Nurses, Midwives Call For Urgent Pay Equity Resolution - Scoop NZ

Nurses and midwives belonging to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa (NZNO) say resolving Pay Equity negotiations for each profession is essential to staff recruitment and retention, and must be sorted soon so better health care can be provided to those who need their services.


Auckland nurses get backdated interim payments | HRD New Zealand - Human Resources

This provides salaries competitive with Australia, says Health Minister Verrall


Nurses to minister: 'I don't think we can carry on much longer' - 1News

For a landmark moment for nurses in New Zealand, coinciding with International Women's Day, it was a muted event as Health Minister Ayesha Verrall visited Wellington Hospital nurses, who took their opportunity to speak directly to the top.


From Taranaki to compassionate service in war-torn countries and back again

Dodging bombs while trying to help people living in harsh, war-torn conditions seems a world away from a sedate hospital ward in Taranaki.

But for Paul Ashman, it’s part of a story where compassion and kindness always ruled the day, wherever he found himself.


Nurses return to Timaru Hospital 50 years after training there |

Earning $32 a week, $8 of that for room costs, and cleaning dentures were just some of the memories shared as nurses who trained at Timaru Hospital 50 years ago took a tour of the place they got started.


Baker returns to Te Hiku Hauora - Waatea News: Māori Radio Station

Maori health leader Maria Baker has returned to her roots to run the Kaitaia-based health service Te Hiku Hauora.


International news

Nurses and midwives should be able to approve abortions, UK study concludes

If adopted, shake-up of 1967 Abortion Act would scrap rule that two doctors must approve termination.


Aged care sector facing worker crunch to meet 24/7 nurse requirements by July - ABC

Like so many others in aged care, Viv Allanson says it is going to be "impossible" for her facility to meet key government deadlines for new standards in the sector, saying "the pressure is absolutely enormous".


University program to address registered nurse shortage expands - ABC News

The staffing crisis plaguing the aged care sector could be solved by the national adoption a new placement program, a University of the Sunshine Coast lecturer says.


Aged care / aging population

Pay Parity For Aged Care Nurses Promised But Not Delivered - Scoop NZ

Despite the former Minister of Health’s promise of pay parity for aged care nurses, what has been paid is less than half of what’s required.


Children and young people

$1m In Cure Kids Funding To Enable Nine Research Projects Tackling Pressing Child Health Issues In New Zealand

Cure Kids, the largest charitable funder of child health research in New Zealand, recently announced funding for nine new research projects designed to improve health outcomes for tamariki. After receiving a record number of applications, and completing …


Study to investigate lower vaccination rates and barriers for Māori pēpi

Researchers hope to boost the number of pēpi Māori under 6 months old being immunised by learning more about barriers to accessing primary health care, thanks to Cure Kids funding. Read more



Disabled were 13 times as likely to die from Covid-19 - report

People who received disability support services in 2022 were 13 times as likely to die from Covid-19 than the general population, new data shows.


Health officials decided a Covid-19 antiviral should no longer be used. Why didn't prescribers know?

A key Covid-19 antiviral used to treat vulnerable New Zealanders has been officially deemed useless, but health officials failed to highlight the change with doctors and pharmacists who prescribe the drug.


Emergency medicine

Te Whatu Ora pulls inaccurate emergency department data | RNZ News

Te Whatu Ora has admitted some of its data on emergency department (ED) wait times is wrong, and taken the entire page of health performance metrics offline.


Hospital ED data: Former Waitematā DHB head to investigate publishing error

Te Whatu Ora has tasked the former head of Waitematā DHB with investigating how flawed hospital statistics were released online.


Nurses Organisation on Te Whatu Ora emergency department data errors - RNZ

The country's health entity has admitted there are mistakes in its published data and says it will correct it over time.


Auckland health workers say they're 'screwed' following emergency department overflow

Auckland Hospital's emergency department was so overwhelmed on Monday that several ambulances were forced to divert to Middlemore and North Shore hospitals instead.


Patients overflow into cafes as EDs struggle | Star News

Hospital patients are being held in cafes while they wait for treatment and ambulances are being diverted as under-pressure emergency departments in Auckland - one apparently at 195 per cent capacity - struggle to cope.


Te Whatu Ora Health NZ


Dunedin Hospital postpones operations due to staff shortages, high demand - 1News

Operations are being postponed at Dunedin Hospital because of staff shortages and a busy Emergency Department.


36% of Middlemore ED patients waited more than six hours, latest figures show 

New data from Te Whatu Ora shows 36% of Middlemore Hospital emergency department patients waited more than six hours to be seen in December.


Minister expects hospitals to plan for increased demand during winter | RNZ News

The health minister has made it clear she expects Te Whatu Ora to have a plan in place for winter, when demand on the healthcare system are set to increase.


Waikato Hospital’s Critical Care Service Expanding

Waikato Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) opened its new expansion.


Earthquake hazards: 'Urgent works' recommended to mitigate risk at Whakatāne Hospital

Whakatāne hospital's acute mental health facility is under threat from newly identified earthquake hazards, and the unravelling of government plans.



HDC and disciplinary cases

Nurse heading for trial on morphine dealing, fraud and financial deception charges

A Bay of Plenty nurse has been charged with illegally obtaining morphine to sell, supply and deal, as well as forging and altering medical documents.


Health workforce

$500k overseas recruitment ad campaign called 'a failure' after just 3 people were interviewed

Newshub can reveal an ad campaign to recruit more health professionals from overseas cost more than half a million dollars and resulted in just three people being interviewed. 


Questions remain around low turnout of healthcare workers entering NZ - Newstalk ZB

A shockingly low number of nurses, midwives and doctors have entered the country.

That's despite changes to the immigration green list last year aimed to plug skilled labour shortages.


Majority of health professionals approved for immigration pathway already in NZ - NZ Herald

Almost two hundred nurses, midwives and specialist doctors have been approved for the straight-to-residence pathway since the professions were made eligible in mid-December - but the majority of them were already here.


Maori health

Breaking the Māori inequity loop: An all-of-population approach has failed Māori for a century

At the turn of the 20th century, New Zealand’s first stream of Māori doctors – legendary figures like Maui Pomare and Peter Buck (Te Rangi Hīroa) – faced an extreme crisis in the health of their people.



Under the influence? Inside New Zealand's first disclosure of drug company payments to health professionals

For seven years, Medicines New Zealand has promised that drug companies will disclose their gifts and payments to health professionals. Now they finally have. Nikki Macdonald analyses the first data dump, and asks what it means, and what’s missing.


Primary health care

Family doctor services struggling as hospitals poach nurses

Family doctor services are struggling to attract and retain nurses, as they compete with a growing pay gap between their nurses and those employed in the country’s hospitals.


Regional GPs warn shortage will worsen as ageing population retires

General practices are struggling to enrol patients while they cope with increasing demand and staff shortages as patients face wait times between two and eight weeks.


Public health

Encouraging Hapu Mama And Young Children To Get Their Pertussis Vaccinations

Pertussis vaccinations free and so important for hapu mama and young children, says Nikki Turner, Medical Director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre.


More than 36,000 vaccines potentially compromised after refrigeration botch-up

Tens of thousands of vaccines have potentially been compromised by a refrigeration bungle, understood to be caused by “human error”.


Articles of interest

A tohu (sign) to open our eyes to the realities of Indigenous Māori registered nurses: A qualitative study. 

Komene, E., Gerrard, D., Pene, B., Parr, J., Aspinall, C., & Wilson, D. (2023). 

Journal of Advanced Nursing, 00, 1– 12.

Identify the experiences of Māori nurses and priorities for a Māori model of relational care working with Māori patients and their whānau (extended family network) in acute hospital services.


Māori, the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa (New Zealand), have a relational and holistic worldview fundamental to establishing relationships with Māori patients and their whānau. Increasing the Indigenous Māori nursing workforce can improve Māori patient experiences but is challenged by ongoing recruitment and retention issues.  Read more


He Pou Whirinaki (pillars of support). Elder indigenous New Zealand Māori narratives about influenza immunisation and the use of telehealth during the first COVID-19 lockdown,

 Anthony Dowell, Nikki Turner, Donna Watson, Rawiri Wharemate, Esther Willing & Mary Nowlan (2023)  Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, 18:1, 85-95, DOI: 10.1080/1177083X.2022.2082988

This paper describes issues, strengths and challenges experienced by elderly Māori accessing influenza vaccination, during the first Level 4 COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. We also obtained views about the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines, and the social restrictions of lockdown. A sampling frame of four Māori elders speaking on behalf of themselves and their communities in Northland was recruited from health sector network connections and interviews were undertaken and recorded. The rich narratives highlighted an awareness of the generational impact of illness and vaccination and concern about the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations. Despite initial fear about COVID-19, communities described ‘safety and comfort’ from ‘lockdown’ creating community resilience and marae, hapu and iwi making major contributions to local crisis response. The well-developed views of these Māori kaumātua about influenza, vaccination and COVID-19 occurred within an environment of contrasting health beliefs and trust/distrust about government and Pākehā-led health services. There was support for the style and content of local health services and recognition and that Pākehā-led health services can be effective when complemented by traditional Māori health values approaches and beliefs. We also noted that the lockdown provided opportunities for these elders to adapt to new technology within a health context.



The above information has been collated for the College of Nurses Aotearoa (NZ) Inc by Linda Stopforth, SNIPS and is provided on a weekly basis.  It is current as of 14 March

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