March 02, 2020
Structural discrimination driving Maori nurse pay gap
New Zealand Nurses Organisation Kaiwhakahaere says no one in power is listening to Māori nurses.
Kerri Nuku says she is concerned nurses have not been able to talk to Government about the recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal report on inequities in Māori health.
She says the funding structure for the sector points to a lack of regard for Māori, as there should be no difference in what primary healthcare organisations are paid to deliver services and what hauora Māori or iwi organisations are paid to deliver the same services.
"If we got paid the same then we would be able to pass on that payment to the nurses who are the same qualified nurses that work within district health boards, the same qualified nurses that are required to work within primary healthcare and within Māori and iwi provider groups so simply put it is structural discrimination and it needs to be addressed," she says.
Kerri Nuku says many Māori nurses choose to work in hauora because they want to give back to their families and communities, but they are paying a huge financial cost to do so.
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