May 07, 2020
Bicultural values divide nurses’ union
The Nurses Organisation is in turmoil after the departure of its president Grant Brookes after he failed to win a vote of confidence.
Three board members also left, and kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku is calling for an end to personal attacks and for unity.
Mr Brookes’ supporters have launched a petition calling for new elections.
Ms Nuku says it’s an attempt to undermine the union’s bicultural foundation, its democratic processes and its union and professional values.
At its heart, the dispute is a personal attack by Mr Brookes on the role of the kaiwhakahaere, which is a co-equal governance position with the president, and on herself personally.
"When we’re dealing with the most significant impact from the virus, from COVID, our responsibility is to protect our members, it's to protect and advocate better working conditions and also to ensure public safety. The call for unity is about ensuring we can still go on and do our business and if there is any problems we need to deal with them face to face and not throwing stones at one another from a distance or on social media," she says.
The board has already announced plans to hold by-elections to replace the president and departed members.
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