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NZNO to form Pacific nurses' section.

NZNO is working to establish a Pacific nurses' section, following a meeting in Auckland between Pacific nursing association leaders and leaders from NZNO.

The meeting in February was requested by the Pacific nurses to address a range of issues but in particular, representation of Pacific nurses from New Zealand at the South Pacific Nurses' Forum and ways of gaining a Pacific nurses' voice within NZNO. Around 50 Pacific nurses attended the meeting, including nurses from Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Fiji and Niue. NZNO was represented by chief executive Geoff Annals president Marion Guy, Te Runanga chair Brenda Close and vice chair Des Canterbury- Te Ngaruru. NZNO has agreed to work with a Pacific nurses' steering group to establish a Pacific nurses' section, with the intention of having this established within six months. The steering group will comprise the members of the Pacific Nursing Advisory Group, which is made up of representatives from each Pacific nurses' organisation and is the group that works with chief nursing adviser at the Ministry of Health Mark Jones.

In a letter to Annals after the meeting, Samoan Nursing Association national secretary Siloma Masina wrote: "We as Pacific nurses, united in our need to move forward and to provide a Pacific voice at strategic level, applaud the NZNO vision of being inclusive and acknowledging the issues identified. We acknowledge it may not be an easy path for NZNO, but we believe that Pacific nurses, as one, will contribute positively to the work of NZNO."

In his response, Annals affirmed that initial steps towards establishing the new section were being taken. He described the creation of the section as an enrichment to NZNO, a strength to Pacific nurses, an enhancement to the nursing profession and a benefit to Pacific peoples in Aotearoa New Zealand.

NZNO currently has 625 Pacific Island members, of whom 320 are registered nurses, 37 enrolled nurses, 15 students and 253 caregivers. The largest ethnic groups are Samoan and Tongan. With more than 1000 Pacific Island nurses on the Nursing Council register, only about half are members of NZNO. Masina says the Pacific nursing associations will be working hard to encourage more Pacific Island nurses to join NZNO and to upskill, so they can be registered in New Zealand. Masina and national secretary of the Tongan Nursing Association, Eseta Finau, will be the contact people with NZNO as the new section takes shape.
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Title Annotation:NEWS AND EVENTS
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Date:Apr 1, 2007
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