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The president comments ...

It is hard to believe we are half way through the second month of 2007. I hope many of you were able to have time to rest, relax and renew your energy in readiness for another busy year. Already my calendar is rapidly filling up and I find myself juggling dates to try and attend to the necessary business as president of NZNO. It has highlighted to me the difficulty of trying to work in clinical practice and yet be available to do the work required as the president.

I have now had a year to consolidate in my role and to meet many key people in the health sector. There is always a little backward step when a new person takes up a key role, but I now feel more confident and able to do the tasks ahead.

This year I would like to try and get out and meet, you--the members--to see and hear what you are doing in your workplaces. I am keen to hear your concerns first hand and what isn't working for you. Important for me also, is to hear what is going well. It is through having this dialogue that changes can be initiated and hopefully situations improved.

To begin this process, I have asked to attend a regional council meeting in each area. This means 11 regions, 11 more dates and even more travel. But I see this as a start to improving visibility and communication. I am also keen to liaise more closely with the regional council chairs, to facilitate better communication between myself and the regions. I have already visited two regional councils who made me feel very welcome. There was good discussion at both meetings, with a few new ideas arising as a result.

I would also like to attend each section/college conference over a two-year period. There are 22 sections/colleges, so there needs to be considerable planning done to enable a visit to all these groups. I would like to be able to support and encourage our sections and colleges, as they are doing an amazing amount of good work that is often not recognised on a national basis. The professional arm of our organisation needs to be built up and strengthened so we are known, not only for our success as a union but also as the leading professional nursing organisation in New Zealand.

The setting up of a president's chat room is also a priority for this year, so as many members as possbile can contact me (not that you can't do that now) but some may find this way more user friendly. On February 1, we had a board planning day, which set the direction of the board for the coming year. Such a meeting has not been held before. We are always aiming to make the board more efficient. The board is working well and we have been able to streamline some processes to enable us to concentrate on the governance side of the organisation.

I look forward to another year, working on your behalf, trying to ensure members' concerns are heard and to strive for that ideal world, where your workplaces are safe and happy.
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Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Feb 1, 2007
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