Today is a happy day for migrant nurses looking to make New Zealand home. For not-for-profit providers of Aged Care like Presbyterian Support, it feels like Christmas actually came early. That’s because from this day, nurses are to be added to the immigration “Green List” fast track, able to apply for immediate residency. Presbyterian Support’s National Executive Dr Prudence Stone says it gives their Federation something at last to celebrate this Christmas.
“We didn’t celebrate too much when government’s long negotiated, long wished-for pay parity settlement with Aged Care nurses was announced recently, because we knew that measure only corrected a wrong of times past,” said Dr Prudence Stone, Presbyterian Support NZ’s National Executive Officer. “But as employers of migrant nurses, their getting on the Green List is like us getting on Santa’s Goody List! Now we can finally attract the internationally qualified nurses we need to provide the specialist care New Zealanders need, as they age.”
Stone argues there’s nothing like a pandemic to throw a spotlight on how counter-intuitive it is for a nation to not only not train enough New Zealand nurses, but also not pay them fair wages for this essential labour. The conditions have over time created a shortage of nurses in specialist fields across New Zealand, and the burden of attracting migrant nurses, then retaining them, has fallen too long on the shoulders of charitable entities.
For New Zealanders with disabilities and for older New Zealanders, Presbyterian Support provides healthcare and support services known locally as Enliven. Due to the shortage of aged care nurses in New Zealand, the Charity’s four regions providing Aged Residential Care wish to welcome as many internationally qualified migrant nurses as would choose to make New Zealand their home. Since the pandemic however, they’ve struggled to retain nurses, because Government’s funding left them paying much lower wages than their local DHB counterparts.
“It’s been a rough, really tough year for many, so Enliven centres across Aotearoa are toasting government this Christmas, for correcting ghosts of Christmas past with pay parity, then granting immediate residency to all our migrant nurses this Christmas.”
“Our Enliven nurses enjoy a unique philosophy of care and great teamwork experiences in all kinds of regional localities. We hope the Green List gives more internationally qualified nurses confidence to settle here with us, longterm.”
Presbyterian Support NZ toast also the work done by the New Zealand Aged Care Association over 2022, leading its members in advocacy to resolve the nation’s shortage of aged care nurses through pay parity, pay equity and immigration measures.
For all media enquiries contact:
Dr Prudence Stone / National Executive Officer
Presbyterian Support New Zealand
Mob: 027 282 6004