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Labour’s biggest fails: Where are the nurses?

PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 5 November 2022 -

Labour’s biggest fails: Where are the nurses?

Despite crippling worker shortages causing our entire health system to buckle, Labour still won’t put nurses on the fast track to residence, National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says.

“New Zealand is short 4,000 nurses. As a result, hospitals are overflowing, waiting times in emergency departments have exploded, and patients are missing out on urgent care which could save their lives.

“But instead of granting migrant nurses immediate residence to make us competitive internationally, Labour refuses to make any changes to a policy that is not working while New Zealanders suffer.

“Under Labour’s news ‘streamlined’ visa, fewer nurses are applying to come to New Zealand now than when our borders were closed.

“Countries that we are competing with for migrants like Australia offer nurses immediate residence. Why would migrants choose New Zealand and the uncertainty of a two year wait before they can even apply?

“The justification for not putting nurses on the fast track simply makes no sense, with documents revealing that the entire policy relied on flawed advice on the possibility of migrant nurses going to Australia after gaining residence.

“This makes no sense as it is far easier for a nurse to gain residence in Australia than in New Zealand.

“This stubborn Government has shown a complete lack of flexibility to common sense ideas, having said that the Green List won’t even be reviewed until the middle of 2023. That is far too late for our already embattled health system.

“Waiting until next year to examine any possible changes is completely irresponsible from Michael Wood. Because until this change is made, Kiwis will continue to wait longer for care that could save their lives.”


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