The theme for the day-long event will be “Nurses a Voice to Lead – Health for All” which is also this year’s theme for International Nurses Day (12 May).

The day is specifically for NZNO delegates and other members with NZNO staff sharing their knowledge and experience across a range of nursing-related topics.

Guest speakers will include Waiharakeke Winiata, who will speak about her nursing leadership through the Waitangi Tribunal Kaupapa Inquiry. Greater Wellington Region Council vice-chair Katrina Hopkinson will speak on pay equity and why we need to get nurses’ wages into the 21st century. Sorreal Kemp will speak on what nursing leadership looks like from an undergraduate level. Lesley Bradshaw from Te Awakairangi Health Network will speak on the nurse lead services they provide as a large PHO in the Hutt valley.

NZNO President Grant Brookes and Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku will also be presenting on current issues faced by nurses, health care assistants and midwives; how things may change as a result of the landmark multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) settled with district health boards in 2018; and how these professions can better communicate and support each other.

“Despite a more favourable MECA last year, the wider nursing sector remains a long way from the staffing levels, safe working conditions and fair and equitable pay levels it should have. These conventions are a valuable opportunity through which our members can seek a united voice with which to address the challenges facing nursing, both locally and in a global sense,” Grant Brookes said.

Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair Rerehau Bakker said he hopes the convention will provide a safe environment that allows for networking and the exchanging of knowledge.

“We need to be having these conversations that enlighten and empower delegates through professional development and a shared bi-cultural approach,” he said.

NZNO’s Regional Conventions are held in nine regions across New Zealand each year.

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