Pay Parity MP Visits 2023

Members are bringing the Pay Parity issue directly to the offices of local MPs. Primary Health Care members are visiting Members of Parliament, putting the pressure on about this wage injustice and demanding that the Government get into action in righting this wrong!


As part of the Maranga Mai! campaign around disparity in the funding for Primary Health Care nurses’ salary scales, PHC nurses (all delegates) from Feilding met with Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie.

The delegates say Ian was engaged and receptive to their stories but was not aware of the disparity. The nurses also focused on recruitment and retention of nurses across all services and how being paid less made them feel undervalued by employers and the Government.

Pictured from left: Melinda Williams (Plunket Nurse), Ange McEntee (Practice Nurse), Layli Monaghan (Practice Nurse), Ian McKelvie
Foreground Donna Ryan (NZNO Organiser Central)


Primary Health Care delegates brought the disparity in funding for Primary Health Care nurses salary scales to the attention of Gore MP Joseph Mooney on Thursday 9 February 2023. This was part of the ongoing Maranga Mai! campaign to make Pay Parity a priority election issue.

Discussions were held around the crisis in rural health, and the retention and recruitment of nurses. Members were also clear that if Pay Parity was not given to rural health and PHC nurses then recruitment will be voided through lack of retention.

The conversation also focused on the emergence of nurse practitioners and the lack of support for those moving into these roles, and acute shortages of clinic nurses and GPs in outlining regions leading to pressure on local hospital.

Mooney responded by saying the recruitment of nurses through immigration was among the priorities for National.

Pictured from left: Deborah Aynsley Hunt, Lyndal Eason, Gore MP Joseph Mooney, NZNO organiser Alistair Teague, Sarah Mantell, Zoe Hancock, and Zara Mills


On 8 February 2023, Plunket nurse Sharon Ayto and PHC College Te Rūnunga representative Charleen Wardell met with Invercargill MP Penny Simmonds to talk about the challenges PHC nurses face.

Sharon has her own caseload with no cover for annual or sick leave and spoke about the meeting preparation and follow up work not adequately factored into her daily workload.

Charleen spoke of the disparity between iwi health providers with highly qualified and experienced nurses being offered salaries equivalent to that of new graduates.

Simmonds was interested and sympathetic, saying funding, training, retention and recruitment, and improving immigration settings were the four key areas that needed addressing.

Pictured from left: Invercargill MP Penny Simmonds, organiser Alastair Teague, Plunket nurse Sharon Ayto, PHC College Te Rūnunga representative Charleen Wardell and organiser Gail Arthur.


From left: Selwyn MP Nicola Grigg, Nurse Maude Delegate Jeannie Randles, Plunket Delegate Tracey Haughey, Plunket Delegate Wendy Dawson, and NZNO Industrial Advisor Danielle Davies.


Pictured from left: MP for Whangārei Dr Emily Henderson, Gail Banks, Yvonne Olsen, Yvonne Bingley, Grace Tabakinabou and organiser Julie Governor


Delegates met all Dunedin Labour MPs together on 10 February 2023. They raised a variety of issues around the current pay disparity between those in PHC and those in Te Whatu Ora.

Members outlined the acute impact of the cost of living crisis on nurses with some struggling to provide for their daily living expenses. Members spoke from the heart about being frontline and their active role in supporting mental health in the community with one nurse sharing how a home visit quickly transpired into a suicide prevention intervention.  

PHC members spoke about the impact of being devalued, the increased scope of practice and the emergence of nurse prescriber and nurse practitioner roles often without proper support or remuneration. There was discussion of barriers for students entering nurse training, as well as the impact disparity was having on recruitment and retention of nurses were also hot topics.

A clear request was made of MPs to ensure immediate action is taken to rectify the devaluing of PHC. MPs agreed to discuss this with colleagues in cabinet.

Names of those present:

Back row from left: David Clark (MP – Dunedin), Karyn Chalk (Organiser), Kelly Morrissey (Delegate Plunket), Suzie Ballantyne(Plunket), Rachel Brooking (List MP for Labour based in Dunedin), Ruth McNally (PHC), Liz King (PHC)

Front row from left: Alistair Teague (Organiser), Glenda Cagney (PHC nurse), Su Miller (Plunket), Candace Adams (Plunket), Martina (PHC), Sarah Cameron (Plunket), Ingrid Leary (MP for Taieri), Suzanne Crosado (PHC), Gail Arthur (Organiser)



On Friday 17 February Canterbury Plunket delegates Karli Wyatt and Wendy Dawson spoke to Christchurch Labour MPs on the continued wage gap between Plunket and Te Whatu Ora members, and urged for transparency around the Pay Parity announcement in November 2022 and what this will translate to in real numbers for Plunket members.

Pictured from left: Plunket delegate Karli Wyatt, Plunket delegate Wendy Dawson, Christchurch Central MP Duncan Webb, Ilam MP Sarah Pallett, and List MP Dan Rosewarne

Left to right: 

Pictured from left: Plunket delegate Wendy Dawson, Christchurch Central MP Duncan Webb, and PHC MECA delegate Annie Hofmeester