About Maranga Mai!

On International Nurses Day 2022, NZNO Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa launched its bold new campaign: Maranga Mai!

Watch a video of the online launch (members only)

‘Maranga Mai!’ means ‘Rise Up!’ and this campaign is a call for NZNO members, whatever sector they work in (and their communities), to come together and take united action. We want to win the political and resourcing commitments needed to address the nursing shortage crisis permanently – and across the whole health sector.

We know nurses, midwives, health care assistants and kaimahi hauora (collectively referred to as 'nurses') are facing increasing demands and significant shortages in workforce supply. Systemic failure has meant moral injury/distress and burnout across all sectors, not just in the DHBs.  We all know, too, that Māori have relatively very poor health outcomes due to systemic racism and failures to honour te Tiriti in Health.

Importantly, Maranga Mai! is a campaign for every nurse, everywhere. Regardless of the area of nursing we work in or what positions we hold, our issues all boil down to the same things and that's why it's important we show solidarity right across the nursing sector, and turn out in support of each other.

The campaign is based on this simple charter of demands (or 'The Five Fixes'): We demand:

  1. te Tiriti firmly being upheld in all health settings so Māori have equal access to a health system that works for them
  2. 4000 more nurses in place as quickly as possible and fair nurse-to-patient ratios
  3. pay and conditions that value nurses right across the health sector and keep them in the job. This includes sustainable funding for Pay Parity
  4. training that is affordable and accessible so more people study and stay on to become nurses
  5. more Māori and Pasifika nurses so people receive health care that fits with their culture.


Member support for Maranga Mai! 

Waihoroi Johnson

I am a registered nurse and work for Plunket both out in the community and on the nightshift at Plunketline. The greatest issue we face is managing workload and staff sickness.

The increased demand on nurses is creating unnecessary stress, eventually leading to burn out and experienced staff leaving. I feel like this campaign will help push for prompt changes to be made and that what we do will be valued more. It needs to be across all sectors, because every role is important.



Vishaya Williams

I work as an health care assistant at Kenepuru Hospital in rehabilitation with older patients where it’s a challenge keeping them and myself safe. It’s impossible to attend to four to six patients in one watch. When we can’t fulfil patient needs and demands, they can become agitated, physically, verbally and racially abusive. RNs are there to support in theory but in practice they’re also too stretched to help in that critical moment.

In my view, science and medicine have taken giant leaps but the health system has failed to catch up. It hasn’t taken account of the population growth, public health demands vs Health-staffing or given a serious thought to our working conditions. That’s why we need Maranga Mai! Across sectors, ethnicities and gender, we’ve had enough. Our staff and patients deserve better.


Angela Crespin

I am an enrolled nurse and worked in rehabilitation for older adults at CCDHB for three years. I have just moved to Horowhenua Health Centre. My work shows me our older patients need to be treated with dignity and respect as if they were your own family. That’s why, to me, safe staffing is a roster with sufficient staff and skill mix for all patients to receive the best nursing care possible.

The other side of understaffing is that it makes nurses work extended hours, pick up extra shifts and miss breaks. This puts our workforce at risk of burnout and leads to good nurses leaving the profession. I support Maranga Mai! and stand up for safe staffing in all areas of work because when I go home after a great, fully staffed day I feel so proud knowing all my patients received their care with dignity and respect. I want all of us to feel that way every shift!


Chris Owens

I’m an RN at Wellington Hospital in the Gastroenterology Department. For us, like when experienced nurses resign, it takes time to find and train new staff.

 It’s hard to ensure a proper (and safe) skill mix when most staff are junior and the few remaining senior staff need to train them.

This campaign is important because we all feel the effects of unsafe staffing. A cancelled appointment might mean undetected cancer, which not only hugely impacts the patient and their whānau, but also overburdens the surgical team further compromising patient health outcomes. Everything is interlinked and you can't expect to have world class health care when we’re haemorrhaging nurses. This is the result of successive governments deliberately underfunding health. Bandaids are not sufficient – you need to make nursing an attractive profession, which is going to take considerable investment.


Rerehau Bakker

I work for an iwi health provider in Te whanganui-ā-tara, delivering outreach vaccinations. We hope for the Maranga Mai! campaign to deliver pay equity and legislated patient ratios for patient safety across all health sectors.

I believe the people of Aotearoa deserve better care and all our hauora professionals need to be recognised and acknowledged for this mahi.