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Week That Was: Supporting safer staffing in healthcare

This week we:

  • Signed an accord with midwives for safer staffing levels
  • Wiped debt for HNZ tenants wrongfully evicted by the previous Government's improper methamphetamine contamination policies 
  • Responded to the Tax Working Group
  • And much more...

We know that overworked midwives mean unsafe mothers and babies. That's why the Ministry of Health has been working with midwifery unions and DHB's to make a plan that implements safer staffing levels for midwives.

The Midwifery Workforce Accord ensures the wellbeing of our midwives, so they can provide safe, efficient, and quality care to our mothers and babies.

This week’s Accord also recognises the simple fact we need more midwives to continue to provide the level of care New Zealanders expect and deserve. 

This work is part of a larger programme to secure  a safer level of staffing across all health care. 

Our wider work for the health workforce includes:

  • signing a Safer Staffing Accord for the nursing workforce;
  • exploring ways to offer more support and encouragement to new midwifery graduates;
  • developing a strategy to better support midwives during training, particularly Māori and Pacific midwives;
  • looking at ways to make sure we keep the midwives we have, and possibly attract some of those who’ve left the profession to come back;
  • growing our community-based lead maternity carer workforce, and the Ministry of Health is continuing to work on that. 

We know this work is critical to the wellbeing of all staff and ultimately means better care for their patients. 

As in many areas of our health services, the problems around safe staffing and workloads for all of our midwives have developed over many years. Everyone acknowledges these problems will take time to fix, but we're looking forward to updates on how this Accord is working over the months and years to come.

Ministers Clark and Genter at the signing of the Midwives Accord


We are committed to fixing the wrongs of the past.

Around 800 people were made homeless, lost their possessions or were suspended from the public housing wait list due to flawed methamphetamine contamination policies.

This meant that a lot of people incurred debts they wouldn't otherwise have had.

We're making this right. We're wiping these debts. 


This week Jacinda Ardern announced our Government’s response to the Tax Working Group, including that the Government will not be introducing a Capital Gains Tax. 

This is not because Labour does not believe in a CGT, but because we don’t believe New Zealanders do. 

We are continuing to strive for a fairer tax system, and to target groups like speculators and multi-nationals who do not pay their fair share.

We're now focusing on the long term challenges facing New Zealand, including reducing the number of children living in poverty, taking meaningful action on New Zealand’s mental health crisis, and tackling climate change.

You can read more here, and watch the livestream of our announcement. 


That's all for this week. Wherever you are in the country (or the world!) we wish you and your family a safe and happy Easter!