• Posted on: 7/03/2023
  • 2 minutes to read

Early engagement with unions critical for health restructuring to succeed


Te Whatu Ora must ensure workers are fully involved in the restructure of the health system if the reforms are to deliver the world class health services New Zealanders expect said the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.

The PSA was responding to comments on the upcoming restructure by former Te Whatu Ora Chair Rob Campbell.

"Workers are the ones who have the intimate knowledge to critique and improve the sector’s operational delivery models. They know what’s working and what’s not so it’s critical that the next stage of reforms fully involves them," said PSA National Secretary Kerry Davies.

"We sought and received assurances early on to this effect and now Te Whatu Ora must walk the talk as it begins developing and implementing the new systems.

"While some redundancies are inevitable as the 20 District Health Boards are merged into a single national health service, it’s way too early to be talking about job losses. We need to be investing in people not removing them.

"Our members will not stand by as decisions are made and we will be holding Te Whatu Ora to account for the reassurances it has already made.

"PSA members have the depth of experience and knowledge to ensure the reforms improve outcomes for New Zealanders no matter where they live so we say it’s critical the views of workers are taken into account," said Davies.

"These reforms are vital for New Zealanders today and for future generations. We have a golden opportunity now to get it right and we urge Te Whatu Ora to engage with workers as early as possible to ensure the best result.

"The PSA will also be engaging with Te Whatu Ora to ensure there is sufficient and appropriate support for all workers through this challenging time for the sector," said Davies.