Delamere Responds to Nurses' Claims

  • John Delamare
Associate Minister of Health

Associate Health Minister, Hon Tuariki Delamere, today rejected claims from the New Zealand Nurses' Organisation that he was deliberately avoiding meeting them.

"I have today, Saturday, October 11, received a letter from the New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Bay of Plenty/Tairawhiti Regional Council seeking a meeting with me in November. This letter is dated 9 October.

"My staff inform me this is the first and only contact my office has received on this issue. I am happy to meet them and I will be instructing my staff to forward my acceptance and arrange a mutually convenient time and place.

"I am however dismayed at the claims in the media by the regional chairperson, Lin White, that I have deliberately avoided meeting the nurses. I first began reading these claims in the media on the morning of 10 October, when, at that time, I had not received the letter.

"In fact, in order to meet newspaper deadlines, it would have been necessary for the NZNO to contact the media before they had even sent the letter.

"I have always been willing to meet interested parties and constituents and it is not necessary to threaten or denigrate me through the media to obtain a meeting.

"I sincerely hope this situation has arisen through confusion and not through blatant dishonesty. I look forward to meeting the Bay of Plenty Nurses' Council and hearing their concerns," said Mr Delamere.