“The ACT Party can reveal that New Zealand has around 420 fewer nurses per 100,000 people than our Aussie cousins and 130 fewer doctors,” says ACT Deputy Leader and Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“New Zealand needs to everything we can to make our country attractive to work as a doctor or nurse. Instead, in the midst of a pandemic, the Government is making it as difficult as possible to come to New Zealand to be a nurse. Migrant nurses aren’t eligible for residency until after two years in New Zealand.

“ACT says we should have a pathway straight to residency. Labour says it wants to partner with Shortland St.

“Our health workforce does an amazing job and they deserve to be better supported by Government.

“The numbers uncovered by the ACT Party show we need more than a fictional TV show. If we had the same number of nurses per head of population as Australia, we would have 21,000 more nurses, or 37 per cent more. That’s a lot of Shortland St viewers.

As an immediate fix, ACT would:

• Provide all occupations on the ‘Green List’ a fast-track to residency by removing the ‘work to residence’ divide

• Simplify the Accredited Employer Work Visa scheme by abolishing labour market tests, wage rules, and make it easier for migrants to move between accredited employers.

“It’s time for the Government to get real on our health crisis, Shortland St isn’t the answer. It's no wonder Australia is becoming such an attractive option to so many Kiwis.”

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