“In a ridiculous plot twist, the Government’s answer to the nursing shortage is to partner with Shortland St to promote nursing while it stubbornly refuses to put nurses on the immigration Green List,” says ACT Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“In the midst of a global pandemic we are desperately short of nurses. The Government is doing nothing to make New Zealand more attractive for nurses to move here, instead migrant nurses aren’t eligible for residency until after two years in New Zealand.

“Instead of changing that, Health Minister Andrew Little says the Government is partnering with Shortland St to promote nursing as a career. You can’t script something this absurd.

“Our health workforce is exhausted, and patients are at risk. We should be attracting nurses here immediately, not using a fictional TV show. People might find that the realities of being a nurse are a bit different to working alongside Dr Warner. ACT understands there are fewer affairs and murders in real life hospitals.

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. The way things are going our health workers will be wishing they were in Guatemala.”

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Brooke van Velden