"This is our best offer" - Peters to striking nurses

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

In a statement to Te Kāea, a District Health Board (DHB) spokesperson said they offered nurses a package worth about $520mil which would deliver pay rises of between 12 and 15.9 percent.

"We are having to strike to achieve a better offer that secures additional money into the collective agreement to address outstanding member issues," says New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) representative Cee Payne

Payne says the latest pay offer was the fourth from DHBs, and the NZNO noted voter turnout was high, and the result closer than last time.

"The majority of members have voted to support industrial action on the 12th of July," says Payne.

Peters said he couldn't say there would be money in next years budget that can be promised to nurses now.

Peters says, "We offered $500mil.  That is a massive increase on what they were offered when we became the government.  We've doubled it and found 500 more nursing places and made a way for them to move faster up the scale.  This is our best offer, we're not kidding when we say that."

30,000 members will be involved in the strike, although some will work to ensure life-preserving services continue.