Tēnā koutou katoa.
To each and every one of you who voted, and who supported me in a myriad of other ways, I say thank you, thank you, thank you all.
As the election results show, my bid to become your choice and your voice as President of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation has succeeded. But the famous whakataukī has never been truer: “Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini”. Mine is not a solo success, but a success of the many.
Together, we have taken a step towards change for NZNO.
I have pledged to be accessible to members, and to make your issues visible. And now, after a short break with my family, I will start fulfilling my election promise to be available to you, in person in your locality or via email and social media, so that we can continue to work together.
In particular, I look forward to talking with those who supported other candidates or who didn’t vote. I would like to hear about your issues and aspirations for NZNO, so we can advance them together over my term as President. Together our members’ diversity can be a strength.
It is also a truism of the union movement that if you want to make change, then voting once every three years is not enough on its own. This is the case inside NZNO, just as it is on the national and local political stage.
But we have shown that when NZNO members act collectively, we can make change. In the course of my election campaign, for instance, I highlighted how thousands of us working together delivered 200 extra places for new graduate nurses, and how DHB Sector members were able to secure an improved offer from their employers.
As your next NZNO President, I will support members whenever you join together for health. We need to do that in many ways.
NZNO is a member-run organisation. Those members who actively participate in our organisation do a bit here and a bit there after long hours at work or study, and often after caring for family members as well. But added all together, this collective activity is what can drive the change that members have voted for.
Whether it is the workplace delegates, who feed into the NZNO Regional Councils and Health Sector National Committees, or the members who participate in NZNO Colleges and Sections, or those who belong to Te Rūnanga o Aotearoa NZNO or the National Student Unit, I look forward to taking the next step with you all.
Together, we are strong enough to keep making change for our members, for our profession and for the health of New Zealand.