Community nurses won't see a cent of historic pay equity boost for Te Whatu Ora nurses

Monday's historic pay equity boost for nurses has left many of their colleagues asking - what about us?

The settlement will see hospital nurses receive thousands of dollars in lump sums and back pay, but it doesn't include many nurses working in the community.

Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust clinical lead Kimmy Wii is no stranger to earning less than her hospital counterparts.

"It's not about the money," she said.

Wii works at Waipareira Trust's whanau centre, a Māori healthcare provider which helps support those who have fallen through the cracks.  

"We stand in the gap to help bridge from womb to tomb," Wii said. 

But Wii and her co-worker won't see a cent from the new New Zealand Nurses Organisation equity deal. 

The fresh equity deal is only for nurses directly employed by Te Whatu Ora. It'll see senior nurses earning up to $150,000. 

But nurses working in services like Māori and iwi health providers, GPs, aged residential care facilities, Plunket and community health have been left out.

"It's created a huge gap," said Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust director Ngaire Harris. "I would say triple fold.

"They're the councillor, they're the cook, make a cup of tea, more than that they'll do karakia because it's pretty sad - only Māori nurses would be able to do that - and they're not acknowledged for that."

And they're not the only ones being left behind.

"Cost of living prices are going up - pay equity gap continuing to grow and they're struggling to make ends meet on what we can afford to pay them. It's just not fair," Plunket CEO Fiona Kingsford said. 

Aged Care New Zealand's interim chief executive Katherine Rich told Newshub the deal is "absolutely fantastic for hospital nurses", she wants the same for age care nurses too. 

"It's fair and they deserve it."

And General Practice New Zealand chair Dr Bryan Betty said it will affect local practices.

"There's a situation at the moment where nurses are leaving to go to Te Whatu Ora because of the pay disparity that we're seeing this has to be sorted."

Wii told she's pleased for the nurses who got the bump

"They're always ahead of us, but I'm happy for them."

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation says it's now determined to make sure Wii and her colleagues catch up.