20 Feb 2014

Health strategies crushing nurses group

6:32 am on 20 February 2014

A Maori nurses group is struggling to survive, as it competes for funding with Whanau Ora schemes.

Te Kaunihera o Nga Neehi Maori - the National Council of Maori Nurses - says a lack of financial backing from the state is severely limiting its development.

It says the Crown is inclined to fund new and innovative strategies rather than continue with long-standing organisations in the workforce and health sectors.

The council says it started to receive less money from the Ministry of Health when the economic downturn hit a few years ago.

According to the nurses group's annual report, there have been cascading reductions in Maori health funding across the sector and competing interests from projects such as Whanau Ora.

Members says they're struggling to expand the organisation while running it on a largely voluntary basis.

The National Council of Maori Nurses was set up in 1983 due to a lack of Maori entering and graduating from nursing schools.