An ex-midwife who wrote a viral Facebook post detailing the horrendous conditions she came across while working with families in South Auckland has received support from the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO).
Danielle Hart-Murray was told to remove the post by Counties Manukau District Health Board after citing fears that it could breach confidentiality.
In their statement, the NZNO say they are “concerned by anecdotal reports a midwife who bravely shared her distress about housing poverty and resulting infant and child illness and unwanted pregnancy as the result of incest.”
The organisation says that other midwives and nurses have said her reports are ‘familiar’.
Associate Professional Services Manager, Hilary Graham-Smith says this shame is the impact of poor housing and poverty and, limited access to good health care.
“It is well-documented that poor housing takes its toll on the health of children. Preventable diseases such as skin infections, rickets and respiratory diseases should not be a feature for any child growing up in Aotearoa,” says Graham-Smith.
“Incest resulting in mental and physical trauma and unwanted pregnancies for young women is an indictment on the conditions in which some people live because of poverty leading to unwanted bed sharing, substance abuse and inadequate accommodation.”
Graham-Smith has also called for any incoming government to step up and tackle the urgent crisis.
“The new government must get people out of living in cars and damp garages and ensure tamariki are physically and sexually safe. This is not a 100 day aim, this is now, immediately,” Hilary Graham-Smith says.