Topic: Health

Overworked midwives under paid

By Taroi Black
  • North Island: East Coast

A lead maternity carer in Gisborne is speaking out against pay equity, saying that the Government's plan for 8.9 per cent increase for midwives is not enough to meet the demands they're facing on the east coast.

Holly Casey who helps runs Hapu Ora, a midwifery clinic in Gisborne says, “It's great that the government has given that pay rise but we need more. It's not sustainable.”

The Government's budget announcement this year will see $112 million invested into community midwives. However, Ms Casey from Hapu Ora says it doesn't add up.

“We get paid on average $12 - $13 an hour so even though we've had a pay rise it hasn't bumped up the wages that much if you break it all down.”

Here on the East Coast, independent practitioners are under pump meeting the demands from whānau from Hawkes Bay all the way up to Hicks Bay. 

“A rural midwife with the amount of travel she has to do, she would get paid under minimum wage and it's worked out to be $8 to $9 an hour.”

Meanwhile, 30,000 nurses across New Zealand ended their strike this morning.

But two days ago a welfare navigator Ngapaki Moetara spoke out earlier this week on the difficulties social workers face getting assistance for clients. One of those clients was a pregnant mother that receives support from Hapu Ora and was allegedly turned away from Work and Income in Gisborne leading to Ms Moetara describing the incident as “inhumane”.   

“That was a really sad post to see. I knew the māmā, she comes to see me as well. I fully tautoko that post. It's just the reality they go through. We're here to help”, Ms Moetara said.