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August 6, 2018 | by  | in Politics | [ssba]

Political Round Up

Simon Bridge’s First Speech as Leader

National Leader Simon Bridges has made his first public speech as National Leader at National’s AGM.
On 29 July, Bridges delivered a fiery speech that criticized the current Labour/NZ First Government’s economic decisions since they have been in power, including their tertiary education policy, the cutting of benefit sanctions, and increased funding to the diplomatic sector. He announced the continued commitment by National to law and order. Throughout the speech he put heavy focus on their economic policy. For minutes, he continued the attacks on Labour, stating that National had built one of the strongest economies in the world before they were ejected from the executive. “But we need to keep it going to ensure all New Zealanders can share in the gains — not everyone has yet. But it is becoming increasingly obvious that the Government doesn’t have a clear plan for the economy.” The major announcement of the night came when Bridges promised smaller class sizes for primary schools.
Former PM John Key stated he was not worried about how Bridges was polling. At time of publication, Simon Bridges was only polling at 12% as preferred PM, compared with Jacinda Ardern’s 45%.

DHB and Nurses’ Union Signs Accord

David Clark and top health officials have found middle ground on health workforce staffing by signing an accord. The accord says that hospitals will staff nurses according to the “Care Capacity Demand Management” software, which works out how many nurses are needed. The CCDM software is already in use in some DHBs but the accord commits DHBs to using this software by 2021. Nurses have been concerned about the lack of capacity hospitals have to treat patients, and overworking staff.
The accord was signed by Clark, along with Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield, District Health Board DHB) and nurse’s union representatives, on 30 July at Parliament.
David Clark accepted that nurses have not been satisfied by pay negotiations and other talks with the DHBs. He has stated that he wants to maintain an even closer relationship between DHBs regarding staff wellbeing.

“Issues of safe staffing and workloads have developed over many years of underfunding, and everyone acknowledges they will take time to fix.”

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