Media Release: BPW NZ calls for the Minister of Health to be accountable for aged care workers’ pay

The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal.

“This decision highlights the issue for other rest-home workers and the impact on the elderly who deserve to have sufficient care to meet their needs” says BPW NZ President Vicky Mee.

The New Zealand Aged Care Association has stated that “they would like to pay their staff more but they lacked the money to do so” and that the Government needed to increase its funding of the sector.

“However, the Minister of Health has responded indicating that the spending decisions lie with the providers who already receive large amounts of funding from the Government.

“This is not a woman’s issue but an issue that impacts on all communities.  BPW NZ is concerned that public money is going into the aged care sector and there is no accountability from the providers of how it is spent.  Funding needs to reach the aged care workers that provide the necessary 24 hour care for our elderly.

“The Minister’s response needs to be challenged” says President Vicky Mee.

“In many cases poorly paid aged care workers are subsidising profitable enterprises.

“We call on the Ministry of Health to ring-fence funding for increases in staff wages and staffing levels to aged care providers.

“The Ministry needs to hold aged care providers to account to ensure public money intended for staff wages is used for staff wages.

“BPW NZ like many New Zealanders does not believe that aged care workers have been given a fair deal.

“It is time to improve pay for our aged care workers“ says Mrs Mee.


For further information or to schedule an interview please contact:

President, Vicky Mee 021 1168 948 or email

or IPP Carolyn Savage 021 1179 261 or email




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