Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First
On the steps of Parliament today the Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters received a petition from registered nurse Anna Maria Coervers, requesting an amendment to the Protection for First Responders Bill which will ensure the legislation also include registered nurses.
The members bill, introduced by New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law & Order Darroch Ball, is currently at select committee and is seeking to introduce mandatory prison sentences for those who assault paramedics, police, firefighters, and corrections officers.
“Our nurses in emergency departments most certainly are on the front-line and play a critical role in New Zealand society, says Mr Peters.
“Front-line nurses are far too often on the receiving end of verbal and physical abuse, assaults or threats from people when they are carrying out their essential jobs.
“After hearing the nurses unions and representatives submit at select committee and through further consultation with the sector, it became clear that in particular those nurses working in emergency department wards must be given extra protection under this legislation”.
New Zealand First has tabled an amendment in the House to ensure emergency department nurses are now included with other first responders who are already covered in the legislation.