Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said the $200 million initiative would take most nurses’ base salary to about 95% of their hospital-based colleagues’ pay.
“The government is committed to ensuring nurses are paid fairly and will receive parity with others doing the same or similar work, especially given the current cost of living pressure faced by workers and their families,” she said in a statement.
“This is a substantial step towards that.”
It was good news for health services, which had been losing staff to hospitals, she said.
“It also means the government is directly supporting nurses caring for people and whānau in very real need.
“While the amount each nurse receives will vary, for some it’s as much as a 15% increase in base pay.”
The boost to community nurse pay follows the historic pay increase for hospital nurses, which made wages competitive with Australian nurse wages, she said.
Te Whatu Ora was working with other parts of the sector to address pay gaps.
From 1 July, additional funding will ensure pay rises for eligible nurses working for Plunket, Family Planning, school nursing services, mental health and addiction, rural hospitals and in telehealth.
“These pay uplifts will ensure workers are paid fairly for their critical roles in protecting the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders,” Dr Verrall said.