2019 - The year in review

 

2019 – The year in review

Too often we don’t celebrate success in our industry and the positive work done by everyone in the industry. It has certainly been a year of wins for the Association and its members, so as we come to the end of the year it is worth recapping on some of our achievements.

A 3.2% lift in funding to our annual contract was the best across-the-board increase for many years and while it will never be enough, this year we have set in stone a ground-breaking process between the DHBs and the Ministry of Health to accurately model cost pressures across the membership.

Off our strong lobby, significant gains have been made in the workforce area, especially immigration policy which is so important to ARC because of the valued migrants that work in our facilities. Registered Nurses working in aged care have been put on the Long-Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL) for immigration purposes, the employer assisted visa reforms along with the negotiation of a sector agreement will benefit our industry, and most recently the ANZSCO refresh has been a fillip for our migrant caregivers.

In another area where the NZACA has been advocating, reforms to the vocational education system are set to deliver more industry ownership and involvement in both training and qualifications. We also had confirmation of a broadening of the Level 4 Health and Well-Being Certificate from 70 to 120 credits, which was achieved through membership support. 

Just recently, we announced the formation of the ARC Nursing Leadership Group (NLG). This group will be an important conduit between our membership and Government, including DHBs and the Ministry of Health, but also with the Nursing Council, education providers and other peak bodies with an interest in nursing. A range of matters concerning the nursing workforce have been a major area of concern for our members in 2019, so the NLG will get to work early next year to make the gains we need in this area.

The advocacy and policy wins in 2019 exemplify the increasing evidence and insight base the Association brings to its work. It stands us in good stead in the lead up to the General Election at the end of next year when members can expect the NZACA to mount an informed and compelling campaign in support of the work you all do in caring for older and vulnerable New Zealanders. I look forward to presenting our election work to branches in the first half of next year.   

The past year has also seen the Association consolidate its place as the voice of the industry which is supported by its ever-growing visibility amongst national media and politicians on all sides. It means we are well placed and well connected to attract the media and political attention in the lead-up to the election. 

The election aside, in 2020 you can expect the NZACA to be working for your interests on the Funding Model Review, negotiation of the immigration sector agreements and continuing to be a loud and strong advocate for you and your staff.  

Our events portfolio remains strong. This year’s annual conference in Wellington was the biggest yet with over 550 people attending over the three days listening to a range of speakers addressing a theme focused on the Dawn of a New Era.  Our team is using the feedback from delegates, exhibitors and sponsors in planning for Rotorua in September 2020.  We continue to evolve our popular seminar programme, so the content is relevant and meaningful for those that attend. 

Thanks to your support, the NZACA has enjoyed strong membership retention this year at over 95% meaning we continue to represent over 90% of the 39,000 beds in the ARC sector. Such a level of penetration is the envy of other industry associations, and it puts the organisation on a sound footing to continue our work. 

In closing, I would like to thank my staff, the Board and all those people involved in supporting the NZACA and advancing the interests of ARC this year. 

Meri Kirihimete/Merry Christmas.

Simon Wallace
Chief Executive