1 NEWS Community: Anonymous Nurse Florence giving Kiwi nurses a voice - 'I've related to most of these stories, felt the pain in their words'

As an agreement between the New Zealand Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards is yet to be reached after thousands walked off the job last week, one Facebook group is providing nurses a place for them to feel supported.

In March two nurses, from either end of the country, anonymously set up the Facebook group New Zealand, please hear our voice, under the pseudonym Nurse Florence.

In just a few days they had over 30,000 members, and now sit at over 46,000 members.

"Florence gave nurses a tool which they had never had before," Nurse Florence told 1 NEWS.

"For many it was a freedom which came in allowing nurses to talk about the issues which, until Florence, were only discussed among colleagues because of fear of personal repercussions."

Sometimes a problem shared is problem halved. - Nurse Florence

The Facebook group is filled with thousands of heart-breaking stories about the job, each a snippet of life as a nurse in New Zealand. But together they tell the sad story of a national problem.

"I've related to most of these stories, felt the pain in their words," said Nurse Florence.

Soon after launching, public support for a national protest rally was overwhelming, and on International Nurses Day, May 12, they took to streets around New Zealand demanding safer staffing, safer wards and better pay to reflect the care they provide.

Nurses at the International Nurses Day #Hearourvoice march.
Nurses at the International Nurses Day #Hearourvoice march. Source: Supplied

"Maybe this has galvanised them, hearing each other's stories and knowing they are not alone.

"Perhaps it was a mixture of this and people feeling they've had enough."

Then, on July 10 it was announced by the NZNO that nurses voted to reject a second offer of a $500m pay package from DHBs which included pay increases, commitments to addressing workforce issues and work towards pay equity.

Following the vote on Thursday July 12 - for the first time in 30 years - thousands walked off the job last week for 24 hours, taking to the streets again in demand for safer staffing and better pay.

Following the strike, Health Minister David Clark has said there is no more money to offer nurses.

But the NZNO and DHBs are back in negotiations to find a way to settle the nurses' collective agreement.

NZNO members have been warned that balloting for further strike action may be needed.

Nurse Florence said they want pay and working conditions that align with Australia, where registered nurses earn an average of AU$31.19 per hour compared to New Zealand registered nurses who earn on average NZ$26.68 per hour.

They said it is important "the public to understand that most healthcare workers genuinely love what they do, but they are struggling to give the public the care we know they deserve, because we’re not getting the care we need."

When an agreement is reached Nurse Florence said they hope the Facebook group continues to be a platform for nurses and healthcare workers to discuss issues, that people might only feel comfortable doing anonymously.

The nurses behind it, say the group gave nurses a freedom to talk about issues they faced without fear of repercussions. Source: 1 NEWS



'A tragedy' - witness describes aftermath of Auckland crash that killed two when car slams into building

A witness has described the aftermath of a horrifying crash that killed two people after their car slammed into an Auckland building early this morning.

Mark Thomas told 1 NEWS the scene of the Pakuranga crash was "quite nasty" and "quite spectacular" after the vehicle went off Pakuranga Rd and slammed into a building near Udys Rd/Johns Lane, in Pakuranga at around 4.30am.

"You can obviously see the reminisce of what they left behind them," Mr Thomas said.

Mr Thomas was initially woken up by the crash but thought nothing of it and went back to bed.

Police were later called at 7.20am and found a man and a woman dead inside the vehicle.

"It's sad. It's a tragedy... I feel sorry for their parents," Mr Thomas said.

Speaking to media today, Senior Sergeant Jono Chappell said police are in the early stages of their investigation but "it's pretty evident speed was a contributing factor" in the crash.

Police say they want to hear from anyone who saw a dark-coloured Honda Accord near Pakuranga Rd around 4.30am.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Counties Manukau Serious Crash Unit on 09 261 1300

Mark Thomas described to 1 NEWS what he saw after the Pakuranga accident. Source: 1 NEWS

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Sole survivor of tragic crash that left seven people dead in Taranaki 'struggling' with physical and emotional toll

The only survivor of the tragic head on car crash that killed seven people in south Taranaki is dealing with the heartbreaking fact that her two children and partner were killed in the crash while also learning to walk again.

The head on collision near the Waverley racecourse on State Highway 3, June 27, left Ani Nohinohi in critical condition in Wellington Hospital. Her eight-week-old baby Shady-Jade Thompson, eight-year-old daughter Nivek Madams and 28-year-old partner Jeremy Thompson didn't survive the crash.

Ms Nohinohi is still in hospital in a stable condition trying to recover both physically and emotionally from the ordeal.

Crash victim Nivek Madams
Crash victim Nivek Madams Source: Givealittle/

A family spokesperson told Stuff about the moment she heard of the news of her partner and two daughters' deaths.

"She knew about her girls but she didn't know about Jeremy. Her family didn't inform her about Jeremy, they thought they would save that for Jeremy's family to let her know.

"She took that really quite hard.

"She is struggling but with all of the support that she has got, she has got her family, she has got the Thompson family, we are all supporting her all the way to help her through this."

They also talked about Ms Nohinohi's struggle to recover from the serious injuries that nearly took her life. 

"She knows that she has got a fight on her hands especially if she wants to walk again."

The spokesperson added that she doesn't remember details of the crash, which she is "quite happy about".

All four people that died in the other car were long-time Waverley residents: Ian Porteous, his wife Rosalie Porteous, his sister Ora Keene and their close friend Brenda Williams, who were all in their 70s and 80s.

1 NEWS’ Arrun Soma reports from Waverley – a town in mourning. Source: 1 NEWS