Andrew Little heckled by striking nurses, but says he doesn't take it personally

The tail end of Health Minister Andrew Little's address to striking nurses outside Parliament today was drowned out by the cries of those who were angry and frustrated.

Your playlist will load after this ad

The end of the Health Minister’s address was drowned out by shouts and chanting of “fair pay”. Source: 1 NEWS

Nurses could be heard shouting over Little: "What do we want? Fair pay! When do we want it? Now!" 

Their shouting was then followed by the chanting of "fair pay". 

Moments earlier, Little's address had begun with: "You are here because you care.

"I hear your message and we don't disagree," he said among some heckles.

Read more
Thousands of nurses walk off the job around NZ, striking for better pay

"I think we all agree we are long overdue a health system that looks after its workers, looks after its people, provides a working environment where people can work safely ...

"We agree with the Nurses Organisation on pay equity and we changed the legislation so we can actually get a decent pay equity result and we're making progress and we're getting there," Little remarked.

"So let's carry on working together to get fair pay, get more nurses and get more staffing."

It was at that point that the rest of Little's words were drowned out by the nurses shouting. 

The nurses in Wellington were among thousands across the country striking for better pay and work conditions.

It comes after the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) voted to reject a second offer on Monday. 

Photos: Thousands of nurses strike for better pay and work conditions around Aotearoa

Speaking to media afterwards, Little told 1 NEWS he did not take the nurses frustration and anger personally.

"It's important to front up and hear them," he said, remarking it was the least he could do. 

However, he remained unmoved on being unable to offer nurses the 17 per cent annualised increases the NZNO was asking for. 

Little told reporters it was "just not possible now". 

He also told reporters it was in New Zealand's best interest to sort the situation and said he was confident the Government's work with the Nurses Organisation would achieve pay equity. 

"In the end, good nurses, good health care assistants, good enrolled nurses, good midwives, means good healthcare for all New Zealanders."