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Kiwi nurse says she moved to Australia because she was 'burnt out' and 'underpaid'

A Kiwi nurse decided she had had enough of working in New Zealand and decided to pack up and move to Australia in search of better working conditions and pay.

Emergency department nurse Liana Penney told TVNZ1's Breakfast a big factor for her move across the Tasman was that she was feeling burnt out, unrecognised and underpaid.

"For me I just reached a point where I just couldn't do it anymore.  It was becoming a struggle everyday and don't get me wrong the pay was a huge part of it," she said.

"Nurses in New Zealand carry a lot of roles and responsibility which isn’t recognised at all in the pay or really at all. When I compare it now to my roles and responsibilities in Australia and the pay it’s phenomonal what the difference is."

Ms Penney said nurses in New Zealand work "bloody hard" and the way some patients treat nurses is "absolutely abhorrent".

"Those nurses work through the hardest of conditions, short staffing and an incredible patient volume... ...I would actually challenge someone to sit in an emergency apartment for 12 hours and just see what those nurses go through."

She said the difference between New Zealand and Australia is that Australia has "way more money to throw at health care."

"The unions over here are much stronger and they put more value in health care," she concludes.

In August last year after a year of negotiations and a day long strike fighting for better pay and conditions the New Zealand Nursing Organisation accepted a 520 million pay offer from their DHB employer.

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Emergency department nurse Liana Penney talks to Breakfast about her decision to work overseas. Source: Breakfast