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The New Zealand government is partnering with Shortland Street to promote nursing

The New Zealand government is partnering with Shortland Street to promote nursing

But there are loads of people who aren't happy with the idea.

The New Zealand Government has announced they will be partnering with popular sitcom Shortland Street to promote nursing in the country.

Health Minister Andrew Little is pulling out his creative hat to encourage young Kiwis into nursing as a last minute bid to help curb New Zealand’s health-worker shortage. 

The campaign will be 'integrated' into the show’s storyline.

Minister Little said in a press conference: “The Ministry of Health and Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand are working closely with the New Zealand Nurses Organisation to create… a youth-focused domestic nurse recruitment campaign."

This is the first time in the show's 30-year history that it will assist in promoting nursing as a career.

The government has been trying to lessen the stress on New Zealand healthcare workers with the struggles of both Covid-19 and the flu season, however this idea has brought criticism from ACT’s health spokesperson Brook van Velden, who finds the idea 'absurd'. 

“It’s a ridiculous plot twist,” Velden said.

“The Government’s answer to the nursing shortage is to partner with Shortland Street to promote nursing while it stubbornly refuses to put nurses on the immigration Green List.” 

Many Kiwis have taken to Twitter to voice their opinions on this matter, with many not on board with the Government’s plan. 

Media commentator David Farrar wrote: “Rather than give nurses wanting to live and work in NZ residency, the Govt is partnering with Shortland Street to promote the NZ health system!! I am trying to think of what could be more ridiculous than that but I am failing.” 

Another joked: “After fixing health with Shortland Street, Labour will be rebooting Outrageous Fortune to solve gang crime & The Block NZ to finish another 2 Kiwibuild homes by next Christmas.” 

Little said the government won’t have anything to do with the creative decisions.

Associate professor at AUT, Dr Rosser Johnson, says this is 'a very standard way to make it clear that it’s not propaganda'.

Little has also said he was not aware of any payment for the partnership. 

Words by Millie Hinchliffe.

Featured Image Credit: TVNZ