Kia ora koutou,
Hope everyone has been settling into their new roles and hospitals well. My department in Tauranga has welcomed 9 new RMOs (out of 14 total!).
It has been a busy start to the year for many of us. We are approaching application time for some specialties, Good Luck! Also, make sure you are applying for expenses to be paid back around these as well.
February has been a tumultuous month for Aotearoa. We have seen devastating damage from Cyclone Gabrielle to regions around the North Island, particularly Hawkes Bay, Tairawhiti and Tāmaki Makaurau. We hope our members and your whānau are doing okay. Please reach out to the team at STONZ if there is anything we can do to support you at this time. The team have been working alongside Te Whatu Ora and the other unions to ensure that there is consistent and appropriate help being provided, and that those who have been most impacted are getting the support they need. Here in Tauranga, we were incredibly lucky to only have minor damage with some landslides and surface flooding. Some of my family friends in Hastings were evacuated during the night and the cyclone as had devastating effects to their family homes. Like me, I am sure you will have friends, whānau, colleagues who may have been impacted, so let’s do what we can to help each other out where we can. It’s also important to look after ourselves, and if you need some help, please make sure you reach out to those around you.
The team also want to extend our thanks and appreciation to everyone who has stepped up to help our communities that have been affected by the Cyclone, not just across the North Island, but the wider motu too. A particular thank you to our colleagues working in the most effected areas and to those across our health workforce, and other workforces who have agreed to be re-deployed to help where help is most needed.
Whilst our team continue to support our members through the impacts of the last month, the continuing strain of COVID-19 and advocacy around the wider workforce challenges, we are still working hard to progress other projects such as our meals pilot which is now underway. We have had approx. 170 STONZ members signed up for this, so we are very excited to see the outcomes of this at the end of the year and hear from those involved in the pilot. While applications to join the pilot are now closed, if you are interested in joining the meal pilot, please contact our team and let us know.
It’s hard to believe that we are at the end of February already. House officers and new registrars, you're one month down! Keep keeping on, and don’t forget our team is here if you require any help, support or advocacy with anything.
(Briana Northey – STONZ House Officer Representative)