National 22 January 2021
Kia ora

Kia ora koutou. Ngā mihi o te tau hau.

2021 has been designated as the International Year of Health and Care Workers which is another good reason to promote and support the work you do every day. As the year kicks off, we have a few things to share.

Get your nominations in!

There are still a few weeks left to get your nominations in to elect a new ASMS National Executive. The Executive sits for three years and is made up of a President, Vice President and two representatives from each region. You should have received a Special Circular before Christmas with information and a nomination form, but you can also download one here. Nominations close on 19 February. In regions where an election is needed, voting will take place during March so look out for further information. A new National Executive will be announced in early April.

MECA talks due to start

Our big-ticket item this year is the negotiation of a new ASMS-DHBs MECA. The negotiations have come around quickly after the Covid-disrupted talks last year ended in a short, one-year agreement. The first two days of negotiations are set down for 10-11 February. We have assembled our bargaining team with representatives from each DHB and the team will be led by senior industrial officer Lloyd Woods and ASMS President Murray Barclay. Watch out for updates through our MECA Matters emails in the coming weeks.

Art show featuring senior doctors and dentists

ASMS is keen to hold an art exhibition featuring the work of senior doctors and dentists to coincide with our Annual Conference in November. However firstly we need to quickly establish whether we would have the numbers to make it feasible. The “Artists who Doctor” exhibition would be curated and held at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington. We are calling for expressions of interest from any member who would like to be involved. Artwork can include ceramics, sculpture, paintings, photography, or jewellery.

If you would like to take part or want to find out more, please contact our senior industrial officer Lloyd Woods at by 14 February at the latest.

JCCs Round One

The first round of JCCs gets underway later this month. We had some lively and well attended meetings last year and it would be great to see as many of you as possible this year. You can find the dates and times for your DHBs here. Zoom will continue to be an option at all of the JCCs. You can also sign up for JCC invites and updates by writing to

A key focus of the first round of meetings will be our Building the workforce pipeline, stopping the drain report which, if you haven’t read it, you can see here. We hope it will provoke some interesting discussions around specialist shortages, recruitment and retention and work flexibility.

Keep in touch!

Just a reminder that if you have any questions, issues, or problems don’t hesitate to contact one of our industrial officers. You can find which industrial officer is responsible for your DHB or organisation here. If you know any colleagues who are new to your hospital or service, please encourage them to get in touch with ASMS.

It seems hardly any time since we packed up the office and headed off for some R&R. Suddenly, it is nearly the end of January. I hope to catch up with many of you over the next few months – please keep in touch. Let us know what we are doing well, and areas where we can do better.

Also, please note that our national office will be closed on Monday 25 January for the Wellington Anniversary Day holiday. Business as usual from Tuesday 26th and full steam ahead!

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa

Sarah Dalton