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Fund us Fairly

Our government needs to do more to support and invest in hospice and palliative care.

Dying is a natural part of life and every person has the right to die well. As such, hospice is an essential health service, but one that has been under-recognised and under-valued by successive governments.

We’re calling on the new Government to fund hospice care fairly, so we can ensure local hospices can continue to be there for patients and whānau.

  • Hospice faces an uncertain future through lack of sustainable funding.
  • Government funds less than half the cost of running hospices. In the 2021-22 year, it cost over $186 million to provide free hospice care across New Zealand. While the Government provided $92 million, hospices had to raise
    over $94 million from their communities to bridge the gap.
  • Relying on community and op-shop fundraising is not sustainable. And it’s not fair on communities struggling with cost-of-living pressures and the ongoing impact of COVID-19.
  • Hospices are facing significant deficits this year, some in the millions of dollars, and these are expected to increase next year. As a result, hospices are either already making, or considering, service cuts to remain financially viable

Address workforce issues

  • Workforce issues for the hospice sector are at crisis point. Nurses along with Allied Health and family support staff in hospices are still being paid considerably less than equally qualified and experienced staff in Te Whatu Ora services – despite efforts this year to address pay parity.
  • If nothing is done to address workforce issues there is significant risk of further staff loss and as a result, reducing hospice services, which will ultimately result in more patients needing care from other health services, including our GPs and emergency departments.
  •  Our society is ageing. It is predicted the number of people needing palliative care will increase by over 56% in the next 20 years. with an extra 18,000 people every year requiring care. If current rates of hospice care continue, hospices could be supporting over 27,000 people annually within the next 20 years
  • Right now, the survival of hospices is not guaranteed if nothing is done by Government and its health agencies. If hospices can no longer operate, it would place considerable pressure on already overburdened hospitals and primary care.

Our Government must act now.

What we need

  • Commitment from the Government that a fairer, sustainable funding model for hospices is addressed with urgency in collaboration with Te Whatu Ora, Hospice New Zealand and the hospice sector.
  • A national service specification for community specialist palliative care, that recognises and upholds communities’ right to equitable and accessible palliative care across Aotearoa New Zealand.
  •  The Government honours its pledge to ensure pay parity for the critical primary and community ‘cradle to grave’ health care sector, with steps and timeframes outlined on how this will be addressed.
  • A clear strategy to address workforce shortages including immigration, undergraduate and post-graduate training and specialist medical training.

Please support us to advocate for these changes by using the actions below. Click on each one to learn more…




We acknowledge Alzheimers NZ whose advocacy work helped inspire our information and resources.


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