NZRDA/DHBs Dispute Granted Facilitation


NZRDA/DHBs Dispute Granted Facilitation

Media release from the New Zealand Resident Doctor's Association

The parties to the NZRDA/20 DHBs collective bargaining have been advised this afternoon that the NZRDA’s application for facilitation by the Employment Relations Authority has been successful.

The parties now await further contact from the Authority in respect of arrangements.


Facilitation is a provision of the Employment Relations Act (ERA) that is rarely used but allows for parties to a dispute to have a third-party determination about a bargaining outcome. The determination, however, is not binding: the parties may, or may not, accept it. If the Authority allows facilitation, then an Authority Member is appointed to hear the matter. During this process the parties can continue to bargain, strike, and so on, in an attempt to reach settlement without a determination.

Resident Doctors and Senior Medical Officers

Resident Doctors are also known as RMOs or Resident Medical Officers. The term SMO (Senior Medical Officer) is the equivalent term for Senior Doctors or consultants working in NZ's public health system. Resident doctors are registered medical practitioners ranging from new graduates fresh out of medical school through to vocationally registered GPs and SMOs. They can be a resident doctor for up to 13 years, during which time they continue with postgraduate training in specialist fields such as GP, paediatrics, surgery, pathology, and so on. Once they complete this additional training they become GPs or SMOs.