Newly trained Maori nurses are taking work in rest homes because they can't get a job they have trained for, according to Te Kaunihera o Nga Neehi Maori - the National Council of Maori Nurses.
Council president Heimaima Hughes says some of its members are completing their courses but are unable to take up roles with district health boards.
Graduates have to get on to what is known as a Nurse Entry to Practice Programmes, which she Ms Hughes says are oversubscribed. She fears Maori might be put off from entering nursing.
There is always work in the rest homes, and Maori health providers sometimes absorb the graduates while others go overseas, she says.
People become nurses for all sorts of reasons but often Maori train in the profession because they want to improve the health of their own people, Ms Hughes says.