The National Council of Maori Nurses says new graduates are heading to Australia to get work because they can't find a job here.
Fears about not finding work after graduation were echoed amongst the 200 Maori nursing students who attended a hui in Waitangi last week.
Council president Heimaima Hughes said it was disheartening that there were not enough jobs out there for Maori nursing graduates.
She said it is a struggle for them to gain employment, and some are moving to Australia to get work.
Ms Hughes said the matter needed to be raised with the Chief Nurse at the Ministry of Health, Dr Jane O'Malley.
She said Maori graduates were not getting selected for places in advanced experience or entry level practice programmes.
Ms Hughes said just who got on the programmes sometimes depended on who was on the panel.
She said there was a need to ensure there were sound, robust processes for people to get onto the programmes. Ms Hughes said provisions needed to be made to get Maori into work to improve Maori health statistics.