More than 120 extra nurses and midwives are caring for patients in public hospitals across the Bay of Plenty, says Health Minister Tony Ryall.
A Ministry of Health workforce report showed Bay of Plenty District Health Board employed more than 950 full-time nurses and midwives.
"For the first time more than 20,000 nurses and midwives are permanently employed by district health boards across the country - an increase of over 3000 staff compared to five years ago," Mr Ryall said.
Mr Ryall said nurses are at the frontline of care and more nurses means better experiences for patients and families.