The New Zealand Nurses Organisation has released the results of its online ballot after a year of negotiations and strike action came to an end on Tuesday.
The release of the overall details of the Nursing and Midwifery Multi-Employer Collective Agreement (Meca) ratification vote shows that a significant majority accepted the offer.
"The percentage of votes in favour of the fifth DHB Meca offer as returned by Electionz.com is 64.1 per cent to accept the offer and 35.9 per cent to reject the offer," chief executive Memo Musa announced.
"The previous offer result was 49.4 per cent to accept the offer and 50.6 per cent to reject the offer.
"As said last time the vote result was very close and this time there was a significant majority accepting the offer."
Musa said the NZNO is now focused on implementation.
"The organisation is strong and growing and I am proud of the hard work of my colleagues, the delegates and members that have undertaken to achieve a Meca which lays down the foundations for a safer and rewarding career in nursing," he said.
The new pay agreement is the fifth from DHBs, and was agreed after the 30,000 NZNO members voted by online ballot.
Industrial Services manager Cee Payne said public attention to the unacceptable workloads and working conditions of the nursing workforce helped to secure an acceptable Meca.
The union said it would now urgently work with district health boards (DHBs) to get the agreement implemented.
DHB spokesperson Jim Green said they welcomed the yes vote, and now needed to rebuild trust.
"There's a lot of work to be done and we're already under way."
Green said the new agreement was about valuing nurses.
"There are three pay increases of 3 per cent, two of which take effect immediately.
"There's a third increase next year, as well as two new steps at the top of the nurses and midwives scale that specifically recognise the skill and experience of this group.
"For DHBs, it's about giving the NZNO and its members' confidence we will deliver on commitments about staffing and resourcing."
Thousands of nurses went on strike across the country last month, after successive pay negotiations failed.
It was the first nurses strike in New Zealand for nearly 30 years.
Safe staffing levels were a key issue, with nurses saying they were forced to sometimes run from patient to patient because staffing was so low.
Nurses also wanted a pay increase, saying remuneration has been stagnant for almost a decade.