Junior doctors at Tauranga and Whakatāne hospitals will walk off the job for 48 hours later this month in a bid to secure better pay and conditions deal from their employer.

The strike which would involve up to 3300 resident doctors nationwide would begin at 7am on January 15, the New Zealand Resident Doctors' Association said.

The union and its doctors last went on strike in 2016 in the lead-up to securing better working conditions as part of a "safer hours" campaign, RDA national president Dr Courtney Brown told NZME.

However, in the current round of negotiations, the DHBs had been trying to "claw back" some of the improved conditions the doctors won in 2016, Brown said.


"Whilst in 2018 most health workers gained improvements to terms and conditions
of employment without facing claw backs, the DHBs have taken a distinctly different approach to resident doctors," Brown said.

"It feels like they are punishing us for our successful safer hours campaign," she said.

Bay of Plenty District Health Board's acting chief executive Pete Chandler said contingency planning was under way to ensure both Tauranga and Whakatāne hospitals would still be able to provide "safe essential services".

"Emergency and essential services will be maintained during the strike, but we will be re-arranging services such as some outpatient appointments and elective procedures that can be deferred," Chandler said.

"Our number one consideration will be patient and staff safety and our management teams have been working to develop robust service plans over the New Year period, since receipt of the strike notification," he said.

Chandler said any patients affected by the strike action would be contacted.

A spokeswoman for Duty Minister Stuart Nash earlier said the Government was not a direct party to the pay negotiations but urged the DHBs and the Resident Doctors Association "to keep talking to find a solution".