About 1200 nurses, midwives and health assistants at public hospitals in Northland will join 27,000 others throughout the country if they decide to go on strike over a pay dispute.

The Northland District Health Board has a back-up plan in the event of an industrial action in late May or early June but details would be released once a strike action is confirmed.

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation wants a pay rise of more than 2 per cent in the revised collective agreement it is negotiating with the Ministry of Health.

NZNO national delegates will meet on April 18 to decide the next steps and bargaining strategies, including any recommendations for industrial action.


The Government offer for 27,000 nurses, hospital aides, and core midwives is a 2 per cent pay rise as well as a $1050 lump sum payment.

NZNO organiser in Northland Julie Governor said there were 1200 nurses, midwives and health care assistants employed by NDHB in hospitals in Whangarei, Dargaville, Bay of Islands and Kaitaia.

She said the NDHB needed to come up with a back-up plan to cover essential services if NZNO members decided to go on strike.

"DHBs are considering possible impacts and have started contingency planning to ensure patient safety in the event that industrial action does take place, although our main focus is on finding ways to settle this agreement," national DHB spokeswoman Dr Ashley Bloomfield said.