More than 50 midwives employed by the Northland District Health Board will wait with bated breath for an offer of improved pay and working conditions during the next round of mediation.

About 20 midwives gathered with banners and placards outside Whangārei Hospital yesterday for "one last push" before the next round of mediation, scheduled for this Friday.

Yesterday's protest was the last of two-hour work stoppages since November 22 after more than 1100 midwives throughout New Zealand voted overwhelmingly to reject their pay offer and go on strike.

The midwives employed by Northland DHB are members of the Midwifery Employee Representation and Advisory Service (Meras).

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Pauline Andrews, MERA representative in Whangārei, said those that took part in yesterday's strike were either on days off or were not required for life-preserving services.

"A lot of midwives are leaving the profession because they feel undervalued and underpaid for the level of service they provide in terms of the scope of practice, level of responsibility and clinical decision making," she said.

Pauline Andrews, left, was among about 20 midwives protesting outside the Whangārei Hospital. Photo/John Stone
Pauline Andrews, left, was among about 20 midwives protesting outside the Whangārei Hospital. Photo/John Stone

Andrews said they looked forward to the next mediation on Friday.

The Northland DHB have developed contingency plans to manage the significant disruption during work stoppages and has assured the public there would be minimal disruption during the rolling strikes.

District health boards throughout the country has criticised Meras for turning down an offer of a 9 per cent pay rise over the next 18 months plus two pay step increases and a lump sum payment.