If you haven't heard anything, that means today's nurses' strike is not going to interrupt your hospital appointment.
That's the message from the Northland District Health Board as the largest section of its workforce swap the frontline for the picket line.
There are about 1400 nurses in Northland who will take part in a strike that will see 30,000 nurses nationwide stop work to demand improvements in pay and conditions.
Health board surgical and support services general manager Mark McGinley said "life-preserving" services would be maintained across the region.
However, non-acute services and elective surgery would be affected with the board already taking the step to tell those patients who would miss out. It had led to 140 appointments being cancelled and scheduled for another day.
"If you have not heard from Northland DHB, your appointment has not been changed," said McGinley, who the health board dubbed the "incident controller" for the strike action.
Nurses make up about 70 per cent of the health board's workforce although not all are members of the New Zealand Nurses' Organisation union that was organising the strike. Of the 1852 nurses employed by the health board, about 1400 were expected to strike of the 1600 employed under the collective agreement with union members.
The strike comes after a vote of the NZNO membership and followed heightened frustration from nurses after the Government's announcement of a pay freeze across the public sector.
McGinley said the health board's focus had been on minimising disruption and risk to staff, patients and the community - and to make sure all those affected had the information needed about their appointments ahead of today's strike.
Essential and emergency services would still be available although emergency services would be operating with fewer staff, he said. Radiology and outpatient appointments, as well as elective surgery scheduled for June 9, have been rescheduled.
NZ Nurses' Organisation organiser Julie Governor said areas of care where nursing was required would still have staff present.
"Patients are not being put at risk. It's not like a factory where we can down tools and walk off."
For example, said Governor, if a motor vehicle accident saw people with injuries taken to the emergency department, there would be staff working and others available to support those workers if needed.
In Whangārei, those involved in the strike action are gathering at the hospital before the 11am start of the protest action. The eight-hour long strike covers the last half of one shift and half of the next.
Delegates would head into work areas to support workers who were striking so all could leave together on a 15-minute "march" to Mander Park.
Once there, the afternoon would begin with speeches and stories from nurses. National organisers have spoken to staffing in hospitals being so stretched that nurses were at "breaking point".
The strike action ended at 7pm with those involved in the protest then returning to complete their shifts.
Offers to settle the dispute have seen the health boards offer a $4000 lump sum payment. It followed an earlier offer of a 1.4 per cent pay rise.