DHBs are coping well with today's nurses' strike, and it's a testament to the work they've put into contingency plans over the past three months, Capital and Coast DHB chief medical officer Dr John Tait says.

Tait spoke at a press conference this afternoon, thanking staff who had come in to work to provide life-preserving services during the strike, which began at 7am.

He said a number of extra staff and volunteers had come in to help today.

Tairawhiti DHB chief executive Jim Green, who is also a nurse, said he was in his hospital this morning when the nurses walked out, and that it was "a very orderly process".

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He appreciated the care the nurses took in making sure cases were handed over properly to those who were remaining to work.

He said primary care health professionals in the community were responding well to the strike by providing care to people so the pressure was taken off the hospitals.

DHBs were looking forward to getting resolution in this "trying situation".

DHBs spokeswoman Helen Mason said they had all received recommendations from the Employment Relations Authority and they were considering them at the moment.

They would be contacting NZNO to discuss the recommendations.

Tait said his DHB had to send staff and volunteers away because they had enough people to cover cases today.

More to come.