Tomorrow morning, some Lakes District Health Board anaesthetic technicians will begin the first of two 24-hour strikes planned for this week.

The strike, for members of APEX, New Zealand's specialist allied, scientific and technical union, begins at 8am.

Unlike the national Resident Doctors' Association strike last week, the APEX strike is limited to the Lakes DHB, because anaesthetic technicians have district-specific agreements, not a nation-wide collective agreement.

This afternoon the union said mediation between the technicians and the DHB would begin on Thursday , followed by the second strike which is scheduled at 8am on Friday .


Elective surgeries originally planned for Wednesday and Friday are being rescheduled and only life preserving surgeries will go ahead.

Lakes District Health Board map. Photo / File
Lakes District Health Board map. Photo / File

Lakes DHB employs 11 anaesthetic technicians who mainly work in operating theatres helping anaesthetists.

They check and maintain the equipment and drugs are available, help insert airway devices and tubes into veins and arteries, and act as patient advocates.

The APEX strike notice was issued following failed collective bargaining.

Nick Saville-Wood. Photo / File
Nick Saville-Wood. Photo / File

Last week, acting chief executive Nick Saville-Wood said Lakes DHB had always bargained in good faith and would continue to do so.

Taupō Hospital will not be affected.