Around 500 nurses and midwives in Whanganui will make up some of the 30,000 striking nationwide on Wednesday, demanding better pay and conditions.
The strike was to begin at 11am, with nurses gathering at the State Highway 3 and Heads Rd roundabout, before marching to the hospital at the close of the strike.
The decision to strike came after New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) union members rejected a 1.4 per cent pay rise put on the table by a collective of all 20 DHBs negotiating with the union.
Further last-minute negotiations were conducted last week, but union members resoundingly voted against an amended offer on Monday.
The amended offer included a $4000 lump sum - a part payment on back pay that would be owed to members through a pay equity claim, alongside the already tabled 1.4 per cent pay rise.
Whanganui-based Registered nurse and NZNO National Delegate Carmel Scott said the move to strike is a result of nurse's pay packets just not keeping up with the cost of living.
"It's the cost of living, and it doesn't attract people. Who are you attracting to a career that doesn't meet the standard needs of living?
"People are looking overseas and looking at other opportunities. We want to keep nurses here."
In Whanganui, a number of surgeries and outpatient services will affected as a result of the strike, but the strike hasn't affected the oncology unit or existing Covid-19 vaccination appointments.
The DHB has been asked how many services or appointments have been affected.
On Tuesday Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that while the government was committed to lifting wages, what was being demanded was not realistic.
"The nurses' expectation, or at least the ask, had been for a 17 per cent increase - we're just not in the position to be able to deliver that."