Statement attributable to Andrew Slater, Chief People Officer Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora.

Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora remains frustrated and disappointed that strike action by some Resident Medical Officers is going ahead tomorrow, against the recommendation of the Employment Relations Authority when it ordered facilitation.

Our focus this week has been the ongoing facilitation with the New Zealand Resident Doctors Association (NZRDA) to try to resolve the issues and avoid further disruption to patients.

We have put everything we could into facilitation. The Employment Relations Authority recommended the union remove the strike notice while we work through this.

We have approached this facilitation constructively and are extremely disappointed that agreement has not been reached. We have asked the facilitator to make a recommendation to the parties, as we simply can’t afford to meet the union’s demands.

Our pay offer is very fair and represents around $140 million in additional investment for this workforce of 2,500. We’re also committed to continue working with NZRDA on issues around working conditions.

Under the Health NZ offer:

  1. All NZRDA RMOs get a pay rise, between 3% and 29.3%. The average is around 18%. THERE ARE NO PAY CUTS.
  2. By this time next year average NZRDA RMO salaries will have risen over $20,000.


The strike, by members of the New Zealand Resident Doctors Association (NZRDA), is due to run from 7:00am tomorrow until 8:00am Saturday 1 June.  Our hospitals will remain open and other doctors and other health professionals will be available to ensure the continued availability of critical health services for those who need them.  

Simultaneously, we have planned for the fact that APEX and PSA members employed by NZ Blood Service (NZBS) are taking rolling industrial action from 29 May to 19 June – with a full withdrawal of service on 31st May, for four hours by PSA and 24 hours by APEX, and all day on 4 June. Health NZ is not a party to these negotiations.

We are deeply concerned these two strikes were knowingly scheduled at the same time, which compounds the patient impact.  Our teams have undertaken extensive contingency planning to ensure that, as a minimum, life preserving services can be provided.

Our advice for all patients is:

  1. All emergency departments will remain open and hospital patients will receive safe care.
  2. Unless you are contacted directly, please attend any scheduled outpatient appointment or treatment.
  3. People with non-urgent ailments or injuries should contact their GP in the first instance. Anyone unsure about whether they need emergency department care should contact their GP or call Healthline (0800 611 116) for free advice.