Strike action by hospital midwives
20/11/2018 8:42:22 a.m.

Impact of hospital midwives strike at Lakes DHB hospitals

• Rotorua Hospital
• Taupo Hospital

Midwives who are members of the midwifery union MERAS are going on strike twice a day for two hours from Thursday 22 November.

This does not affect Lead Maternity Carers (LMCs).

Our priority is the safety of women and their infants and we have plans in place to ensure women can access the services they need and are kept safe during the strike.

No women will be turned away from our delivery suites.

We are planning for minimal or virtually no disruption to our maternity services at our hospitals, but in the event of any disruption we thank you for your patience. 

The industrial action will affect Rotorua and Taupo Birthing Units, post natal units and some maternity outpatient clinics. If an appointment at an ante-natal clinic is affected we will contact those women directly.

DHBs are continuing to talk to the union to try and settle these negotiations and prevent industrial action.

If you have any concerns or questions please contact your midwife.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


1. What happens if I need to go into hospital to give birth or have another procedure and the midwives’ is on strike?
If the hospital midwife caring for you is taking part in the two hour strike during the time you are in hospital, if they have not already started to treat you, you may be cared for by another midwife. If the hospital midwife caring for you is already part way through a procedure that cannot be delayed they will continue to care for you.

2. How many midwives are going on strike?
There are around 45 midwives who are members of the midwifery union MERAS across Rotorua and Taupo hospitals. We do have other midwifery staff who belong to a different union.

3. How can you be sure that you will have enough midwives to care for me?
We have agreed with the union for a number of midwives to be on site to provide care to women to keep them safe during the hours their colleagues are on strike. We also have more midwives on call if needed.

4. My caesarean section is planned for that time, will it be cancelled?
Some elective c-sections times may change, as there may be some changes to the theatre schedule. Any caesarean that is clinically urgent will not be delayed.

5. When exactly is the strike action?
The rolling stoppages are mostly for two hours twice a day for two weeks, starting on Thursday 22 November. The times will change each day. The first day is from 11am to 1pm and from 8pm to 10pm.

Current notices of industrial action at Rotorua and Taupo Hospital:
• 22/11/18 1101-1301 2001-2201
• 23/11/18 0901-1101 2101-2301
• 24/11/18 1001-1201
• 25/11/18 0501-0701 1101-1301
• 26/11/18 1001-1201 1901-2101
• 27/11/18 1101-1301 2001-2201
• 28/11/18 1201-1401 2101-2301
• 29/11/18 0501-0701
• 30/11/18 1001-1201 1901-2101
• 1/12/18 1301-1501 2001-2201
• 2/12/18 1001-1201 2001-2201
• 3/12/18 1201-1401 1901-2101

• 4/12/18 1301-1501 2001-2201
• 5/12/18 2101-2301

6. What is the DHB doing to prevent the strikes?
This strike affects all DHBs and negotiations are happening at a national level. We are keen to continue talking to the union and will continue trying to settle these negotiations and prevent industrial action.