A new survey of health workers nationwide has found nine in 10 believe they can't provide Kiwis the care they need because of underfunding.
The survey has prompted emergency department nurse Nico Woodward to speak out, saying patients' health is at risk.
"We have overstretched, overworked staff who can't provide the care that New Zealanders need and deserve," he says.
"We strive to be the best health workers that we can, but we can only do so much with the resources and staffing that we have."
Mr Woodard says it's distressing being unable to do his job properly.
"I get really frustrated when I know that I can care for someone but I can't simply due to understaffing.
"It's not a reflection on us or a lack of knowledge, it's the fact that we are doing as well as we can with very limited services and we're just getting stretched."
The survey comes after more than 3000 junior doctors went on strike last year demanding safer working hours.