A patient who had her cancer surgery postponed says nurses are invaluable.
More than 30,000 workers walked off the job yesterday, following failed pay and welfare negotiations.
"The issues faced and reported by our members have arisen from a decade of severe underfunding of our public hospitals which have failed to keep pace with growing community need, the ageing population and workforce, and increased costs," NZNO Industrial Services Manager Cee Payne said before the strike.
The 24-hour strike ends at 7am on Friday morning.
Margaret Garden had a call the morning of her surgery informing her strike action had delayed her procedure.
She says she supports the nurses' plight, but she's not happy about the postponement.
"Nurses, myself, I think are wonderful. To be honest, I think they do an amazing job and they do deserve what they want, but in another respect, I can see how it affects other people," she said.
Ms Garden believes DHBs should not have postponed major surgeries like hers.
"It's been really hard, I'm really tired, pretty exhausted, I just want to get it over and done with so I can start healing again," she said.
Ms Garden believes it's not fair on patients or those supporting them.
"Major surgeries should still be going ahead, it's not fair on the patient, it's not fair on the families, it's not fair on anyone," she said.