Midwives to walk off the job after agreement can't be reached with District Health Boards

Midwives employed by District Health Boards (DHBs) will walk off the job over conditions and pay, announcing rolling strikes across New Zealand next week.

On Monday, DHB-employed midwives in Northland, Auckland and Southern regions will stop work for eight hours. They'll then strike in other regions throughout the week, before a rally at Parliament on Thursday.

Midwifery Employee Representation and Advisory Services industrial co-leader Jill Ovens says there's been no urgency to address a "critical" shortage.

Ovens says DHBs and the Ministry of Health needed to commit to midwife recruitment.

"DHBs are operating at minimum staffing levels and in some cases, unsafe staffing levels," she said in a statement. 

"This puts midwives at risk and it puts the women and babies of New Zealand at risk."

The Ministry of Health has been contacted for a response to the impending strike action.

Midwives have previously told Newshub their working conditions had become so extreme they could only work part-time, while others were leaving the industry altogether. 

The strike action comes after nurses said they would too strike over pay and conditions - for the second time this year.