Most popular: Nurses union says they have 'strongly rejected' latest pay offer from DHB, with strikes still possible

Nurses have 'strongly' rejected the new pay offer from district health boards (DHBs) after the nurses threatened to strike amid a staffing crisis..

However, New Zealand Nurses Organisation chief executive Memo Musa said that strike action was a last resort and they were committed to working with DHBs for a resolution.

Last month DHBs offered nurses pay rises of 9 percent over the next 15 months in a bid to avoid nation-wide strikes, with some eligible for a 15 percent increase.

The offer includes a one-off payment of $2000, a two percent increase in staffing, as well as two new steps on the pay scale.

The new steps would mean registered nurses with more than five years of experience could have their base salaries boosted from $66,755 to $77,386 by December next year.

Nurses have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strikes if today's vote reveals they consider the latest offer to be inadequate.

The strikes are scheduled for 5 and 13 July for 24-hours but DHBs have contingency plans in place and life-preserving services will continue.

Most of the nearly 30,000 nurses and midwives voted overwhelmingly against the deal offered. Source: 1 NEWS