An Auckland nurse says hospital staff shortages mean they can not do their jobs properly and that is putting patients lives at risk.
The Nurses Organisation surveyed charge nurses at Auckland and Starship hospitals and found they were short of about 120 nurses.
A senior nurse, who did not wish to be named, says they are two nurses down at each shift and only have time to do the very basic in care.
The nurse says there have already been a few close calls and believes it is only a matter of time before someone dies.
She says she is concerned that with winter approaching, the problem will be exacerbated.
The district health board disputes the survey figures and says there are more staff now than there was last year.
The board says patient safety and staff welfare are its top concerns.