Hundreds have gathered in protest for University of Auckland staff in an effort to get better pay for those on the bottom of the scale.
A few hundred academic and professional staff members have been supported by a number of students in a half-day strike on Thursday.
The Tertiary Education Union said negotiations with university management have been going on for over several months, with little progress made.
"We want a fair pay system for professional staff. There's no way of getting increase to our salary other than by a performance review. You can work there for 10 to 12 years and have no increase in salary," professional staffer Libby Haskell told NZ Newswire.
The union had proposed a 1.2 per cent pay increase in 2017 followed by a flat rate pay rise of $1200 from February 1, 2018, as well as a $3500 increase for those being paid the least.
The offer was rejected by the university in favour of a 1.2 per cent increase in pay for two consecutive years, followed by discussions.
"We don't take the decision to go on strike lightly. Our preference is to conduct our research and to teach," TEU academic co-president John Egan said.
The Auckland University Students' Association is backing the union.
"Obviously it's not ideal that bargaining processes have got to the point where student classes are being affected by a strike, but I'm confident that most students will understand that this is an option that the TEU has taken only after engaging in a long and frustrated bargaining process," AUSA President Will Matthews said.