A group of Indian nurses say they are willing to die if they are not allowed to live and work in New Zealand.
In May, TV ONE's Close Up revealed some Indian nurses have come to New Zealand on the false hope they will find work, only to be turned away by the Nursing Council.
The nurses, who have spent up to $17,000 on postgraduate study in New Zealand, were told their Indian qualifications were not acceptable.
The nursing students have now started a hunger strike after months of talks between the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and the Nursing Council to try and work out a solution.
"If the [authorities] are not willing to listen to our problems, then we are willing to die," nursing student Matthew Jose said.
"If any of them collapse or fall down while fasting in strike we are not going to take them to the hospital," Sen George, another student, said.
After the group took their concerns to Parliament, the NZQA launched an investigation, saying the nurses needed to demonstrate why they should stay and work.
"(There needs to be) benchmarking of their international qualifications, providing an opportunity for a professional demonstration of their clinical skills, and in some instances, more study," NZQA Deputy Chief Executive Tim Fowler said.
The nursing group said the authorities were inconsistent, claiming colleagues with the same qualifications are working in New Zealand hospitals.
Tertiary Minister Steven Joyce said the protest is too extreme, and is concerned their actions could have an impact on the country's reputation.
"From the wider New Zealand perspective, we don't want any suggestion that people have come here under one assumption, and they are not able to train."
A review for the nurses qualifications is expected next week.