Ambulances will no longer be sent to minor 111 calls as part of sweeping changes to help stem St John's $15 million-a-year loss.
Instead, such calls will be redirected to a GP or other health care, or a St John officer will be sent in a car - not a double-crewed ambulance.
Mr Brooke and Neil Chapman, of the First Union which represents more than 1000 ambulance staff, agreed that staff get "flogged" every winter.
Most of the extra 100 paramedics paid for by the Government were placed in the provinces, but Mr Chapman said more crews were needed in Auckland and other urban centres.
One problem Mr Chapman said the union was discussing with members and St John management was regular breaks during their 12 hour shifts.
Ambulance staff were supposed to have a break every 5 hours, but that was not always possible because of their heavy workloads.
"We've got to go because it's an emergency. That's fine but if you keep going and going ... If we had enough crews, we wouldn't be in this position."