Auckland's district health boards have the funding and people to handle the massive task of tackling the region's elective surgery backlog, Health Minister Andrew Little says.
But not everyone shares his optimism.
Under the national guidelines for alert level 4, all non-urgent care, including surgery and outpatient appointments, have been postponed.
Auckland's DHBs have not been able to provide exact numbers on how many procedures have been cancelled at this stage.
But in June 2020, it was revealed Counties Manukau DHB had deferred between 1400 and 1600 elective surgery operations due to the first Covid-19 lockdown.
Health commentator and former Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) executive director Ian Powell said last week that DHBs would face a real test to get on top of the backlog after this lockdown.
"The issue will be getting the medical staff and nursing staff to carry out the catch-up operations. It will be a real logistical challenge."
Little said the Government allocated an additional $282.5m over a three-year period in 2020 to support DHBs to catch up with the backlog.
"That included $50m for facilities improvements."
Little said the Government had allocated a further $90m this year to help with the catch-up.
"The Ministry of Health will continue to work with DHBs to catch up with deferred planned care," he said.
"But I'm confident that DHBs are capable of recovering those backlogs and they will continue to be supported to do so."
Patient Voice Aotearoa spokesman Malcolm Mulholland said it's not just a matter of throwing money at the problem.
"You can't just magic up the staff to carry out the surgery and take away the backlog," he said.
"Money is one aspect of it, but it won't solve the problem."
Mulholland said cancelling surgery due to the lockdown was understandable in the circumstances, "but all they are doing is delaying the backlog".
Mulholland said more creative solutions were needed, including engaging more with the private sector and bringing in staff from outside the region.
More collaboration between DHBs was also required, he said.
A spokeswoman for the Northern Region Health Co-ordination Centre said DHBs were contacting patients directly to reschedule appointments, and were working through that process as quickly as possible.