Cancer services are experiencing a "huge demand" during lockdown but unlike last year hospitals are far more prepared to combat the added pressure, experts say.
It comes as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced this afternoon that the whole country would stay in alert level 4 until Friday and Auckland until next Tuesday.
Cancer Society's Auckland chief executive Andrew Young said demand for cancer services increased dramatically during lockdown.
"Patients' anxiety raised and our psychologist and counsellors are on the phone and in demand more than ever," Young said.
The charity's lodges - where patients stay while getting urgent treatment away from home - had also been in huge demand, he said.
But unlike last year's nationwide lockdown, hospitals were committed to keeping all cancer services operating to avoid delayed diagnoses and deferred treatment.
Top oncologist Chris Jackson, who is also the society's medical director, said it knew from last year that many people put off going to see their doctor during lockdown out of fear of Covid, which resulted in cancer going undetected.
"I really would encourage people to see their doctor during lockdown if they have any concerns," he said.
Disruption to cancer services was nowhere near as severe as what hospitals were seeing overseas and that was due to New Zealand's elimination strategy, he said.
"Clearly no one wants to be at level 4 and health services were not where we wanted them to be but long term this was the best option for cancer patients."
Most specialist appointments were being done via tele health which worked in the short term but, Jackson said, it was the not a long-term solution.
The longer lockdown goes on, the more severe the impact on "non-urgent" healthcare, he said.