With Kiwis experiencing wait times of nearly 12 hours to get a Covid-19 test, the Herald has whipped up a survivor's guide for anyone venturing out to get one.
Many people keen to help the Government beat the latest outbreak, which has been confirmed as the highly contagious Delta strain, are being left high, dry, hungry and angry and there doesn't appear to be enough testing stations - or staff, or both - to help cope with the influx.
Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall apologised for those caught out by long waits yesterday and admitted staff were under pressure.
She reminded people only to get a test if they had been to a place of interest - which now numbered more than 100 - or had symptoms.
A North Shore woman and her 20-year-old son, who had been at Bar 101 on Saturday night, waited nearly 12 hours for a test at North Harbour Stadium in Albany yesterday - only to be told they couldn't be seen and to return today.
Not expecting such a long wait, they left home simply fuelled by coffee and armed with one phone charger between the pair of them.
They arrived at the Oteha Valley Rd queue about 8.15am.
"We finally got into the gates of the stadium at around 11.30am thinking – 'wow this has taken a while but we are in'. Little did we know what was to unfold for the rest of the day and night," she explained in frustration.
They were in the queue alongside other vehicles that also had children and babies and by now they'd been waiting more than eight hours.
She said they were not only "very tired" but angry and agitated as they pulled in to get a test only for an attendant to put orange cones in front of them and say they had to return today.
"I had asked on three separate occasions before exiting the stadium that my son and I be tested as he had been to Bar101 and had symptoms, was feeling unwell and desperately needed testing.
"There were hundreds of cars turned away like ourselves – untested."
The woman said her son now didn't want to go and get a test.
"How serious is this Government at wanting to stamp out this virus?"
The mother of six said she now refuses to go back to a testing station, but had made an appointment with her local GP to be tested this afternoon, "something I should have thought about yesterday but wasn't aware it was free".
WHAT TO TAKE:
Although we shouldn't need to prepare apocalypse-style when going to get a Covid test, the Herald has compiled a list of things to pack in the car to fend off boredom and hunger.
• Food - you could be there all day, take a variety of treats
• Drinks - water, coffee, juice, fizzy or all of the above
• Smart phone
• Smart phone charger
• iPad - log into Netflix and watch a movie or five
• Books or magazines
• Tissues or wipes to deal with any spillages
• Layer your clothing: when chilly morning turns to afternoon you can shed, and then put back on as it turns to night
• Blankets. You never know
• Toys or games if kids - big or little - are in the car
• Fill up your vehicle with gas - especially if you're using AC
• Feel free to send through any more suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add them to the list!