A woman offered a nappy in place of sanitary products while in managed isolation has prompted an apology from the ministry which oversees the facilities.
Meanwhile, another woman has raised concerns no culturally appropriate food was available at her facility.
Danika Revell, chief executive and co-founder of The Period Place, has raised concern about the lack of sanitary products available in isolation and quarantine facilities after a friend of hers was told she'd have to wait at least four hours for staff to buy some and offered a nappy in the meantime.
The woman got her period during her flight from Europe and arrived at the Ellerslie Novotel isolation facility to find no sanitary products in her room.
She called down to reception to ask for some about 8am and was told staff did a run to the local petrol station at noon to pick up supplies for guests and could get some then.
When she questioned what she was supposed to do in the meantime, a nurse told her they could give her a nappy.
The woman did not expect the hotel to provide sanitary products in every room but expected they would have a few available in case of need.
"You can call reception and get a razor for a guy - you should be able to get a tampon for a girl," she said.
Revell said the staff at the facilities were doing their best but there had been a lack of foresight about realities like women having periods while in isolation.
"I think the fact that free period products aren't put in every isolation room is just appalling," she said. "It's hard enough being in isolation without the indignity."
It also had the potential to become a health issue for staff at the facilities if they had to enter the rooms more often to change towels or sheets that had been soiled because of a lack of proper products, she said.
"Every room should have period products in the bathroom just like they have soap and they have toilet paper."
A Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) spokesperson said they "sincerely apologised that this individual has experienced this situation".
The spokesperson said people were expected to supply their own personal items and could buy them via online shopping while in isolation. If they were unable to do so they could request assistance through onsite welfare, wellbeing co-ordinator or onsite healthcare staff.
"Staff are committed to ensuring that people's stay in managed isolation and quarantine is as comfortable as possible and will occasionally go out of their way to ensure that a guest gets what they need."
Another woman staying in managed isolation questioned the food being offered to those in the facilities.
Annie, who asked that her last name not be used, is staying at the Crowne Plaza with her 15-year-old son who had just arrived from China to live with her here. The 14 days were costing the pair slightly more than $4000.
Her son had not been to New Zealand before and was not used to Western food but that was all that was available to order from the hotel menu, she said
The Hamilton-based woman said her son was not able to eat much for the first couple of days but was getting used to the different food.
"He's young. He can adapt to the Western food really quickly. It's the old people who will struggle."
She believed there would be many people from a range of countries in a similar situation.
They were well looked after at the facility, she said, but an improvement in the range of food would make an already difficult 14 days slightly more bearable.
"Isolation is not easy. Mentally and physically you have to be strong," she said. "It's just the small things. They could think about if they can have one Asian meal."
The MIQ spokesperson said hotels had to confirm they could provide three meals a day that met returnees' dietary requirements, medical needs and cultural tastes as part of the assessment to determine it would be a suitable isolation facility.
Requirements such as allergies, intolerances, preferences, and cultural or religious considerations were identified through a questionnaire completed when people entered the facility, they said.
As part of the new allocation system, returnees could now advise MIQ of dietary needs in advance of their arrival.