For most Kiwis, Healthline appears as a faceless call centre with a slightly unfair reputation for long wait times.
But for those struck by Covid-19 either as a case or contact, Healthline - or Whakarongorau - has been an essential resource, distributing crucial information to prevent further virus transmission.
Faced with unprecedented demand when the Delta outbreak began in August, the company has seen its busiest days in the organisation's history with staff speaking to up to 35,000 Kiwis each day.
Most callers are grateful, some send flowers and chocolates to staff. Others, the minority, decide to abuse the people on the other end of the phone to the extent of sending death threats.
Faustina Hickson, 27, is one of roughly 1200 Healthline staff on the phones, dealing with Covid-19 queries.
She joined Whakarongorau's Auckland team in March, 2020 when she recognised it as an avenue through which she could help people.
For the most part, people who call in are grateful to have such support, which flows through to Hickson and her colleagues.
"It's an encouragement for the whole team when they say, 'You guys are doing an amazing job, thank you so much for everything that you're doing', that means a lot to us," she said.
However, when tensions are high - new cases are found or advice changes drastically - Hickson has found people's decorum dissolves as stress takes over.
"It's OK to be opinionated because everyone's entitled to their own opinions but there is a difference between being opinionated and being abusive and we do tend to get quite a few of those.
"I would like to ask for people to understand that we are human ... we just want everyone to understand that we are here sincerely and genuinely trying to help."
David Craig worked as a paramedic before joining Whakarongorau's branch in Marton about three months ago, giving advice to those isolating at home.
Much has been made of the dysfunction in the home isolation programme, particularly in its early stages.
However, 45-year-old Craig believes once people are in the system, he and his colleagues are able to provide the advice necessary for people to navigate their isolation period.
"Personally in my view, I think that what was put together and the way people are working both within the clinical team and the wider team have done an incredible job."
Through the hundreds of phone calls he's taken, only two people have hung up while others have given a range of responses.
"It's a real broad spectrum - you get people who are totally happy, you get people who are confused and upset, they don't understand the process and then anything in between."
His advice to anyone expecting a stint of isolation in their future to be honest about their needs and to keep their phone charged, so support services could contact them as soon as possible.
Healthline chief executive Andrew Slater admits 2021 was "the year that we hoped we'd never had".
At the height of Covid-19 concern in 2020, Healthline reached 15,000 calls in one day. That was doubled on multiple occasions in 2021, particularly following the Delta outbreak in August.
As a result, people had been made to wait hours for Covid-19 advice, however Slater maintains that occurs in the minority.
"I am doing everything I possibly can do to get calls answered as fast as possible but simply because of the unpredictability we work in, at the moment it's just balancing that on a daily basis which is really, really hard."
More than 90 per cent of the 4.6 million calls to Healthline between February 2020 and November 2021 were answered within 10 minutes - the company's goal.
While abuse directed at his staff is also not commonplace, Slater says it can have a significant impact on morale and had caused some staff to leave the organisation.
Counselling and rigorous training is available to ensure staff are well prepared to deal with people suffering from stress.
"We can empathise with the frustration but it's been really tough on our team," he said.
"More often than not, people are frustrated at something that isn't our people so our job is to use all of our training and techniques to help that person get what they need and reduce their frustration."
A consistent issue for Whakarongorau throughout 2021 has been keeping up with rapidly changing government advice on various Covid-19 matters.
Slater acknowledges it's something for which the organisation has copped flack from the public, but he maintains Healthline is as flexible as possible while working in an environment where hundreds of locations of interests could be added every hour.
Equity has been a critical issue throughout New Zealand's response to Covid-19. In healthcare, whether it be in person at a GP or over the phone with a Healthline staffer, Kiwis want to be taken care of by members of their community.
Of Healthline's 2556 staff, 19 per cent are Māori while 22 per cent are Pasifika. In the organisation's 1240-strong Covid-19 team, the levels are higher at 30 per cent for both Māori and Pasifika.
Slater says the number of Māori and Pasifika at Healthline had grown substantially in recent years and the organisation aims to continue improving the diversity amongst staff.
Despite the challenges the organisation faces through Covid-19, Healthline chief customer experience officer Mary Lose is confident the service provided is one which would satisfy her own whānau.
"I'm really proud to know if my Mum called up that line, she would get the help that she would need," she said.