A wheelchair-bound Christchurch pensioner sent alone to Auckland has been hospitalised after lonely weeks at a rest home, where her family said she was struck down by pneumonia and infections.

Paula McDaniel, who spent her days at a Pakuranga pub awaiting her return to husband Bill in Christchurch, has recovered from critical condition at Middlemore Hospital - and was yesterday to be put back into the rest home where she became ill.

Her family said it was "beyond belief" that after time in hospital and seven weeks of trying to bring her closer to them, the beloved wife, mother and grandmother remained entangled in bureaucracy.

Mrs McDaniel has a long-term illness that makes it difficult for her to form words or push her wheelchair to the toilet.

She was flown to Auckland from a private hospital after the earthquake and put in a rest home, where she was told she might have to remain for up to six months.

Daughter Marjolein Reynolds, who lives in New Plymouth, said her mother had to be taken to hospital in an ambulance last week because of complications.

Mr McDaniel, 78, flew to Auckland on a "mercy dash" because the family were told Mrs McDaniel could die.

But she recovered, and the family returned to their homes.

As soon as Ms Reynolds arrived at her house yesterday, she was told her mother was to be discharged that afternoon and transferred to the rest home.

"I'm just wound up. I want her in a home in New Plymouth, and I've been trying for weeks," Ms Reynolds said.

The head of an agency overseeing placements of Christchurch medical refugees in Auckland, Taikura Trust chief executive Sonia Hawea, said that after Herald inquiries "things are now moving forward" and Mrs Reynolds should be transferred to New Plymouth in about a week.

The emergency transfers from Christchurch had been complicated, and the trust had not been made aware of many of the people that came up to Auckland, Ms Hawea said.

Middlemore Hospital said last night that Mrs McDaniel had been discharged, but could not reveal to the Herald where she had gone.

A Counties Manukau District Health Board spokeswoman said that all that was necessary to get a transfer from the hospital was to contact its needs assessment team.

"You can discuss where they want to go and we will arrange it. It's absolutely normal for us."

Allan Sargeant, the owner and chief executive of Auckland rest home Ambridge Rose Manor, where Mrs McDaniel had been staying, , said she had received all the care she needed there, and it had been an independent assessment from a GP that put her in Middlemore.

"We have been notified that she will be transferred down the line," Mr Sargeant said yesterday.

"There were 599 other people displaced and she is just one of those, and our sympathy and support go out to all of them."