Tanya Dang travelled from India to New Zealand for a "dream reunion", but has instead been stuck in an Auckland hotel with her parents, aunts and an uncle - and is depending on a charity for food supplies.

The family who was due to fly back to India via Thai Airways on March 22 got caught in the Indian Government decision to suspend all international flights arriving and departing from the country in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Dang, 35, says the family of six are running out of money to pay for food and their stay at the Quadrant Hotel and are being helped by a local charity, Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust, with food supplies.

Jeet Suchdev, from the trust, said his organisation was helping about 60 families and individuals from India who are stranded here because of the travel ban.

Jeet Suchdev, of Bhartiya Samaj, says many stranded tourists are running out of money. Photo / File
Jeet Suchdev, of Bhartiya Samaj, says many stranded tourists are running out of money. Photo / File

"They are stuck here through no fault of their own, and they are running out of money for food and accommodation," Suchdev said.

"We are getting volunteers to help buy food and groceries, and drop them off - of course contactless - just to make sure these people don't go hungry."

Suchdev said besides tourists, the trust had been contacted by several distressed international students and temporary visa holders who did not meet the requirements for financial support from the Government and were in "very desperate situations".

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He said the trust was working with the Hon Consul of India in Auckland to provide support to people who are in most desperate need.

Dang, a marketing and sales executive, and her family members aged between 47 and 63, came to New Zealand on March 3.

"We have relatives here and have been planning this dream reunion trip for a long time," she said.

"Never in our wildest imagination did we think that we will end up in a situation like this where we can't go home."


Dang was appealing for the New Zealand and Indian governments to help their accommodation fees.

"We are only in this situation because of the Government's decisions," she said.

"I know they did this to stop the coronavirus, but that has put us in this desperate situation. The shut down in India of businesses also means we can't get money transferred over."

One of the relative's visa had also expired, and the others will be expiring in the next fortnight.

Hotel operator Sunny Kaushal from the Quadrant said the family had been offered a "very low discounted rate" of $160 for a premier room as a way to help them.

"Our staff is providing extra linen, towels, amenities free for the extra two persons as our helping hand to them because the apartment was meant just for four people," he said.

"We live in challenging times and together we will come through it. In these hard times all of us have a role to play, I am doing whatever we can do to assist the people, visitors and helping them."

Tanya Dang (right) and her relatives can't fly back to India and are stuck in an Auckland hotel. Photo / Supplied
Tanya Dang (right) and her relatives can't fly back to India and are stuck in an Auckland hotel. Photo / Supplied

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was working on a framework for repatriation flights for foreign nationals.

However, it was difficult due to a lack of commercial flights operating.

They are advised to keep in contact with their respective embassies and high commissions.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment had received 213 registrations and 134 placements and as at 1300 as off Monday March 30.

Anyone needing accommodation during the lockdown can ring 0508 754 163.

There is a cost for temporary accommodation, which the ministry will work out with each individual about how to meet the cost.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website