National | Covid-19 Testing

Testing centres in South Auckland cracking under Omicron rush

According to modelling data from the Counties-Manukau District Health Board, daily case numbers are likely to hit 4,000, with 9,000 daily cases as a worst-case scenario, and testing centres in South Auckland are set to bear the brunt.

In Manurewa, queues stretched along footpaths and almost half the length of Weymouth Rd today. Manurewa Marae chief executive Takutai Moana Kemp is staggered at the sheer volume of people turning up to get tested.

"No, we definitely don't have the infrastructure to meet those modelling numbers."

"We usually went from anywhere between 60-100 tests a day. Now we are anywhere between 400-600 tests a day."

Today marked another record high for daily case numbers in New Zealand, with 3,297 cases and 1,729 of those in Auckland alone.

Issues over the supply of testing kits continue to swirl - see Sir Ian Taylor 'depressed by government incompetence' on Covid testing.

Little comfort for the poor

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says with an estimated seven million RAT kits available to help testing centres, while demand is high, the government has control of the situation.

"There is no question that we have a large amount of demand for testing right now, and even though Rapid Antigen Testing isn't as accurate as the tests we have used before, they are going to help ease the pressure."

But those assurances are little comfort for those lining up for a test at Papakura Marae today. Tony Kake of Papakura Marae says for poor families, just lining up for a test is a financial burden.

"They don't have the petrol, they don't have the luxury of having to sit in the car and keep the engine running. That's where the inequity is."

"We will struggle to meet that demand just here in Papakura."