New Zealanders trapped overseas frustrated at mercy flights from New South Wales

New Zealanders stuck in other countries are frustrated MIQ spots were added for mercy flights out of Sydney and not for them.

The Prime Minister's also had to clarify why people fleeing New South Wales are getting their two-week stay for free, when travel advice in April warned otherwise.

Those who are returning from New South Wales touch down and go straight into MIQ.

It's a tough pill to swallow for Kiwis stranded in other countries - struggling to get a spot.

Kira Gurnee is a New Zealand resident and went to Los Angeles in March to visit a relative with stage four cancer.

She's ready to come home to her Kiwi husband in Hawke's Bay - the only thing stopping her is finding a spot in MIQ.

"You just feel like no matter what you do you're fighting an uphill battle, you're swimming against the stream," she told Newshub. 

Gurnee believes her failure is due to bots snatching up spare rooms - but the Prime Minister says the system is protected. 

"We see no evidence that bots are actually able to make the bookings," Ardern said. 

Ardern also faced questions about why passengers coming from Sydney will get their two weeks of isolation for free 

In April, a MIQ spokesperson said if COVID-19 forced travellers from Australia to go into MIQ, they would have to pay for their stay. 

Despite that early advice, Ardern says that was never Cabinet's view.

"It may take some weeks to get everyone home, they are bearing the brunt of those decisions, we are simply covering the cost of quarantine."

She added those rooms have come from contingency and won't affect Kiwis trying to get home from elsewhere.

"I'm a very positive person, I'm always sure if there's a will there's a way," says Gurnee. 

But with all 2000 spots for November already snatched up, it's going to be a long wait regardless.