A shocking video shot this morning in South Auckland shows a queue for the Māngere Pak'nSave stretching out of the carpark and more than 100m down the road before the store had even opened.
The footage lays bare the huge demand on our supermarkets as Kiwis turn up in their droves to buy essential items during our level 4 lockdown.
"Thought we could do our shopping this morning," the caption reads.
"Nek minute. The queue is over the bridge. No thanks."
Similar queues were seen in Clendon and Papakura.
The line outside Pak'nSave in Clendon this morning. Photo / Supplied
Another line at the Papakura branch. Photo / Supplied
Antoinette Laird, Head of Corporate Affairs for Pak'nSave operator Foodstuffs NZ admitted that lines could be long and asked Kiwis to limit their visits.
"At some stores the queues can be long – which is why we remind people to only visit the supermarket for essential items when absolutely necessary. It is not a social occasion and we ask the public to limit the number of visits and the amount time they spend in-store to help us minimise the risk to all," Laird told the Herald.
Foodstuffs recommended Kiwis check their fridge and pantry before they head out.
"Then ask the question - do I have enough in my cupboard to makes the meals for today? If the answer is yes, then don't go to the supermarket," Laird said.
"If the answer of no, then by all means venture out, with a list and shop swiftly while adhering to the physical distancing requirements."
Laird said it was heartening to see customers "100% adhering to the physical distancing requirements" and noted that "while the lines are long [customers] seem to #bekind to each other while they are waiting."
Nationwide focus has been on supermarkets this week, as the prime minister sought to investigate accusations of price gouging.
The government set up a website for Kiwis to raise concerns about supermarket price rises during the coronavirus lockdown.
Officials were in daily contact with supermarkets and while there had been no confirmed reports of price-gouging, the Government set up a dedicated email for reporting.
She asked for anyone with suspicions to send through any pictures or copies of their receipts to the website.
Jacinda Ardern later revealed nearly 1000 people had sent in complaints about price-gouging at supermarkets after the dedicated email was set up.
The most common complaint was about the high price of cauliflower - up to $13 each - but hand sanitiser, bread, meat, face masks and garlic also featured.
Ardern said those complaints would be taken seriously.
"The process for dealing with complaints is being worked through... and we will involve traders so they have a chance to respond."