The clock is ticking down to Tuesday's MIQ lottery with 3800 rooms to be allocated from 6pm.
It is the second one since the government changed the system. People get an hour to pile into the virtual and randomly get allocated a pot in the queue.
Last time though the demand way dwarfed supply and there likely to be thousands of disappointed would be returnee again.
Poet and writer Hinemoana Baker had been on a Creative NZ writing residency in Germany in 2015. She had been in Berlin completing a PhD when the pandemic hit.
She waited to be double vaccinated before trying to get home, then the freeze went on MIQ.
She tells Lisa Owen there is comradeship among New Zealanders stuck overseas, but it is a distressing experience trying to get a lottery ticket to return home.