Hospital staff in parts of Auckland are having to work extra shifts to cope with an influx of patients with winter-related illnesses.
Waitemata District Health Board says Waitakere and North Shore hospitals are stretched to capacity because of a surge in patient numbers over the past fortnight.
DHB chief executive Dr Dale Bramley said cold winter conditions usually push up numbers but this year admissions are up 20 percent on the same two weeks in 2013.
He said the hospitals are operating at full capacity and have had to postpone surgical appointments for some patients.
The Auckland District Health Board says it has also seen an increase in admissions compared with the same time last year, but a spokesperson said the increase could not be put down to flu season.
Surgeries have not been affected by the increase in patients.