Wellington Hospital is urging people to seek medical help for illness before it gets so bad they need hospital care.
Capital and Coast DHB's Emergency Services head of nursing Lee Allsop says staff have been overwhelmed in recent weeks by growing numbers of patients.
Normally about 115 people visit Wellington Hospital's emergency department each day.
Lee Allsop says during August the average was 135 and on some days visits peaked at 150 people.
She says the result is waiting times for treatment of up to six hours.