Have been told the story of a Kiwi family in Australia who were desperate to get home, as there were serious mental health issues due to being stuck in Australia. But the Government refused them a compassionate spot in MIQ and of course people in Australia can't even go into the MIQ ballot at the moment.
So what they did was book an airfare to fiji which had a stopover in Auckland. In Auckland they got the kids to refuse to get back on the plane, as the kids wanted to see the rest if their family in Auckland. It seems that there is some international convention that prohibits forcing children onto a place, so the family was then transferred into an MIQ facility in Auckland, which is what they wanted.
The MIQ facility was in fact half empty (as many are, as the Government is unable to do simple stuff like match supply and demand) so they weren't even taking a place from someone else.
So if you have kids, can't get an MIQ spot, and don't mind forking out for a wasted airfare to Fiji, this could be a way home!
And it occurs to me there is another way stranded Kiwis could get home, even if they don't have kids. Just book an airfare which has an Auckland stopover and during the stopover, claim asylum. I know it is ridiculous for a NZ citizen to claim asylum against a country they have lived in such as Australia or the UK, but it doesn't matter how ridiculous it is.
You see the moment you have informed a NZ official that you are seeking asylum, they are forbidden from forcing you to get back on the plane you were on. So the plane will leave without you, and you will be transferred to MIQ. You then drop your claim for asylum and after your MIQ stay, get to stay in NZ (as a NZ citizen or permanent resident).