Many people will have received Civil Defence's emergency txt message about the level change at around 10.15pm last night - then again around 6.55am this morning.
Why the repeat?
Vodafone says an un-related technology upgrade meant that some of its customers did not receive the message last night.
"When it was determined that a number of people didn't receive a delayed message, it was a bit late so it was decided that 6:55am would be a more appropriate time instead of waking the whole of NZ up," a Vodafone insider tells the Herald.
Each Emergency Mobile Alert is accompanied by a loud squawk - as many Kiwis found to their annoyance when an early drill went awry
Civil Defence comms manager Anthony Frith says the second message went to everyone, not just the Vodafone customers who missed out last night.
That tactic saved the effort of trying to weed out who didn't receive it and "was a timely reminder for everybody," about Auckland's midday move to level 3, and the rest of the nation's shift to level 2, Frith says.
Based on a drill in November last year, around four in five phones would have received the text, Frith said (a list of compatible phones is here).
The Herald understands Spark was aware of level change at least an hour before the public announcement at 9.15pm.
A Vodafone spokeswoman said, "We have been working closely with government agencies throughout the response to Covid-19, including Civil Defence who manages the emergency alerts, and can't publicly confirm confidential discussions or timelines on when they occurred."
Civil Defence's Frith said the emergency system, which is designed to push a text message to every Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees phone, was designed for immediate use, given a short-notice disaster like a tsunami could be involved. The three mobile operators would not necessarily get any heads-up before any given emergency alert.
The Emergency Mobile Alert system was also used to send two messages during last year's Sky City International Convention Centre fire. A number of people complained they only received one message, or none. But Frith said some lived on the fringes of the CBD area targetted for the text, or had moved in or out of the geo-targetted areas between the two alerts.