Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says he is disappointed level 3 restrictions have been extended but urged residents to stay the course to avoid the "absolute tragedy" happening in Melbourne.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this afternoon Auckland would stay in lockdown until 11.59pm on Sunday, and the city and the rest of New Zealand would remain at alert level 2 after that.
The current schedule was for level 3 in Auckland and level 2 for the rest of the country until 11.59pm on Wednesday.
The extra four days would allow Auckland to move down a level "and stay down", Ardern said.
Goff said he was "disappointed", but believed Aucklanders would understand why the decision was made.
"This will be difficult for people whose jobs and businesses are most affected by level 3 restrictions.
"However, the advice given by medical experts is clear; if we ease up on restrictions too early, we risk a further resurgence and losing the benefits we gained from ensuring the virus is contained."
The extension follows calls from the business community to end the restrictions as soon as possible, as the Auckland Chamber of Commerce reports 20 per cent of businesses fear they might not make it through another extended lockdown.
However, Goff said during a press conference this afternoon while he "really feels for businesses", the idea of choosing between health or the economy was a "false dichotomy".
He pointed to cities like Melbourne, which had seen a rapid resurgence in Covid-19 cases with hundreds daily, and a death toll over 400.
It was an example of how the situation could escalate if strong measures were not followed through, and the high death rates and increased economic pain it could cause, he said.
"Melbourne has the worst of both worlds - people dying from the contagion of this disease, and a lockdown even more severe than we are undergoing at the moment. We want to avoid that at all costs.
"Allowing the virus to gain a foothold in Auckland would risk significant loss of life among some of our most vulnerable communities and would also have severe economic impacts and effects on already struggling businesses.
"We need to stamp out this latest outbreak as quickly as possible so that we are not forced into a worse situation later."
This lockdown would have an impact "less severe by far" on the economy than the initial lockdown, Goff said, and he was grateful for Government support of some big projects, including the rail line to Pukekohe.
"I will continue working with the Government to make sure those go ahead," Goff said.
Council had been able to keep its investment in infrastructure at $2.6 billion - $1b more than the average over the last five years.
"That's the part that we can play in stimulating the economy and creating jobs."
As part of today's announcement, Ardern said everyone would be required to wear masks on public transport for level 2 and above, and this would come into force on Monday.
Goff urged Aucklanders to continue following such guidelines, along with physical distancing, hand washing, and tracking movements with the NZ Covid Tracer app.
"Everything we can do in the fight against this disease makes a difference, and I believe the mandatory wearing of masks on public transport is sensible given our recent experience.
"It is also strongly advised to wear a face covering in other situations where physical distancing is difficult, such as when going shopping.
"Please continue to be vigilant for Covid-19 symptoms — contact your GP or Healthline if you get sick and follow their advice on testing.
"Aucklanders have beaten this virus once by working together. If we all stay the course for the next four days, we will have the best chance of beating it again and getting back to level 2 and level 1 restrictions as soon as possible."
Goff also made a reference to reports of Aucklanders flouting level 3 social distancing guidelines, such as children seen playing at a skate park on the North Shore in recent days.
"When we break the rules, we don't put just ourselves at risk, we put other, more vulnerable people at risk."
Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield announced nine new cases of Covid-19 on Monday, including eight connected to the Auckland cluster and one in managed isolation.
The latest cases take the Auckland Americold cluster total to 101, the country's largest so far.