The Human Rights Commission (HRC) has confirmed Chief Human Rights Commissioner Professor Paul Hunt has tested positive for Covid-19 after travelling to Europe.
In a statement the HRC said Hunt returned from a business trip to London and Geneva arriving in Wellington on Sunday, March 15 and immediately went into self-isolation.
During the week he began experiencing symptoms and was tested for the virus on Friday, receiving a positive test result on Sunday.
Hunt said he has reported his health status because "there was nothing to hide".
"There is no stigma. I work from home and enjoy solitary walks. I feel solidarity with past, present and future patients.
"These are extremely dangerous times especially for the most vulnerable members of our communities, such as older people, disabled people, those with underlying health problems, and those living in poverty. History demonstrates the severe and unequal impact of introduced disease on tangata whenua.
Hunt is recovering at home in Wellington.
New Zealand is now in a state of emergency as we head into alert level 4 from 11.59pm tonight.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has a simple message for Kiwis - "Act like you have Covid-19" and stay at home.
"Breaking the rules could kill someone close to you."
It could also see the lockdown period extended beyond four weeks, she said.
Ardern has given her final press conference before a nationwide lockdown begins at midnight tonight to fight against coronavirus.
She said as the lockdown takes hold, police will move around the country and ask questions of people outside of their homes.
People without a valid reason to be outside can be reminded of their obligations, and enforcement action can be taken as a last resort.