Covid-19 has been detected in Christchurch wastewater, eight days after the first case of the Delta variant was reported in Auckland.
It was announced at the Government's 1pm Covid-19 update today.
The virus was detected in samples collected from the Christchurch catchment on August 21 and 23 after previous negative results.
However, there were at least three positive cases in MIQ facilities in Christchurch and the results were consistent with virus shedding from those cases, a Ministry of Health spokesperson said.
It is something that has been seen previously and means the test results are not an indication of Covid in the Christchurch community.
Further samples will be taken from around the city today, and results are expected by the end of the week.
All other South Island sites are negative.
There were 68 new cases of Covid-19 in the New Zealand community reported today.
It brings the total number of cases in the community outbreak to 277. A case reported yesterday has been confirmed as a false positive.
The total number of community cases in Auckland is now 263 and 14 in Wellington.
The spokesperson said it was not unexpected to see a rise in daily case numbers at this stage.
At its peak last year, New Zealand had a daily total of 89 new cases.