Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern acknowledged the "frankly terrible year" 2020 has been, as she extended Auckland's level 3 restrictions.
Ardern today announced Auckland would remain at a level 3 lockdown until midnight on Sunday at least, with the rest of the country to remain in level 2.
Those extra days would allow Auckland to move down to level 2 when it was appropriate, she said.
But she acknowledged that the second round of level 3 has been tough for some, a reminder that Covid-19 was ever present in the world.
"It is a hard reality to accept," she said.
"This has been a hard year.
"It's been a hard year for Christchurch who has fresh reminders of that this week," as the gunman responsible for the Christchurch terror attacks is sentenced at the Christchurch High Court.
"It's been a hard year for Auckland, it's been a hard year for drought-stricken and flood-ridden parts of the country.
"So if it feels hard, that's because it has been."
In New Zealand's fight against the coronavirus, it has held some records - such as 102 days without community transmission of the virus.
The next step in the fight was to beat the resurgence of the virus, she said,
"And if anyone country knows how to bounce back, it is us."
"We may not have any choice over whether or not the world is in a global pandemic, but we do have choices around how we deal with it," she said.
"We have made a choice, and we have a clear plan that means we can get through however long this pandemic is in the world, and keep as much normality, including for our economy, as possible.
"We have done that for 6 months already, and we can keep doing it."
Over the next seven days, and the next several weeks, more cases of Covid-19 will emerge in New Zealand, Ardern said.
But it will be met with thousands of tests, hundreds of workers contact tracing, and people doing their part to stamp out the virus.
Ardern urged people to continue to do their bit to limit the spread of the coronavirus: to wash their hands, to stay home and get a test for the virus if they fall ill, to download and use the NZ Covid tracer app and to keep a log of where they have been.
"In a world where 2020 has frankly, been terrible, we are strong, we have been kind, and we are doing really well."
Nine new cases of Covid-19 were announced today, eight of which are linked to the Auckland cluster.
The ninth case is in managed isolation, director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said.
Ten people with Covid-19 are in hospital, including two people in intensive care at Middlemore Hospital.
The new person in Auckland City Hospital is linked to the community cluster and was transferred from a quarantine facility late on Sunday.
Three people are in Auckland City Hospital, four people in Middlemore, two people in North Shore Hospital and one person in Waikato Hospital.