Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern struck an upbeat tone ahead of her all-important Cabinet meeting this afternoon, after the confirmation of two new community cases.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins was also confident, comparing the new cases to the Northland community case in January. "We have managed cases like this before, that have popped up in the community, without having to change alert levels," he told media.
Cabinet began meeting at 3pm to determine the fate of Auckland's level-3 lockdown and the rest of New Zealand's alert-level 2. The alert levels are due to expire at 11.59pm tonight - after two days of zero community cases, the latest two cases will be weighing on ministers' minds.
Ardern is set to announce Cabinet's decision at 4.30pm - her press conference will screen live on nzherald.co.nz.
• LISTEN LIVE ON NEWSTALK ZB:
* Papatoetoe High School principal Vaughan Couillault joins Heather du Plessis Allan at 4.06pm
* Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins at 5.07pm
One of the new cases confirmed this afternoon was a close contact of case A – the daughter who was confirmed Covid-19 positive with her father and mother on Sunday.
They went to Papatoetoe High School together. The second new confirmed case is a sibling of the first.
Speaking to reporters before going into the House, Ardern said a major element of what Cabinet will be considering is the fact one of the contacts was considered "close".
"Obviously, then it's not surprising to us if we get a positive test result – those are individuals we have asked to isolate."
The sibling who also tested positive was already in self-isolation when they tested positive.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said he "didn't want to get ahead of himself," when it comes to Cabinet's decision.
"Certainly compared with the August outbreak that we dealt with, things are looking better than they were then."
He compared it to the Northland case, where it was known how the person contracted the disease.
Hipkins added that Cabinet will be looking "very closely" at if there is anything additional that needed to be factored into the decision.
National leader Judith Collins said that whether or not the alert level settings are extended is a "call for the Government".
"We're all very disappointed to hear that there are two more community cases."
She pointed out that there is still a lot more testing to come back but National was going to "wait and see what the Government comes up with".
Auckland was moved to alert level 3 at midnight on Sunday after three new Covid-19 cases were detected in the community. The rest of the country was put in alert level 2.
Until this morning, there had been no additional community cases detected, which had been "heartening" for Ardern and Hipkins
But speaking to the Health Select Committee this morning, Hipkins revealed health officials had found two new cases after mass testing.
One was a close contact of the Papatoetoe High School student, the other was their sibling.
Another topic she will be quizzed on will be her conversation with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison this morning.
Yesterday, Ardern was highly critical of the Morrison administration's handling of the arrest of a dual Australian/ New Zealand citizen at the border of Syria and Turkey.
The Australian Government refused to take responsibility for the woman, who had two kids with her, and stripped her of her Australian citizenship.
Ardern said yesterday Australia did "not act in good faith" and what the Government had done was "not right".
"New Zealand, frankly, is tired of having Australia export its problems," she said.