Some of New Zealand's top athletes, including its Olympians, will be eligible to jump the vaccine queue and get the Covid-19 jab so they can represent the country on the world stage.
And New Zealanders who wish to visit a dying loved one overseas will also be eligible to get the vaccine ahead of the mid-year general rollout.
But new urgent overseas travel rules don't extend to those who want to travel outside New Zealand for a family funeral.
The Prime Minister and other ministers might also be in line to get the jab, if they have to leave the country for official business.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has outlined the Government's "strict criteria" for early vaccination.
It covers those who need to travel outside New Zealand for reasons of national significance, as well as on compassionate grounds.
"A very high threshold for early access to vaccines has been set," Hipkins said.
That threshold, he added, would balance compassion with the need to avoid potential queue-jumping ahead of at-risk groups, without a strong justification.
New Zealand's general vaccine rollout will begin midway through this year but the new criteria mean certain people can get the vaccine early.
Only those who need to travel before August 31, who have already made commitments to return to New Zealand after they travel, will be eligible.
"They will also need to ensure, as far as practically possible, that they are able to receive both doses of the vaccine before the scheduled departure," Hipkins said.
In terms of national significance, those applying must be representing New Zealand in an official capacity, at significant international events, or in an official non-government capacity.
"The key yardstick here is that people are travelling in an official capacity and ensuring the participation is in our national interests," Hipkins said.
He said it was his understanding that a "few hundred" athletes and sportspeople would be eligible for an early jab.
Asked which sports would fit this category, he said: "Sports that everybody is hanging out to watch on television".
"Certainly, our expectation is that the Olympians would be eligible under the national interest criteria," Hipkins said.
It could also mean the Black Caps, who are competing in the ICC World Test Championship final in the UK in June, will get the vaccines ahead of the general population.
And the rules mean that ministers might get to travel abroad, for national significance reasons.
Asked about this, Hipkins said there was a bit of a dilemma in this area.
"We don't want our political leaders to be seen jumping the queue.
"On the other hand, we are getting questions from people along the lines of: 'well, if this is a very safe thing and you're backing it, why are you not doing it yourself.'"
He said ministers still need to make decisions on this.
Compassionate grounds will only be considered for those who: Need to provide critical care or protection for a dependant, those who need to access critical medical care not available in New Zealand, or anyone visiting an immediate family member who is dying.
These exemptions do not, however, apply to those looking to go overseas to attend a funeral.
"We do have to draw the line somewhere and ultimately, this was where we drew that line," Hipkins said.
"I think there is something about those precious final moments that make people's desire to see those family members before they pass away very, very understandable."
But those who are given the green light to get the jab to go overseas will still have to stay in managed isolation in New Zealand when they return home.
Hipkins also yesterday revealed that 41,500 vaccines have now been administered– that's up roughly 14,000 on the week prior.
And he said by next Tuesday, the Government is expecting 50 vaccination clinics will be open across New Zealand.
Hipkins said the Government was "broadly on schedule" but when pressed, director-general of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield conceded that the rollout was "slightly behind schedule".
"We have delivered about 93 per cent of where we plan to be so far," he said, before adding that this level of vacation was an "A+".
There were no new Covid-19 community cases yesterday and genome sequencing has linked a Covid-positive MIQ worker to a returnee who was staying at the Grand Millennium Hotel.
Meanwhile, an MIQ traveller was told of a positive test result on Sunday while they were exercising away from their hotel – the Grand Mercure in Auckland.
They were then taken back in the same bus as 23 other MIQ travellers who had been exercising at the same time.
Bloomfield said 14 of the 23 were classified as close contacts and would now have to spend 14 more days in MIQ, starting from Sunday.
This was despite Hipkins saying yesterday that the people were appropriately physically distanced on the bus.
The extra days in MIQ may have been unnecessary if the person with Covid had simply been transported back to the Grand Mercure separately.
Asked how he would feel if he had been knowingly placed on a bus with someone who had Covid-19, even if everyone was being physically distanced and wearing masks, Hipkins said he would feel "disappointed".