A patient in their 50s has died with Covid-19, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
The patient, who was admitted to North Shore Hospital on December 11, becomes New Zealand's 49th death from the disease.
As the country heads into a second festive season in the shadow of the global pandemic, there are 62 new cases of Covid-19 in the community, 45 people are in hospital including eight in ICU. The average age of people hospitalised is 50.
Cases of the Delta variant, which sparked a months-long lockdown in Auckland in August, have fallen sharply in recent weeks - new community cases were at 56 yesterday, most in Auckland, compared to more than 200 a day just over a month ago.
But fears remain of the newest Covid-19 variant - Omicron - taking hold should the virus slip past MIQ defences.
The highly-infectious variant has been spreading rapidly overseas, with surges in cases numbers since it was first detected, including in South Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.
The Ministry of Health said today there were 10 new cases at the border - but did not say what variant those travellers have.
The new cases are in Auckland (37), Waikato (5), Bay of Plenty (14), Lakes (5) and Canterbury (1). The five Waikato cases are all in Te Kūiti and known contacts of previous cases.
Public health officials are investigating recent travel to Auckland as the source of infection of the Canterbury case.
The case travelled from Auckland to Christchurch on Monday, December 20 on Air NZ Flight NZ543.
"All passengers on the flight are being treated as close contacts and are required to get tested. Contact tracing is under way to contact all passengers," today's Ministry of Health statement says.
As of January 5, anyone aged over 18 who received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least four months ago can get their booster.
Vaccinations are also being opened up for children aged between 5 and 11 from January 17.
There were 21,338 vaccine doses administered yesterday, including 1413 first doses and 7135 second doses.
"To date, 95 per cent of eligible people in New Zealand have had their first dose [partially vaccinated] and 91 per cent are double-dosed [fully vaccinated]," the ministry says.
"Hawke's Bay and Waikato DHBs are inching closer to the 90 per cent fully vaccinated milestone.
"Hawkes Bay DHB has just 415 second doses to go and Waikato has just 1436 second doses to go. This will soon mean 13 DHBs in total are fully vaccinated to 90 per cent or higher."
The Government this week delayed the planned January quarantine-free border opening with Australia till at least the end of February, and brought forward eligibility for booster vaccination shots by two months - thought to offer much-improved immunity against Omicron than the two shots more than 91 per cent of eligible Kiwis have already received.
While all the South Island and parts of the North Island are in the orange traffic light setting, Auckland and a swathe of the central part of the North Island from Whanganui to Gisborne districts switch from the strictest red light setting to orange at 11.59pm on December 30.
Northland, which has the country's lowest vaccination rates at 83 per cent double-jabbed, will remain in the red light setting - which like orange restricts some activities to the vaccinated only, but also has capacity limits to stop super spreader events - until at least January 17.