One person with Covid-19 has died in the Bay of Plenty, the first in the region since the virus was detected in New Zealand in February last year, the Ministry of Health says.
It is also the first death since the outbreak of Delta to have happened outside of Auckland, the ministry confirmed.
The first known Delta case in New Zealand was recorded on August 17.
The death is the country's 48th since the global pandemic started about two years ago.
It comes as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand has reached 90 per cent full vaccination of the eligible population, and the Government announces almost $18 million of funding for Tauranga Hospital upgrades.
The ministry confirmed on Wednesday afternoon a patient with the virus had died at Tauranga Hospital.
"The family has requested that no further details be released and, out of respect for those wishes, we will be making no further comment at this time," it said in a statement.
"Our thoughts are with the patient's whānau and friends at this deeply sad time."
Anne Tolley, chairwoman of Tauranga City Council's commission, said the council's sincere condolences go to the grieving whānau.
"Covid has taken a toll on us all in some way, but the death of a loved one is a terrible burden to bear. Kia kaha."
The country's first case was recorded on February 28, 2020, after a person aged in their 60s returned from Iran. There have been more than 13,000 cases in New Zealand since, according to ministry data.
The DHB that has seen the most deaths is Waitematā, where there have been 13, followed by Canterbury (12), Auckland (7), Counties Manukau (6), Capital and Coast, Southern, Waikato, and Managed Isolation & Quarantine with two, and West Coast and now Bay of Plenty with one.
There were also seven new cases in Tauranga on Wednesday, four linked to previously reported cases and three being investigated for potential links.
One person with the virus remains in Tauranga Hospital. They are one of 61 cases in hospitals nationwide. Four people are in ICU or HDU - two in Auckland Hospital and two in Middlemore Hospital.
Meanwhile, 86 per cent of the Bay of Plenty DHB was fully vaccinated and 93 per cent had received their first dose, the ministry revealed.
There were 74 new community cases across New Zealand in total. Most were in Auckland (56), followed by Waikato (nine), Canterbury (one), Lakes (one) and the BOP cases.
The nationwide vaccination rate was officially 89.82 per cent, which Ardern acknowledged in Question Time yesterday but said she would round it up to 90 per cent. The 7417 more jabs to officially reach 90 per cent were in arms yesterday but would be in official figures today.
The ministry is also asking people to follow testing advice correctly to ensure results are returned in a timely fashion.
"The ministry understands that some people are being tested unnecessarily or at the wrong places," it said.
"Unvaccinated people require a Covid-19 test for some travel including to leave Auckland. These people need to get a supervised rapid antigen test from a pharmacy, within 72 hours of travel.
"This testing is only for people over the age of 12 years and three months, who are not fully vaccinated and do not have any Covid-19 symptoms."
The location and hours of pharmacies offering rapid antigen tests are available at the Healthpoint website, which should be the first-port-of-call for anyone with Covid-19 symptoms.
Earlier this month, 70,000 people with overseas vaccinations or incorrect data were emailed temporary exemption letters from the My Vaccine Pass.
The majority have now received their pass and the ministry is issuing further temporary exemptions today to some whose applications are still being processed. Around 5000 people will get week-long exemptions, while 20,000 people vaccinated overseas will get an extension to January 17 while their vaccinations are verified.
It's not known whether the person who died in Tauranga was vaccinated or how long they had been in hospital. The Bay of Plenty DHB referred questions to the Ministry of Health.
"The family has asked that no further details be released and the ministry is respecting their request at this deeply sad time for them," a spokeswoman said.
In the official tally of Covid-19 deaths on the Ministry of Health website it says it includes
"all cases that died who were classified as an active case of Covid-19 at the time of death".
"In some of these cases, the underlying cause of death may have been unrelated to Covid-19."
New tauranga locations of interest
• Chapel St Cafe: Monday, December 6 between 9.45am and 10am
The Bottle-O Tauriko: Friday, December 10 between 6.43pm and 8.00pm
• Carlisle Street Convenience Store Greerton: Tuesday, December 7 between 11.15am and 2.00pm
• BP Connect Tauriko: Thursday, December 9 between 4.07 and 5.00pm
• Taylor Bros Transport Ltd Greerton Friday, December 10 between 9.30am and 1pm