Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had not even finished her press conference announcing a move to the red traffic light setting before long queues at some Auckland supermarkets began.
Images of shoppers with trolleys full to the brim in New World in the Auckland suburb of New Lynn show Kiwis stocking up ahead of the country moving into red at 11.59pm tonight.
There was also a long queue at queue Auckland's Westmere Butcher as the red light setting was announced.
The move to red was announced by Ardern this morning after it was confirmed nine Covid cases in Motueka are infected with the Omicron variant.
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Even before Kiwis knew for sure what Ardern would announce at her press conference, supermarkets were busy.
Shoppers packed into Countdown Kelston to stock up on groceries at 10:30am, with long queues at checkouts.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson said there was no need to rush to the shops.
"There is absolutely no need to be out there panic buying...we are asking people to think about what stocks they need if you do get sick, but there is plenty of time for that," Robertson said.
"It's been tough for the last few years for people organising events, but we know they have been planning for this," Robertson said.
Kiwis also took to social media to express their feelings about the sudden move to red.
Ardern said everyone should "plan to be in red for some weeks".