A Kiwi nurse who recently returned from Sierra Leone has tested negative for the Ebola virus.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said the initial negative result was "great news", but a second test was required to confirm the result.
"We should have the results of the second test within 48 hours. It is highly unlikely that it will come back with a positive result," Dr Coleman said.
"The patient continues to be in a stable condition, and will remain in one of Christchurch Hospital's dedicated specialist medical isolation rooms until the result of the second test is known."
The nurse is understood to be Bronwyn McBain. She has previously spoken about her desire to make a difference in the fight against Ebola.
She and her family declined to comment on Saturday night, expressing her "need to get well".
In 2008, McBain was recognised by the Southland District Health Board for her outstanding contribution to the community.
Dr Coleman said he wanted to acknowledge the efforts of the patient and her family, who had carefully followed protocols for returning health workers.
"I would also like to recognise the collective efforts of the many health workers involved, including St John's Ambulance, Southern Regional Public Health, Canterbury DHB, and the Ministry of Health.
"The health sector has planned for months for just such an eventuality, and it is pleasing to see that all the preparation has paid off."
The nurse had returned to her home in the small town 65km north of Invercargill after a posting to help those suffering from the contagious disease in Sierra Leone.
On Friday she told a public health officer she was unwell and it was decided to take her to an isolation unit at Christchurch Hospital.
The woman's partner - the only person in direct contact during the potentially infectious period - was last night self-monitoring at home.