Community leaders in the Whanganui region have voiced their support for the Covid-19 lockdown.
Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall said a "short, sharp lockdown" was the right thing to do.
"If you look at Sydney, there were half measures. They didn't come out hard and the results have been tragic," McDouall said.
"People forget, the virus doesn't travel on its own, it travels because of people. The shorter and harder the lockdown now, the safer we will be in the future.
"When you don't know how far an easily transmitted variant has travelled, then this is what needs to be done."
McDouall said, like last year, it was important to acknowledge those essential workers who were still on call through level 4, and to check up on vulnerable members of the community.
"I had a scheduled supermarket trip yesterday afternoon and the workers there were exhausted already, just because of the chaos.
"We've been through this before. Keep your distance, and keep your discipline."
Those feeling ill should consult a medical professional, McDouall said.
"This guy [the initial Auckland Covid-19 case] felt ill and went to the doctor, and good on him. The fact is, there'll be other people who didn't feel quite right but didn't do the same thing. That's why this is happening."
Ruapehu mayor Don Cameron said an emergency operations centre had been established in his district, and they were waiting for further direction from Civil Defence.
"No one is surprised by this, to be honest," Cameron said.
"There is concern that people will be travelling here to isolate in their holiday homes.
"That certainly caused some consternation last time, and I gather police are being pretty proactive in Auckland in stopping people from driving out of there."
Cameron said it seemed that people in Ruapehu were "sticking to the rules" at the moment.
"In Australia it took an extra two days to declare a lockdown, and it was almost too late. They've got 8500 cases now.
"For years, people were talking about a resistance to penicillin, that was the one that we all thought was going to be the thing that caused the real problem. As it turned out, a virus decided to step in instead."
Dr Ashley Bloomfield would remain a key figure in getting information to the public, Cameron said.
"The leader of the Opposition attacked him recently, but, in the end, you need someone like him to lead this. People do listen, and they do believe. I think we are lucky at the moment. Long may it last.
"It's a weird time, but at least we've had plenty of practice with Zoom and teams and things like that. Business doesn't stop."
Gallery: The empty streets of Whanganui
Rangitīkei mayor Andy Watson said staff had systems in place to be able to work from home.
"Like most other places, I suspect, it's a little bit like a waiting brief at the moment," Watson said.
"I've been I touch with Ngati Apa and the northern response groups based around Taihape.
"We are not facing the immediate need to deliver things like food parcels; however, we are playing that as a waiting game a little bit.
"Everybody is very mindful of the danger the Delta variant proposes."
Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa chairman Pahia Turia said because the Delta variant was more contagious than the original strain, additional precautions needed to be taken when it came to providing help for the community during alert level 4.
"Last time we were doing care packages and providing kai and all those types of things, but we need to rethink how we provide that support, taking that new variant into account," Turia said.
"We'll stand our emergency response plan back up again, and get our emergency hub in place.
"It certainly sounds like we'll be in lockdown for a lot longer than three days as a result of the new community cases that have come out. I'm assuming that number is only going to grow."
Turia said local councils and the Whanganui DHB would no doubt re-establish emergency operations centres, and iwi would be engaged in that process.
"Hopefully people can stay disciplined, stay at home and follow the guidelines.
"Let's try and stamp this out as quickly as we can."
Ngāti Rangi operations manager Elijah Pue said the iwi was "pivoting" its response from last year's level 4 lockdown, due to the increased risk the Delta variant posed.
"We are not in the community as much as we were last time around," Pue said.
"What we are doing is gathering data and information, especially with our vulnerable clients, whānau, and communities, to understand what the needs are.
"If there are significant needs around finances or food or welfare, then we can design our response based on that - with the risk of the Delta variant in mind."
Going into this lockdown "with eyes wide open" would be an advantage, Pue said.
"We are also going in with some lived experience, which is unique. Last time we were making it up as we went along.
"Delta has changed things a lot though, we can't just go back to exactly what we did last year.
"Our 0800 number is open for the community if they need anything, and indeed, if people are calling to say they've got no food or are unable to provide, we will assess if we are able to support.
"Most of the time it will involve something via a non-contact method.
"We don't go down the [alert] levels, nor do we skip levels, so I think we might be in this for the long haul.
"We have to do our best, look out for our most vulnerable, and spare a thought for those who might be on their own."
Whanganui MP Steph Lewis said the further four community cases of Covid-19 in Auckland confirmed on Wednesday morning was proof that alert level 4 was necessary.
"We don't know how far they have travelled, or who they have been in contact with.
"When you look at the news reports yesterday about the investigation into how some people in MIQ got the Delta variant, they worked out it was by having their door open for three to five seconds opposite an open door to another person with Delta.
"If that's all it takes, then I definitely think we are doing the right thing."
People only needed to "look across the ditch" to see the effects of partial lockdown measures, Lewis said.
"We certainly don't want to be another story like that.
"It won't be good for our health system and it won't be good for our local businesses."
Lewis said New Zealand was in the fortunate position to be able to watch and learn what other countries had done to combat the Delta variant of Covid-19.
"I think people are very aware of how fast this thing can spread.
"There's literally CCTV footage of two people walking past each other in the street for a split-second, and that was the link in the chain of transmission.
"I'm confident our communities will be on board with this. We all know we have a job to do and a part to play in stopping the virus from spreading.
"Last time we pulled together to support people who needed help, and I'm sure that will happen again this time."
Rangitīkei MP Ian McKelvie said he had fielded far more complaints about this week's lockdown than those of last year.
He said putting the whole country into lockdown, as opposed to just Auckland and Coromandel, hadn't sat well with some people.
"I think people really need a very good reason for this to have happened," McKelvie said.
"You can sort of see why they [the Government] have done it - if we want to keep the thing out then that's what we've got to do – but people are certainly frustrated.
"Obviously, you wouldn't want to get the Delta variant loose in the community though."
McKelvie said the recent community cases reinforced the importance of vaccinations.
"I'm quite pleased I'm double-vaccinated, despite the fact I've had a lot of anti-vaxxers again this morning.
"They're everywhere, it's amazing.
"I have to tell them that I'm still okay, and that I don't think I've gone completely mad yet.
"You might have to change things a little bit because of close contact, but it would be sensible to keep getting those vaccinations out there. Even though it doesn't stop you getting the disease, it certainly seems to stop you going to hospital and has some influence on your ability to spread it."
The country took an economic hit every time there was a lockdown, McKelvie said.
"Every time this happens it puts more pressure on, and it puts pressure on individuals and families.
"That's where that frustration comes from I think, and I feel very sorry for them."
New Zealand was fortunate to be "last on the virus' radar," Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said.
"We've got to see how other countries are responding, and I think there was a heads-up from the Government last week saying it wasn't a matter of if, it was a matter of when.
"I think they've done the right thing."
Ngarewa-Packer said she had been talking to Māori health providers and iwi leaders around the regions to get their sense of "how and what is going to be stood up".
"It's a really tricky situation, because there needs to be a considered approach in how our communities are going to move around to support each other, especially if it [alert level 4] goes beyond the three days.
"At this stage, it's pretty hard to imagine it won't."
There was an opportunity for New Zealand to do "the short pain now" when it came to controlling the Delta variant, Ngarewa-Packer said.
"There are a couple of things going for us – we are relatively small, and we care about each other.
"I think there is a general acceptance out there that going hard and fast is the right thing to do. There is more fear about the virus getting out into the communities than there is about not being out and about."
National list MP Harete Hipango, of Whanganui, said like last year, an orderly, measured approach was needed to address the threat of the Delta strain.
"We need to reassure people to stay calm and keep cool, and encourage them to heed the advice that's coming from the Government," Hipango said.
"Whanganui is fortunate to have four MPs, so let's utilise those contacts and channels.
"Even though my capacity is as a list MP, I'm here to help."
Hipango said lockdowns created a large amount of worry among people in the business sector, from employers to employees.
"The longer business is compromised and not able to work at full capacity, the more debt will be incurred as a result of the Government having to basically reach out for more money.
"The cost of living is going up for so many people, there are labour shortages, so it's just a spiralling effect."
People needed to be proactive in seeking help if they needed it, and there were support services available in the Whanganui community, Hipango said.
"The good old 'No 8 wire' Kiwi mentality means we are resilient, but we still need help.
"Our communities have the capacity to kick into gear, just like last time.
"My key message is for people to look after one another."
In terms of vaccinations, Hipango said while it remained a choice, those who wanted to receive it should have "unimpeded access".
"The rollout of vaccines has been too slow by the Government.
"Slow rollout and uptake compromises the efficacy and timeliness in efforts to offset the impact of Covid-19."