COVID-19: Two new coronavirus cases in New Zealand

The two new coronavirus cases announced in New Zealand "prove the importance of a rigorous system at our border," the Prime Minister says.

The Ministry of Health revealed the two new cases on Tuesday afternoon, breaking a 24-day streak of no new COVID-19 cases.

"The Ministry can confirm today two new cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand related to the border as a result of recent travel from the UK," a statement sent to media read. "Both cases are connected."

The cases were given a special exemption to attend a funeral, One News reports.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield will give an update on the new cases from Ministry of Health headquarters in Wellington at 3pm.

Jacinda Ardern told media she's said new cases have been a possibility all along.

"New Zealand would continue to have cases because it continues to surge around the world. We of course are well-placed to manage it, though," she told the NZ Herald.

"There are eight million cases worldwide [and] we still have New Zealanders returning home. What this does prove is the importance of a rigorous system at our border."

When asked what the Director-General of Health would talk about in his 3pm press conference, she said he would mainly focus on "precautionary and rigorous testing as a result of the cases today".

Tuesday's announcement means the total number of cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand - the figure our Government reports to the World Health Organization (WHO) - jumps to 1506.

The death toll remains at 22. It is not yet known if either of the two new cases require hospital-level care.

Further details about the cases are expected to be announced then.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced New Zealand would move to alert level 1 after the last known active case of COVID-19 in the country recovered from the disease.

The move meant a return to normal life for Kiwis, with social distancing no longer required and no more limits on gatherings - however the border remained closed to non-New Zealanders.

It's not known if the two cases reported on Tuesday will affect alert levels.

In announcing the move to alert level 1 on June 8, Ardern warned New Zealand would "almost certainly see cases here again".

"The world will remain in the grip of a global pandemic for some time to come and we will see cases here again, which we must remain prepared for," she said.