COVID-19: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's message to New Zealand as Auckland plunges into lockdown

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is urging Kiwis to "be strong" and "be kind" as Auckland plunges back into a level 3 lockdown. 

Ardern announced on Sunday evening that as of 11:59pm Sunday night Auckland will move to alert level 3 for a period of three days until midnight Sunday. The rest of the country will move to alert level 2 for the same period of time.

The alert level change follows the detection of three community cases of COVID-19 in south Auckland, all from the same family. 

Ardern ended the announcement by asking Kiwis a favour: "Finally I'm asking New Zealanders to continue to be strong and be kind."  

"I know we all feel the same way when this happens we all get that sense of 'not again'," she continued, before reminding us what the team of five million has achieved before.

"But remember we have been here before. That means we know how to get out of this again and that is together."

She added another reminder to look out for each other: "Please, if you know anyone in Auckland, reach out. Please check on them and if you're in Auckland please check on your neighbours, ensure they're looked after and supported." 

She described New Zealand's alert level changes as "cautious" and reminded the nation it would all be "ok". 

"I've said all the way through this, ultimately please remember we are going to be ok." 

Alert level changes are subject to 24-hour reviews, and Ardern said the main thing they are asking of Aucklanders is to stay home. People should work from home unless that isn't possible, and children should stay home from school.