Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern doesn't regret moving Auckland down to alert level 3

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she doesn't regret her decision to move Auckland down to alert level 3 after community cases continue and the Auckland outbreak escaped the border into Hamilton. 

The Ministry of Health announced on Sunday morning that two people had tested positive for COVID in Raglan and Hamilton East. 

They're contacts of each other, but not yet linked to the Auckland outbreak and neither were vaccinated against COVID. 

The PM announced that areas surrounding Hamilton will join Auckland in alert level 3 from 11:59pm Sunday. The areas included in the new level 3 lockdown are Raglan, Te Kauwhata, Ngaruawahia, Hamilton City and Huntly.

Even with cases continuing to trickle along at an increased rate the PM doesn't regret her decision to move Auckland out of level 4. 

"Not at all," Ardern said at Sunday's 1pm press conference. "At this stage there is nothing here to suggest that this shift has led to any change to what we are seeing now, so not at all. 

"One of the key things for us to keep in mind is we want to continue to stamp out the virus we have here in Auckland."  

Ardern said after Auckland spent a prolonged period - six weeks - in New Zealand's highest alert level it's hard to keep everyone following those restrictions.

"At the same time it requires us to keep everyone moving as a team as well and it's a very hard ask to keep everyone in level 4 restrictions for a very prolonged period of time," Ardern said. "The advice we had from public health was that we should move and that was the advice on the ground in Auckland as well as the team at the ministry."

This comes after the Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced 33 new cases at the Sunday 1pm press conference, with 32 of the cases from Auckland and one from the Hamilton area. 

The second Hamilton case was not a part of the Sunday case numbers and will be a part of the case numbers on Monday. 

Fifteen of the 33 cases are unlinked. Fourteen of Saturday's 27 cases were infectious in the community.