PM Jacinda Ardern urges Kiwis to stop dialling 111 to dob in COVID-19 rule-breakers

The Prime Minister is urging New Zealanders to stop dialling 111 to dob in self-isolation rule-breakers and to instead use a new online platform created by the police.

In a Facebook video post on Sunday, Jacinda Ardern told her more than a million followers that dialling 111 should only be for emergency situations, and highlighted this new web page as the place to go to make a complaint.

"The police have created a place where online you can report if you're aware of anyone who's breaching the rules of alert level 4, whether it's a business that's open that shouldn't be, or if someone just isn't following self-isolation," Ardern said.

"In two days, we had over 2000 calls to 111 of people who just wanted to report that people weren't following the rules. What we want to make sure is that we don't use 111 for that because we want to be able to use that for critical call-outs.

"Remember, people are allowed to go for a walk around the block, but if you hear, for instance, a party on your street that you're worried about, something that shouldn't be happening where people are getting together, you can report that."

Police have warned the public to be patient with the service as it's already experiencing high traffic.

"People reporting suspected breaches of alert level 4 restrictions via online reporting on the police website are asked to be patient," police said. "If you are having difficulty, please try again later."

The entire country has been told to self-isolate and stay at home - except for some essential services - for a period of four weeks, after the Prime Minister lifted the nation's response to COVID-19 to alert level 4 last Monday.

Her Facebook video message followed on from a press conference Ardern held with the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield on Sunday where New Zealand's first COVID-19-related death was confirmed.

Anne Guenole was in her 70s and lived on the West Coast. She had been initially diagnosed with influenza which was complicated by an underlying health condition, and last Wednesday she tested positive for COVID-19.

"I know that the entire nation will be thinking of that family right now wanting to respect their privacy," Ardern said in her Facebook video.

She said while Guenole had underlying health conditions that does "not diminish at all the devastation everyone obviously feels about that loss".

"I think it highlights why it's so important we're all doing what we're doing right now and that is staying at home and breaking that chain of transmission," Ardern said.

"Early indications are that the person we lost today had a connection to international travel but that's something the Ministry of Health is still working through."

On Sunday, 63 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in New Zealand made up of 60 new confirmed cases and 3 probable cases - bringing the total to 514. It was also confirmed that 56 people have recovered from the virus.

The Prime Minister wanted to assure the public that the Government is doing all in its power to prevent people returning to New Zealand from potentially spreading the virus.

Since Friday, she said more than 1700 police checks have been undertaken, checking on people who have returned to New Zealand to ensure they are self-isolating.

For those who return to New Zealand with no plan or place to go, if they show any symptoms of the virus, they will be quarantined in hotel rooms organised by the Government.

"I know that the border restrictions are really tough... and having a hard impact on people... but they are so necessary at this particular time because that is our highest risk area, people coming home from overseas," Ardern said.

She said the numbers of arrivals have dropped off significantly since New Zealand went into lockdown, and that the Government expected just 300 arrivals on Sunday, with most coming from Australia.

Sitting at her desk in the Beehive, Ardern said the precinct has "emptied out as you'd expect".

She said the same expectations have been put on people working in Government and Parliament as have been put on the public, so the vast majority are working from home.

"I have a very small bubble of people I work with to keep the country going."