Jacinda Ardern assures Aucklanders they'll be able to see family, friends across New Zealand for Christmas

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says Christmas is "absolutely" still on the cards for Aucklanders with family outside of the region.

Auckland has now been in alert level 4 or 3 for nearly 70 days and the Government has announced a framework which will guide the city as it slowly sheds restrictions.

The new framework includes three traffic lights - Green, Orange and Red - to replace the alert level system.

Auckland will move into Red as all three of the Auckland District Health Boards (DHBs) hit the 90 percent double vaccination target. Nearly 90 percent of eligible Aucklanders have had at least one dose. 

During the framework announcement on Friday, Jacinda Ardern was questioned on the likelihood of Aucklanders being able to see family around the country by Christmas.

"Absolutely," she said. "We've even modelled that event at the current rates that Auckland would move before, absolutely before Christmas. But what we want is for them to move as soon as possible.

"They are just 16,000 doses away from hitting that 90 percent target for first doses. Then if those individuals all then go on to be fully vaccinated, Auckland can move.

"This is within Auckland's grasp and we will be throwing every resource we can to support them and we have just added the incentive for anyone who is not vaccinated right now, unless you choose to be, you will not be able to enjoy the freedoms of other New Zealanders."

Ardern said hard borders like that between Auckland and the rest of the country aren't expected to be used in the long term.

"But right now, it is playing a role for us in containing the outbreak in Auckland and keeping the rest of New Zealand safe, but we know Auckland needs to be able to move and we want them to move safely.

"What we are working on right now is the idea of using vaccination certificates coupled with testing to enable Aucklanders to move beyond the border."

The Prime Minister couldn't put an exact date on when that may happen.

"It is a significant logistical challenge to establish a land border, the likes of which New Zealand has not had before, but our goal, because of course we expect for the summer period, the holiday period, people will want to be reunited, we have set ourselves a goal to try and establish whether or not this will be possible well in time for those milestones."

While Auckland will move to Red when its three DHBs get to 90 percent double dose, the rest of New Zealand will need to wait until all DHBs are at 90 percent before moving to Orange. There is a possibility the South Island could move before that, with a review of rates set down for November 29.