COVID-19 restrictions are again being ditched in New Zealand, apart from Auckland, after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her country had the virus "under control".
Ms Ardern's cabinet met on Monday and decided to move most of the country to alert "level one" settings as of 11:59pm.
That will mean gathering sizes will no longer be capped and the end of social distancing, allowing for the return of crowds at sporting fixtures, big weddings and funerals, mass congregations at religious services and the re-opening of nightclubs.
However, for the 1.6 million people living in Auckland, such freedoms will have to wait another fortnight.
After 102 days without a case of COVID-19 in New Zealand, the country's biggest city was the centre of a fresh outbreak last month.
A 16-day lockdown contained case numbers in the cluster to 178 people and three deaths.
On Monday, Director-general of Health Ashley Bloomfield confirmed that no cases had been linked to the cluster for seven days, but it would still be prudent to wait another fortnight with social distancing and gathering caps.
"Our actions more recently have managed to get the virus under control ... we are in a strong position to make our next move down our alert settings," Ms Ardern said.
"Auckland needs more time."
Ms Ardern said the government would decide on Monday October 5 whether to allow Auckland a similar shift to the rest of the country, based on whether case numbers stay "on their current trajectory with no surprises".
Such a shift would occur from Thursday October 8.
Dr Bloomfield also confirmed ongoing investigations into the source of New Zealand's last three cases.
A man returning home from India tested positive for COVID-19 this week after completing his 14-day isolation, including two negative tests, and subsequently passed the virus onto two family members in Auckland.
Health authorities believe the man may have had an abnormally long incubation period, or caught it on a domestic flight - and have ordered fellow passengers on that flight to isolate and test.
"In terms of how the man became infected, that is still under investigation and we are keeping an open mind," Dr Bloomfield said of the mystery cases.
Dr Bloomfield's team have still yet to identify the source of last month's Auckland cluster despite promising to reveal it.
New Zealand has also announced the investment of $NZ27 million ($A25 million) towards the World Health Organisation-backed COVAX vaccine.
"The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines," Foreign Minister Winston Peters said.
"It allows us to invest in a high-quality, diversified portfolio of COVID-19 vaccine candidates. This will ensure we are spreading risk and keeping our options open."
The funding will allow New Zealand and associated Pacific countries of Tokelau, Cook Islands and Niue to access COVID-19 vaccine developed by COVAX researchers, with further payments.
Australian Associated Press