Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is calling on young people to do their part in self-isolating too amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Ms Ardern spoke to TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning after yesterday raising New Zealand's Covid-19 coronavirus alert level to level three, before level four restrictions kick from 11.59pm on Wednesday.
Level four is put in place with a risk of sustained level of virus transmission. Contact between people is largely eliminated, the public urged to stay at home. Essential services, including supermarkets, health care, service stations and media, will remain in place.
Ms Ardern said the measures will hopefully mean New Zealand won't see the devastating effects including mass deaths of the virus like what has been seen in some other countries.
"They are extreme and I need every New Zealander to help me," Ms Ardern said of the impending lockdown.
"We won't achieve that outcome of looking after everyone unless people follow the rules.
"I do want to speak particularly, if I can, to young people - they're amongst the group who are going to be less affected if they happen to contract Covid-19, but they're just as susceptible to pass it on to others. I need them to follow through on this just as much as anyone else."
Ms Ardern said she was "ready to go" this morning, and that she was working out the logistics of the four-week lockdown period as well looking to "beef up" border controls.
"Quite simply, if we continued to see community transmission without any intervention the infection rate then the number of individuals, who we can tell from overseas, would require hospital care, then acute hospital care - tens of thousands of New Zealanders would die," she said.
"There are some countries where their window, it was too late. We have a window of opportunity so that's why I don't want New Zealanders to feel afraid.
"This is an illness that the vast majority of people who, if they did experience it, would be fine, they'd have moderate to mild symptoms. It's just there are too many vulnerable people who would need hospital care and if you can't provide it that's when you see those devastating impacts like we've seen overseas.
"We've watched and learned so we managed to get ahead, but now I'm asking you, I'm asking all New Zealanders, this plan will only work if you help us.
"You may feel resilient and well but it's not just about you, it's about everyone around you."
Ms Ardern said the lockdown period was set for four weeks because it will take weeks for results to show given the lag between infection and people feeling ill.