Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is urging for everyone to "be kind" to one another as the Covid-19 alert system level rises to three, before rising again in 48 hours to alert level four.
In 48 hours, all non-essential businesses will have to close their doors and most New Zealanders will be in self-isolation.
Addressing media this afternoon, Ms Ardern made the announcement and then said New Zealanders must support one another.
"Go home tonight and check on your neighbours, start a phone tree with your street, plan how you'll stay in touch with one another.
"We will get through this together, but only if we stick together so please be strong and be kind."
New Zealand will be in level four for a minimum period of four weeks.
Over the weekend, the Prime Minister announced a four-tier alert system, and as of midday Saturday, New Zealand sat at level two.
Level one is where the virus is contained.
Level two is Covid-19 is contained but the risks are growing as more cases arise. Unnecessary travel should be contained and more travel restrictions are put in place.
Level three is Covid-19 is a heightened risk that the disease is not contained.
Level four is in place at sustained levels of transmission. Contact between people is eliminated altogether, the public urged to stay at home.
Essential services will remain in place.