Auckland will remain in alert level three lockdown until midnight on Wednesday 26 August.
The rest of the country, including the Waikato, will remain in level two for the same period. That's an additional 12 days.
The Prime Minister made the announcement a short time ago. Jacinda Ardern said the decision would be reviewed a few days earlier on August 21.
She said Cabinet had made the call because after 53 hours in lockdown, health authorities had been unable to trace the origin of the Auckland cluster.
The Prime Minister said the strain of the virus identified this week is different from the original strain and is new to New Zealand.
She said that indicated to authorities the virus had not been dormant. Travel was down 60 percent yesterday compared with other Thursdays and Jacinda Ardern said that meant Aucklanders were heeding the message to stay home.
She had a message for the five million people living in the city. The Prime Minister said a decision as to whether the election, scheduled for September 19, would be considered over the weekend.