Typically bustling streets were empty, traffic jams ceased to exist and only a handful of people could be seen out and about as the country entered day one of the level 4 lockdown.
Auckland's CBD was unrecognisably subdued compared to the usual bustling activity on its streets with just a few buses and rubbish trucks making use of the near-empty roads.
RNZ reporter Jordan Bond said there was barely anyone in the central city this morning. While standing on Queen street, he could see just three people, "This is far far quieter than the level 3 lockdowns," he said.
Meanwhile in the Capital, there were green lights on Courtenay Place but no vehicles were moving through, except the odd bus.
The rain set in on the Wellington waterfront as the sun rose with just a handful of people braving the cold to exercise, RNZ reporter Jake McKee said.
Christchurch's central hub was derelict on a cold rainy morning, Colombo Street which is normally cranking with bumper to bumper traffic in the morning was lifeless on the first day of lockdown.
Rubbish trucks along with food and goods deliveries were the only vehicles out and about, RNZ's Kim Moodie said.
The one place where it was business as usual in Christchurch was the supermarkets where RNZ's Kim Moodie noted a fair few trolleys loaded with mega packs of toilet paper.
Further South, lights lined Dunedin's Octagon and central streets but there was nobody in sight.
A quiet start to the day in New Plymouth, so quiet one local took advantage of the lack of foot traffic to scrub down the utilities box outside his apartment.
This is an official COVID-19 ALERT.
All of New Zealand is now at Covid-19 alert level 4.
The alert level will be reviewed after 3 days for all areas EXCEPT Auckland & Coromandel Peninsula which is likely to remain at level 4 for an initial period of 7 days.
A community case of Covid-19 has been identified.
Stay at home where possible & follow the Alert Level 4 guidelines. This will stop the spread of COVID-19 and SAVE LIVES.
Everyone is asked to:
Wear a mask and keep a 2 metre distance from others whenever you leave your home.
If you are sick, call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice about getting tested.
Keep on scanning QR codes whenever you leave your home.
Practice good hygiene - wash hands often.
Services including supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics & petrol stations will stay open at Alert Level 4.
For more information on Alert Level 4 go to [the government website www.covid19.govt.nz]
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As New Zealand's Lifeline Utility radio broadcaster, RNZ is required to maintain essential public information channels and news during times of national emergency and we are committed to supporting all New Zealanders.
We are also committed to looking after the health and well-being of our staff.
RNZ will continue to provide essential information services - broadcasting and publishing critical public service announcements on air, on our website and via social media channels. Comprehensive news will be available on air and via our website and digital services.
If necessary RNZ Concert and RNZ Pacific will carry news and information from RNZ National. Parliament will continue to be broadcast on the AM network when the House is sitting. As the country's public service media organisation, RNZ is committed to supporting all New Zealanders.
Kia Kaha - Stay Strong