New Zealand's COVID-19 outbreak continues, with 24 new community cases announced including a new inmate at Auckland's Mt Eden prison.
The country is attempting to eliminate a Delta outbreak first identified on August 17.
Its elimination strategy is being tested by a tail of cases that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admits is "long and tough".
Daily cases have dipped over the last week to the low teens, but have jumped back into the 20s this weekend.
"I know that that is very anxious-making for people when they see those numbers," Ms Ardern said on Sunday.
"Despite larger case numbers they continue to be dominated by household contacts.
"It doesn't change what we need to do, and it continues to be stay at home and get vaccinated."
The new cases, all in Auckland, make Sunday the 17th straight day that cases have lingered between 11 and 33.
Among they new cases, six were infectious outside of their households.
They come before a review of alert level settings on Monday.
Auckland has been in a tough level four lockdown for more than a month, with an in-principle move to a lesser level three lockdown this Wednesday.
That decision will be ratified on Monday, with Ms Ardern refusing to be drawn on which way she was leaning.
Throughout this outbreak, which has infected 1050 people, Ms Ardern has maintained confidence the severe restrictions enacted by her government would shrink case numbers.
Asked if she still believed it was possible to return NZ to zero cases, as it was for much of 2021, she said "I do believe it's possible",
"It's tough though," she said.
"We've used the toughest measures we have, and despite extraordinary effects we do see that tail."
As of Sunday, 13 cases are being treated in Auckland hospitals, including four in intensive care.
Three are yet to be linked to the outbreak by contact tracers, including the recent arrival at Mt Eden prison.
Director General of Public Health Caroline McElnay said five staff and six prisoners had been identified as close contacts and were isolating and being tested.
Spurred on by the outbreak, New Zealand's vaccination spree continues.
More than one per cent of Kiwis are being vaccinated each day, and on Sunday Ms Ardern reported 78 per cent of eligible Aucklanders had received at least one dose of the two-dose Pfizer treatment.
"If you're not already vaccinated, there is just one thing to do today. Make sure it's getting your first dose," Ms Ardern said.
Of New Zealand's 5.1 million-strong population, 61 per cent - or more than three million Kiwis - are partially vaccinated.
Australian Associated Press