Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield is giving an update on the response to the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Dr Bloomfield said New Zealand had its first death after a person who was initially diagnosed with influenza died.

"Understandably the family would like to take their time to grieve," he said.

"This latest sad news reinforces our move to alert level four."

He said there were 63 new cases of the virus including 60 confirmed cases and three suspected cases. It brings the total to 514 cases in New Zealand.

"We are still seeing a strong link to overseas as well as travel."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this would be an enormously difficult time for the family of the person who died.

She said she knew the thoughts of everyone from around the country would be with the family of the woman who died.

She said the death was an example of "exactly why" New Zealand had gone into lockdown to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak.

"It also brings home exactly why we are taking such strong measures to stop the spread of this virus," she said.

"Our older New Zealanders and those with underlying health issues are by far the most at risk ... our shield of protection for these people is physical distance."

"Today's death is a reminder of the fight that we have on our hands ... stay at home, break the chain and save lives."

Ardern also warned against what she said amounted to bullying on social media.

She also said police had confirmed they had all the resources they needed including the ability to arrest if need be.

The total number of cases in New Zealand yesterday was 451, up by 83 from the day before.

Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management Sarah Stuart-Black yesterday said laboratories were working to process and report test results as quickly as possible, with the average daily test number over a seven-day period being 1613.

She said health officials expected to continue to see an increase in Covid-19 cases in the coming days.

There are expected to be no further official updates today.