Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has rallied her "team of five million" towards New Zealand's goal of eliminating COVID-19, unveiling the country's pathway to ending lockdown.
Ms Ardern has foreshadowed ending her country's tough-as-nails nationwide level four lockdown next week.
On Thursday, she revealed the level three lockdown provisions that could follow, including the re-opening of schools, the return of restaurants and allowing more industries to function if they can prove they can operate safely.
Ms Ardern referred to the level three restrictions as "the waiting room or something like a recovery room".
"We have to wait and see if what we have done has worked," she said.
"After a while, if we don't show further signs of illness, we can go back to a life that is a bit more normal which is what level two really starts to feel like."
Benefiting from sea borders, a longer lead-in time to the arrival of cases and tough restrictions, the consensus is that New Zealand has seen the worst of COVID-19 as a heath crisis.
On Thursday, officials announced just 15 fresh cases, down from a peak 89 daily cases.
Nine Kiwis have died from the disease.
Ms Ardern said the country's response "has put us in the rare position where we can make choices about our next steps" and asked Kiwis to continue making sacrifices such as social distancing.
"Our best economic strategy is still to win the fight against the virus. Eliminate it," she said.
"We have the opportunity to do something no other country has achieved - elimination of the virus - but it will continue to need a team of five million behind it."
A decision on whether to end the lockdown will come at next Monday's cabinet meeting.
However, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said the country's case numbers meant the "evidence looks compelling" for a shift.
Mr Peters also said New Zealand's border would would remain closed "until we see a worldwide vaccine that is working".
The exception could be Australia, with Mr Peters telling Newstalk ZB that was "a serious possibility that we are exploring as we speak".
Ms Ardern was less forthcoming on the proposed trans-Tasman bubble, saying the priority of her country and Australia would be on reducing the spread of COVID-19 before those talks would occur.
NEXT STEPS FOR NEW ZEALAND'S LOCKDOWN
Now: Schools and universities closed
Next: Early childhood centres and schools open with voluntary attendance. Distance learning for universities
Now: Only "essential" business allowed
Next: "Safe" business can resume without contact with customers
WORK FROM HOME
Next: Compulsory if possible
Now: Libraries, cinemas, museums, food courts, gyms, pools, playgrounds closed
Next: Remain closed
Now: All closed
Next: Open only for takeaway, delivery
Now: Two metres at all times
Next: Two metres outside home, one metre in the workplace
Now: Only for returning citizens or residents
Next: Only for returning citizens or residents
Now: All non-essential travel banned
Next: Travel between cities banned, local travel discouraged
WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS, INCLUDING MAORI TANGI
Next: Limited to 10 people with no receptions
Australian Associated Press