New Zealand has suffered its fifth COVID-related death in a week as Auckland's Delta outbreak continues to swell.
A man in his 60s died at his home in the Auckland suburb of Glen Eden on Tuesday night, where he was isolating after catching COVID-19.
He is the third person to die in home isolation in the past seven days, raising serious questions of the level of care provided.
New Zealand has recently shifted to requiring those with the virus to isolate at home as a default, rather than in quarantine facilities.
Three in every four Kiwis with COVID-19 are now recuperating at home, while a record 81 are in hospital with the virus.
Despite the deaths, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the home isolation system was "working well".
"We are continuing to strengthen and improve the system and in particular the clinical assessment and advice of anyone who's isolating at home," he said.
"We're looking back at each of these deaths to see - what was the level of interaction, exactly what happened in those cases, was there any problem with the clinical assessment and also the clinical handover?
"There's nothing to suggest so yet."
Two other men with COVID-19 have died in the last week: one in Auckland Hospital and another in a quarantine hotel.
While low by global standards, daily cases in New Zealand are at their highest at any point during the pandemic.
Health officials reported 147 community cases on Wednesday, 131 in Auckland, 14 in the Waikato and two in Northland - the three regions currently in lockdown
The rolling seven-day daily case average is at a record 155.
The shift to home isolation is one of the measures New Zealand is taking as it pivots from its COVID-19 elimination strategy to suppression.
COVID-19 Minister Chris Hipkins said New Zealanders outside Auckland - which has entered a 13th week of lockdown - needed to vaccinate themselves against the virus.
"There's urgency for people around the rest of the country around getting vaccinated because COVID is coming," he said.
"There are pockets of the New Zealand community who have formed the view that COVID is not going to affect them. They're wrong.
"COVID-19 is not going to remain contained in Auckland ... we are reaching the point where COVID-19 will spread.
"We are not going to keep Auckland locked down."
As of Wednesday, 79 per cent of New Zealanders aged 12 and over are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with another 10 per cent having received one dose.