Jacinda Ardern has struggled to contain a Covid-19 outbreak in Auckland – and now the virus has spread further, prompting a snap lockdown.

More regions of New Zealand will go into lockdown as Covid-19 spreads beyond Auckland.

The country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, on Sunday, said parts of the Waikato region would go into a five-day lockdown after it recorded two new cases.

Auckland recorded 32 new cases on Sunday and has been under stay-at-home orders since mid-August.

Rules have eased in much of the small nation but rules remain strict in Auckland, the populous city.

Waikato, the region directly south of Auckland, recorded at least one new case.

“We are doing everything that we can to keep cases confined to Auckland and managing them there,” Ms Ardern told reporters.

The New Zealand Ministry of Health also said a parent of a baby in neonatal intensive care at Auckland City Hospital tested positive to Covid-19 on Sunday.

“All of the babies in the unit and those who have recently been discharged are being monitored closely as part of their on-going care and treatment,” the health department said.

“The thoughts of the (district health board), and the Ministry, are with this family as they manage the stress of a positive test result, as well as having a newborn baby in intensive care.”

Ms Ardern said her government would make a decision about the length of the Auckland lockdown on Monday.