Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has left the door ajar to move the country into alert level 1 in less than four weeks.
But she and health chief Ashley Bloomfield are warning about the "long tail" of Covid-19 and the possibility of a second wave - especially as the limit on social gatherings increases to 100 from midday today.
Cabinet is set to look at whether New Zealand should move to level 1 on June 22, but pressure is mounting to move earlier, with Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters saying it should have already happened.
Dr Simon Thornley, senior lecturer of public health at Auckland University, told Mike Hosking we should be at level 1 by now.
"A second wave is extremely unlikely.
"Japan have opened up and they haven't had a second wave and they have a of things against them that we don't have, like densely populated cities."
Thornley also says a travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia is now safe.