In this study, we aimed to identify service user demographic and clinical characteristics of an acute mental health service in South Auckland during the first New Zealand coronavirus-related lockdown. We conducted a clinical audit of a sample of service users presenting to a district health board's acute adult mental health service during New Zealand's level-4 lockdown in 2020 and made comparisons to a sample from 2019. We identified demographic factors, living situation, mode of referral, mode of assessment, diagnosis, substance use, risks, stressors, use of mental health act legislation and follow-up. During the first level-4 lockdown fewer Ma¯ori were assessed, police referrals increased, specific stressors related to confinement were identified and there was an increase in risks relating to self-harm and harm to others. Service users had unique stressors and changing patterns of presentation during the level-4 New Zealand lockdown. In response to the changing needs of service users during a pandemic, we recommend optimising telehealth, enhancing connections with other essential services, development of digital interventions and care for frontline staff.