Elton John has postponed his final two shows in New Zealand as he recovers from walking pneumonia.

The 72-year-old was performing at Auckland's Mount Smart Stadium on Sunday when he stopped the show almost two hours in, telling the audience, "I can't sing... I've got to go. I'm sorry," and later revealed in a statement that he had been diagnosed with walking pneumonia earlier that day.

His tour promoters insisted the trek would continue as planned, but in a statement on Tuesday, the singer announced he had been advised to postpone the shows at the same venue on Wednesday and Thursday.

According to the website Stuff.co.nz, the rock legend said in a statement: "I'm incredibly disappointed to have to reschedule my remaining Auckland dates and I want to send my sincerest apologies to my amazing fans for any inconvenience caused.

"I always want to be able to give 100 per cent and I'm afraid that, right now, I'm not able to do that. I am grateful for the love and loyalty I have been shown by all of you and I can't wait to return in January next year to perform my final New Zealand shows."

Promoter Michael Chugg said Elton was "devastated" to postpone the shows but he "has to listen to his doctors and recover properly right now".

The Auckland shows have been rescheduled for 15 and 16 January 2021. The Rocket Man singer's next concert on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road trek in Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday is still going ahead as planned, pending further announcements.