When Jacinda Ardern urged New Zealanders to stand firm behind her government’s decision to keep the country’s borders tightly closed against Covid-19, the prime minister described a reality that many around the world could only imagine with envy. “We get to enjoy weekend sport, go to restaurants and bars, our workplaces are open, and we can gather in whatever numbers we like,” she said.
New Zealanders returned in June to normal life with strict border controls the only remnant of a pandemic that months ago had threatened to sweep the country as it had in most others before a strict lockdown quashed its spread.