New Zealand faces critical scrutiny as a Royal Commission of Inquiry invites public input regarding the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Initiated amidst global chaos in March 2020, strict measures including nationwide lockdowns and border closures were imposed by the then Jacinda Ardern-led government.
While hailed initially for its effectiveness, dissenters argue that the measures inflicted undue economic and social harm.
Inquiry chairman Tony Blakely reflects on the nation's response, pondering over the adequacy of imposed restrictions and the handling of essential services.
"Were the restrictions we put through essential workers the right mix? Could we have allowed more industries to stay open? Could we have done ventilation of hospitals and stuff better so there was less chance of spread i hospitals? All those types of lessons. There's a long list of them," he told local media.
The inquiry's scope, outlined in 2022, encompasses pivotal decisions concerning border control, community care, and vaccine mandates. Expanded parameters now include deeper scrutiny into additional areas, responding to evolving concerns.