SHEtalks: Covid in Aotearoa New Zealand: Winning the war - but losing the peace?
In the first 18 months of the pandemic Aotearoa New Zealand, a country of 5 million, registered just 50 deaths from Covid and recorded an improvement in life expectancy.
In the first 18 months of the pandemic Aotearoa New Zealand, a country of 5 million, registered just 50 deaths from Covid and recorded an improvement in life expectancy. This was the result of adopting an elimination strategy, a communitarian approach that maximised health and welfare, but that also served the economy well.
Yet, following the entry of Omicron and the opening up of the country in 2022 the death toll has increased to 1,000, the public mood has changed, and the government lags in the polls. This presentation documents the early ingredients of success, the mid-term exposure of societal vulnerabilities, and the current state of uncertainty.
While the Labour government may have largely “won the war” on Covid, it is in danger of losing the chance of “reaping the peace dividend” of addressing a full policy agenda of social, environmental and economic change.
About Peter Davis
Peter Davis is Emeritus Professor in Population Health and Social Science at the University of Auckland, where he is also an Honorary Professor in the Department of Statistics. Originally trained at the London School of Economics with Masters in Sociology and in Statistics, Peter spent over 20 years as a health sociologist in the Auckland Medical School, before being appointed Professor of Public Health at the Christchurch School of Medicine, and then Professor of the Sociology of Health and Wellbeing in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Auckland, where he established the COMPASS Research Centre (https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/arts/our-research/research-institutes-centres-groups/compass.html). He has also been an elected member on the Auckland District Health Board, has a blog at https://peterdavisnz.com/, and chairs The Helen Clark Foundation, a non-partisan public policy think tank (https://helenclark.foundation/).
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