header

Fighting COVID-19 with the Team of 5 Million: Aotearoa New Zealand Government Communication During the 2020 Lockdown

31 Pages Posted: 12 May 2021 Publication Status: Accepted

See all articles by Alex Beattie

Alex Beattie

Victoria University of Wellington - Centre for Science in Society

Rebecca Priestley

Victoria University of Wellington - Centre for Science in Society

Abstract

Aotearoa New Zealand’s response to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic is considered one of the best in the world. A major component of the response was the communication of public health measures. A reflexive thematic analysis of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s addresses to the nation and her daily press briefings with the Director-General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield, led us to identify three key themes: 1) open, honest and straightforward communication; 2) distinctive and motivational language; and 3) expressions of care. We argue that the messages presented in the daily briefings supported the New Zealand Government’s COVID-19 elimination strategy through building trust with the audience and framing the ‘lockdown’ as an urgent, collective and meaningful cause, mobilising New Zealanders to support public health measures.

Keywords: New Zealand; COVID-19; pandemic; crisis communication; metaphors; public health; Jacinda Ardern; thematic analysis

Suggested Citation

Beattie, Alex and Priestley, Rebecca, Fighting COVID-19 with the Team of 5 Million: Aotearoa New Zealand Government Communication During the 2020 Lockdown. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3844944 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3844944

Alex Beattie (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington - Centre for Science in Society ( email )

Wellington
Australia

Rebecca Priestley

Victoria University of Wellington - Centre for Science in Society ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
412
Downloads
64
PlumX Metrics