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
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
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