On Saturday, 1 February 2020 something out of the ordinary – at least by New Zealand government standards – happened. The Cabinet, the central decision-making body of executive government, met late at night by teleconference. At the meeting, Cabinet received an update on the novel coronavirus outbreak, including proposed enhanced border measures. Cabinet also authorised a group of Ministers to have power to act to take decisions on New Zealand’s response to the outbreak and border measures. On the following Sunday, 2 February, Ministers with power to act agreed to a series of border measures. Those border measures were kept under review throughout February and into March by the group of Ministers, and Cabinet, with amendments agreed to from time to time.
This issue of Policy Quarterly features articles interrogating and analsying Aotearoa New Zealand's governance under Covid-19. Nearly a year into an unprecedented set of challenges, we examine how our systems and institutions have performed.
Policy Quarterly (PQ) is targeted at readers in the public sector, including politicians and their staff, public servants and a wide variety of professions, together with others interested in public issues. Its length and style are intended to make the journal accessible to busy readers.