Frontline workers to receive COVID-19 Response Award

  • Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

The government has confirmed the groups of frontline workers to receive a COVID-19 Response Recognition Award, a specific acknowledgement of the service given by so many to New Zealand during the pandemic, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.

“All New Zealanders, at home and abroad, played a part in our successful response to COVID-19, and I thank them for that. But we also want to acknowledge those New Zealanders whose roles were particularly critical,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“Earlier this year I announced this award to recognise particular people who contributed to New Zealand’s COVID-19 response, with MIQ workers the first confirmed recipients.

“We have subsequently considered other workforces who delivered key parts of the COVID-19 response and as a result further recipients of the award will be the border, testing, contact tracing and vaccination workforces along with the doctors and nurses who cared for patients with COVID-19.

“Their efforts were vital to our national response, and this award is one way we can recognise and thank them for stepping up during our most challenging days.

“Collectively these individuals made an enormous contribution, whether it was through containing and stamping out COVID-19, putting protections in place to keep people safe, or caring for those who caught the virus.

“They stepped up, often at great personal risk and sacrifice, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for carrying that burden on behalf of us all.

“The award has been designed to be in keeping with the likes of military service, and takes the form of a lapel pin with up to 80,000 pins to be given to individuals in the workforce groups identified.

“There will also be an organisational award to recognise the collective efforts of people working for non-governmental organisations that provided social service support as part of the national COVID-19 response.

“Many organisations and iwi provided services that helped people to stay safe and healthy during periods of lockdown or self-isolation, particularly vulnerable and marginalised communities,” Jacinda Ardern said.

  • The COVID-19 Response Recognition Award is for sustained and significant service in the following areas:
    • Managed Isolation and Quarantine Facilities (MIQ);
    • International Border workforce;
    • COVID-19 Testing workforce;
    • COVID-19 Contact Tracing workforce;
    • Doctors, Nurses, and healthcare staff caring for patients with COVID-19;
    • COVID-19 Vaccination workforce.
  • The COVID-19 Response Recognition Award has a focus on frontline workers in these workforce groups, and also includes people who provided sustained commitment to these workforces in a direct operational support role.
  • Recognition of the MIQ workforce will include, MIQ facility teams, MIQ regional offices, MIQ head office, transport providers, community groups, iwi partnerships, and private providers. It will also include personnel from New Zealand Police, healthcare staff and the Aviation Security Service (Avsec), and those members of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) who were deployed to OPERATION PROTECT.
  • Recognition of the Border workforce will include workers from the New Zealand Customs Service, Immigration New Zealand, the Ministry for Primary Industries, healthcare staff, NZDF, Maritime New Zealand and Avsec.
  • Distribution of the individual awards will begin in late January 2023.
  • An image of the award design is attached.

/Public Release. View in full here.