A Wellington resident has been caught on camera showing off her adoration of director general of health Ashley Bloomfield.
Journalists returning to the Ministry of Health for today's 1pm briefing were treated to a sign of the fondness in which Bloomfield is held by many, as a hand towel with his face on it could be seen just outside the window of the press briefing room.
Herald reporter Jason Walls shared the scene on Twitter and revealed that Bloomfield knew all about it.
"I spoke to Bloomfield while walking back to Parliament - he was aware of it. It was a 'lovely lady' who keeps it hanging 24/7 every day of the week."
The towels, sold by Wellington boutique St Fabiola, became a hit earlier this year, during our first lockdown.
The boutique's owner, Kirsten Sutherland, had the idea for the towels and after showing them to family, realised she had a struck a nerve when her family wanted to share the idea with their friends.
Sutherland said she was an early fan of Bloomfield, whose reassuring performance in the daily media briefings has won him legions of supporters.
"I don't have a girl crush on him but I love how he makes us feel looked after," Sutherland told the Herald in April, though she did admit that Bloomfield has "nerd appeal".
"I hope he's not too creeped out about it," Sutherland added, saying that Bloomfield "deserves every bit of attention he gets".
That positive attention was in stark contrast to the reception waiting for Bloomfield inside the press briefing, where the health chief was hit with tough questions about holes in testing at our borders.
Last week Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave assurances that border-facing frontline staff were being tested regularly.
"If you work in our primary quarantine (the Jet Park), you are tested weekly. If you work outside of that, it's a slightly longer rotation but still frequent," she said on Thursday.
But that had not been happening, for which Health Minister Chris Hipkins has already accepted responsibility.
Asked about her comments last week and who had misled her, Ardern said she would have to check who had compiled the information.
But she said it was unfair to assume Bloomfield had misled her.
"When we ask as a Cabinet for something to happen, we expect it to happen. That has not met our expectations," Ardern said.
But today Bloomfield said no one had been misled and he had communicated frequently with ministers about testing border-facing workers.
"I was checking every single day. There was clearly a dissonance between what the Prime Minister thought was happening and what was happening on the ground."
He said testing was being rolled out for staff at managed isolation and quarantine facilities.
"We were increasing the frequency of that testing."
He didn't know when testing of workers at the Jet Park had started, but it was in the process of being moved to weekly testing.