Some of the things being written about Jacinda Ardern in the international media are simply appalling.
A columnist in Britain's Telegraph this week, for example, described the decision by Ardern to cancel her own wedding as "showy martyrdom". There was not an ounce of sympathy for what was undoubtedly a distressing decision for any bride to make. I stopped reading at that point.
But not all those abroad stoop to the same level of personal antipathy when criticising New Zealand's harsh border policies which are preventing thousands of Kiwis from getting home.
Former Herald reporter Angela Mollard who now lives in Australia wrote a thoughtful piece for the Daily Telegraph this week explaining why she is angry with Ardern.
Mollard said she had lost faith in New Zealand, she dispensed with Dave Dobbyn's "Loyal" being her song of choice at her funeral (she is not dying), and concluded that Australia is the country that now deserves her loyalty.
"I'm angry at her parochial and uber-protective policies and I'm angry that I'm banned from the place where – more than any other – I felt I belonged," wrote Mollard who is missing her family in New Zealand.
There is no shortage of commentary internationally on New Zealand's management of Covid-19. It comes from journalists abroad and New Zealand-based journalists writing for foreign publications.
But the most powerful and visceral critics are Kiwis abroad, such as Angela Mollard in Australia, Dan Wootton in London, and most recently the pregnant journalist Charlotte Bellis in Afghanistan.
All were locked out of New Zealand, although the international exposure given to the Bellis case resulted in a swift volte face, a place in MIQ and approval to return home. It may be one of the last.
Ardern dropped heavy hints today that she will be making big announcements this week about relaxing the border rules, which will allow people to isolate at home rather than Government-run facilities.
That is not likely to quickly heal the damage between New Zealand and locked-out Kiwis, many of whom have been abused online for complaining about the system.
But New Zealand's international reputation has also been damaged.
The cumulative stories about the human impact of the border policies have sullied New Zealand's reputation as a fair and decent place.
All countries care about their reputations but it is more important to small countries because they do not hold economic or military power. Being a good international citizen, being an honest broker, doing the right thing has been important to New Zealand.
The damage to New Zealand is exacerbated by the fact that Arderns's reputation and New Zealand's are one and the same. Her international brand, through leadership after the Christchurch massacre, is a caring leader.
Damage to New Zealand reflects badly on her; and damage to her reflects badly on New Zealand.
In the early days of the Covid pandemic, Ardern was the one who was at pains to reiterate the right of New Zealanders to enter New Zealand. She has not been able to deliver on that right for an extended period.
She said today that as Covid had changed, so had Government policy. The trouble is that the slow pace of change to Government policy has allowed the problems to pile up.
She was rightly applauded internationally for the initial response to Covid-19. Now, for the most part, she is rightly being criticised.