Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern began the week addressing the country as she regularly does over Covid-19 decisions, and the words that rang true were: "If it feels hard right now, it's because it is."
That could have applied to so many, as Auckland prepares for its third weekend in alert level 3 lockdown.
But Covid for once has not been the most important story. And Ardern's words could not have rung more true than for the survivors of the 2019 mosque massacre, who this week confronted the killer in court. She alluded to them in her comments.
While it was an incredibly important occasion for them personally, it also became an important week for the country.
The sentencing hearing gave the victims a platform to amplify their tragedy, strengths and values through their stories.
It drew silent solidarity from the rest of the country and the killer remained mercifully quiet.
Ardern was reluctant to speak at all after the sentencing on Thursday.
In fact, her office conveyed the decision the night before that she would not be doing anything other than issuing a written statement.
That reluctance may have come from a misplaced concern that she would be taking a spotlight away from the victims' families – misplaced because at certain times a country needs to actually hear from its leader even if only to state what everyone thinks.
In the end, the brief words she chose were perfect, offering the hope that the families felt the collective arms of the others in New Zealand around them.
At least she didn't call them resilient. It's a cliché that is trotted out in crises by politicians wanting to flatter people into not complaining too much - including during parts of the Covid-19 crisis.
If there is one thing the experience with the traumatic events of March 15, 2019 has in common with the global trauma of Covid-19, it is that New Zealand's reputation has emerged relatively intact, and in some ways enhanced for its handling of them.
In the superbly crafted sentencing remarks of Justice Cameron Mander, he says in a footnote that he received an affidavit from the chief executive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on the impact of the terrorism on NZ's international profile and reputation.
If it is released, it may well be blackened with redactions and the grounds it would be likely to "prejudice the security or defence of New Zealand or the international relations of the Government of New Zealand" but it not hard to guess at its contents.
The massacre had immense potential to damage New Zealand's relationship with the Muslim world, which have not been strong. Even with regional neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia, relations have been cordial, not close.
Much potential damage was mitigated last year through the public's outpouring and Government response to news that protests in Muslim capitals were being discussed.
As well as Ardern's strong and empathetic leadership in the wake of the massacre, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa were despatched to Turkey for an emergency session of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation after the massacre.
Within a week of the massacre, the mood against New Zealand had changed and the potential for protest and boycott had reduced.
It is not known if the Mfat affidavit went as far as to explain to Justice Mander that a sentence perceived to be lenient could again open up New Zealand to damage. In any event, it didn't need to.
In sentencing Brenton Tarrant, the judge made it clear why he was using a relatively recent law of life without parole, which Parliament had intended for the very worst murders. "The unavoidable rhetorical question in sentencing you today is, if not here, then when?"
The change to the law to add the option of life without parole was passed in 2010.
Former Prime Minister John Key had announced it as National Party policy in the heat of the 2008 campaign when he was Leader of the Opposition.
Law and order was one of National's main policy planks beyond the economy, welfare reform and national standards in education.
The party was not willing to leave all the hardline running to Act, which was campaigning on its Three Strikes policy to increase penalties for repeat violence offenders.
The bill was in the name of liberal Justice Minister Simon Power but current National leader Judith Collins - then Police and Corrections Minister - gave the Third Reading speech, possibly more proudly than Power would have, and Labour opposed the bill.
No one could have imagined in 2008 or in 2010 the circumstances around its first use or the fact it would be met with near universal acclamation for getting justice served.
Ardern's reluctance to speak on the sentencing this week was not replicated by her deputy and Foreign Minister Winston Peters.
He immediately suggested that the Australian Cabinet minister responsible for the deportation of many convicted Kiwis, Peter Dutton, stand ready to receive the Australian terrorist to serve his sentence in Australia at their cost.
Collins pointed out that reciprocity could mean 900 New Zealand prisoners being deported back to New Zealand.
Ardern and Australian counterpart Scott Morrison have not ruled it out.
But it would constitute a loss of sovereign control over the prisoner which did not work out well when New Zealand handed over the Rainbow Warrior bombers to France to supervise them on Hao Atoll.
Morally, any such move would require the overwhelming support of the victims' families, which Ardern has acknowledged.
Having just achieved some closure on the horrific events of last year, it not the time to turn a possible deportation of the murderer into an election issue.
The families have had a hard enough time already.