Come Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will face another big decision on Covid-19 – this time on whether to effectively dismantle the Covid-19 regime – and let go of the Government's powers to manage it.
Like those earlier big decisions which put that framework in place, this one too will be made without the public getting much chance to say what they think about it ahead of time – although arguably many have already made it clear what they think about the remaining rules by simply ignoring them.
Cabinet is set to consider whether to scrap the traffic light system altogether and allow the legal instrument that lets it make Covid-19 orders lapse.
Monday's is no small decision, because there may well be no going back from it. It is not just getting rid of the traffic light system, it is getting rid of the ability to put in new rules easily should they be needed.
It also has a symbolic significance. It will mark the end of the Covid-19 response in the way that the PM's televised address to announce the new "alert levels" system back in March 2020 marked the start of it.
Ministers have different views on whether to move fully to the Living with Covid setting because it does carry more risk.
But many believe it will be good riddance and recognise there is little point having rules nobody is sticking to. Mask use is patchy at best, non-existent in some places. And the Government cops a lot of the flak for being so closely associated with it.
There is now an acknowledgment that the rules were initially designed for and worked in a different time.
And it does feel like a different time.
Those years of lockdowns and elimination seem like a distant and faraway land. The developments in the case of the Northland women this week was a reminder of a surreal time when every single case in New Zealand was a major event and had to be tracked, when people who broke the rules were put in the metaphorical stocks for it.
It will effectively bring to an end the Government's ability to impose rules such as getting vaccinated and restricting people's movement through things such as lockdowns, isolation periods and gathering limits.
In normal times, those are all extraordinary powers for a Government to be able to execute, especially with no or minimal public consultation. It was justified because things had to happen quickly: there simply was no time.
The extraordinariness of the powers was acknowledged when the laws allowing the Covid-19 response were first put in place: all of them had to be periodically renewed and justified to ensure they were not abused.
So next week, Ardern will again have to ask if those powers are justified when deciding whether to renew the provision under which the Covid-19 orders are issued.
That has to be renewed every three months and requires the Prime Minister to state she is satisfied the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak are likely to continue to "significantly disrupt" essential governmental and business activity in New Zealand.
That question is getting hard to answer in the affirmative.
Case numbers have dropped right down – from a peak of more than 10,000 in March to just over 1000 now. Hospitalisations and deaths are also down. And the public awareness that those are the unavoidable consequences of Covid-19 is up.
There is relatively high immunity, at least for now, courtesy of the large number of people who have had a recent infection.
That will wax and wane, and further waves of infections will come as they have in other countries.
Vaccines would be relied on to try to keep immunity up – but otherwise we will be resigning ourselves to a life of cycles in which case numbers rise and fall, and to a certain number of deaths each year – just like the flu but worse.
The Government will face flak if the delivery of new vaccines or boosters is slack, but would otherwise be at a greater distance from the response.
The criteria that are not written down but will also be in the minds of ministers on Monday are the criteria of political palatability.
When Ardern first embarked on the Covid rules – starting with the alert level lockdowns – she acknowledged that the powers she was using were extraordinary, especially in a democratic nation.
But over the last two and half years, it has become almost normal for the Government to impose such restrictions and to do so with very little public consultation, almost solely on expert advice. It has also become normal for people to accept it.
That has led to something of a "Government knows best" attitude.
That seems to be the case even now the Government is looking at dismantling the Covid framework.
Even after the Herald discovered that was the decision Cabinet was facing, Ardern refused to talk about it – simply saying, repeatedly, they were looking at the Covid settings and advice and would then make decisions.
It means they will make the decision without yet explaining to people what the practical consequences of it are, or what might come next.
Quite why there is such secrecy is a mystery, given ministers including Ardern have previously hinted at the prospect the traffic light system could be scrapped.
One possible explanation is that they did not want to let expectation and hope rise to a point where deciding to keep the Covid rules in place for longer would result in a backlash.
Perhaps the Government did not want to be perceived as making a decision for political rather than health reasons. Or perhaps there is some fear that once the rules are gone, they will not be able to bring them back if they are needed.
Covid-19 Minister at the time Chris Hipkins did something of a "farewell to all of that" speech in June, when he last renewed the primary Covid-19 legislation in his final days as minister. He noted the law was put in place at a time of great uncertainty and had allowed the elimination strategy to work for 18 months. He admitted to "mixed feelings" when it came to renewing it, yet again, two years later.
He noted it had been a "bumpy road" between the elimination strategy and now – but he also foreshadowed a different approach was coming. On Monday, they will decide whether to stop the car.