Auckland's iconic skywards-pointing needle has never been so symbolically appropriate as it is right now.
As New Zealand spears the target of fully vaccinating 90 per cent of the eligible population, Auckland has been at the pointy end throughout.
It has suffered most of the pain of the Delta outbreak and now its 1.7 million people provide the bulk of the country's vaccinated protection going forward.
Like the Sky Tower rising above the cityscape, Auckland's region has both carried the burden of battling Covid-19 for the country and led the way forward on how to deal with it.
For the entire pandemic the country's biggest city and economic powerhouse has shouldered about 10,000 of the country's total 13,000 community cases.
What a burden it was over the Delta lockdown.
Fifteen weeks with little to do. People stuck in their houses, their lives suddenly shrunk. There were families divided by the city boundary with people unable to see each other for months. Businesses struggled, with many unable to operate except online, and some having to close down.
The virus stretched the health and MIQ system in that time with hospitalisations, vaccinations, testing and tracing. Part-way through, the Government brought in home isolation for less severe cases, and there have been questions raised over the standards of support.
The Delta outbreak has tested people's mental and emotional reserves. But the city has shown its resilience and residents collectively rolled up their sleeves and got on with protecting themselves and the community.
The 90 per cent vaccination rate target was an Auckland initiative.
A month after Delta arrived in the city, after we had followed news reports of the damage it was inflicting on Sydney and Melbourne, the New Zealand Herald and NZME publicly campaigned for the goal.
It was clear that vaccines and other health treatments and measures had to be the eventual alternative to lockdowns in order for a new normal life to become the norm. The country needed the highest possible vaccination levels we could get to.
Still, many people at the time thought 90 per cent might be too ambitious. The Government later came on board and endorsed the push. Yesterday when the Prime Minister told the House the target had been reached she said "let's keep going".
Now the Auckland health region overall is all at 90 per cent or more - with the metro area at 95 per cent.
To be a JAFA now means to be just another fully-vaxxed Aucklander.
Wednesday, the first day of border restrictions being eased around Auckland, brought good and bad news. Another death was confirmed, bringing the total to 48 for the entire pandemic so far.
The daily new case total of 74 confirmed the current trend of high vaccination levels gradually smothering the virus. Of the cases, 56 were in Auckland. It was the third week in a row that cases had decreased in the region.
A new Covid variant looms on the horizon, but it's already known that booster shots are effective against Omicron infections.
Auckland and the rest of the country will feel confident of handling any further Covid curveballs after this tough year.