The rollout of coronavirus vaccines to border workers, which began at the weekend, must be a huge relief and some piece of mind for them and their families.
They have been at the front line during a stressful year and their Covid-19 inoculations will gradually also become an extra layer of security for the rest of us.
New Zealand's managed isolation system has mostly proved its worth, with a small city's worth of people safely passing through it.
Yet at the same time its limitations have been clear for months with occasional breaches of the virus into the community. Any subsequent restrictions in Auckland are expensive.
Steady improvements have been insufficient. The regularly repaired system resembles a winding staircase with a few too many creaky steps. Those repairs mainly hold it together. But it's hard not to wish it could be knocked down so the authorities could start from scratch and build back better.
It is easy to understand how the country got in this situation. The pandemic happened, the borders closed, hotels were starved of tourists, and expats started returning home. It seemed a case of fixing a couple of problems in one go. Any gaps that have since appeared have simply been patched up.
Probably the best adjustment made in recent months was the decision to start shifting any new cases of infected people in the community into managed isolation.
It was a recognition that those with the virus need to be temporarily apart from the wider population to stop spread.
Unfortunately that vulnerability is built into the basic MIQ set-up - through its use of some downtown hotels.
Infected people simply should not be in the centre of major cities while they go through a two-week quarantine. Any breaches would naturally be far more risky, because there are lots of people around, than if the guests were in a more isolated area.
Auckland University Professor of Medicine Des Gorman referred to this: "Why are we still isolating high-risk returnees in the middle of our largest city? This is simply nuts. We are putting our livelihoods and wellbeings at risk."
In Australia, there has been media discussion of this very point.
Health experts have suggested that the Australian Government should build regional quarantine facilities, based on the Howard Springs site near Darwin.
The former mining camp has joined cabins, each with separate air conditioning units and ventilation, and with staff at the base.
Professor Adrian Esterman, of the University of South Australia, said: "Typically, the people working in city quarantine hotels are poorly paid, travel home on public transport, and spread it to their families. That's what happened in Melbourne."
Victoria is considering building a quarantine facility at one of its airports. Premier Daniel Andrews said: "It would be a cabin-style, village-style environment, where there would be fresh air, where there would be not zero risk, but lower risk."
Realistically such an option in New Zealand would be for the longer term and future threats.
It would take months to build and would need to have other potential uses for when it is not needed for quarantine, perhaps as accommodation for international students.
Finding the right site may take time and planning, but the idea of a purpose-built solution could be worth pursuing.