National's push for an inquiry into the Government's pandemic response this year focuses specifically on the Delta outbreak and its lead-up.
The main opposition party says it wants a royal commission to look at what was done to plan for a Delta outbreak in the community.
Leader Judith Collins contended: "There was no preparation, particularly in the health system for ICU units - the inability to actually prepare for that when other countries were doing it. There was no particular work started on any vaccine certificate."
Collins charged that the Government's response did not adapt to changing circumstances from the first year of the pandemic. Aspects that needed looking at included testing, the pace of the rollout, Māori vaccination rates, spending, transparency and communication.
Calling for an inquiry is a way of pointing out perceived shortcomings and piling political heat on the Government over what has previously happened, just as the party in power is trying keep the public focus on the now and near future.
Still, it does highlight some of the many issues that have floated along our pandemic river. In a constantly moving and multi-faceted crisis, their impact hasn't been adequately analysed.
The basic idea of official scrutiny of a Covid-19 response is not new. A parliamentary inquiry into the UK Government's handling of the pandemic there has already been held.
Two committees of MPs produced a highly critical report in October into the disastrous initial stages of Covid-19 in Britain.
New Zealand's response and outcomes have been completely different to Britain's. New Zealand has had 1285 cases and six deaths per one million people compared to the UK's 131,949 and 2056. This country is mostly known for elimination, long stretches of safe times, and a slow rollout; the UK for muddled restrictions, early vaccinations and "freedom day".
Yet both countries, as well as others, at some stage, will need independent, comprehensive reviews of what has occurred during the pandemic.
Such a review here would need to cover everything, not just a section of it.
Lessons need to be drawn about what worked and what didn't, and what we need to know to prepare for next time.
Having been lashed by a previous Sars coronavirus outbreak from China, several countries and territories in Asia had a headstart in understanding how to deal with this one.
Internationally, the pandemic response mostly continues to be country- and region-based when a more widely organised effort would be more effective against the virus. There are few signs a new pandemic would be dealt with in a more cooperative way.
In New Zealand we know that border closures and quick lockdown coupled with financial support are crucial initial responses and that access to medical equipment, staff and treatments are essential.
Here a review would need to consider questions such as whether health guidance to the public kept up with changing information overseas; whether restrictions criteria were too broad and bureaucratic; whether time bought by closed borders and the first lockdown was wasted in terms of improving the MIQ system and medical supplies; whether the vaccine rollout could have been quicker and different groups should have been prioritised.
There's a lot more besides that needs to be analysed so that we don't face the next pandemic from square one.
The desire to return to the comforts of normality work against the idea of stopping to assess past events.