The rising public concern as the number of Covid-19 cases in New Zealand rose prompted the PM Jacinda Ardern to undertake the very rare, almost wartime step of taking over the public airwaves to deliver a direct address to the nation.
Ardern herself is an almost obsessive planner, and she was seeking to provide the public as well with some clarity about what they might expect as Covid-19 grew and when they might expect it.
It was to allow them to plan.
Flowcharts help some people feel in control so she produced a chart setting out the four stages of "alert" for Covid-19, and what the measures could be at each stage. They went right up to complete lockdown, requisitioning of facilities such as supermarkets, and closing all but non-essential businesses.
Then she said we were at "level two".
Ardern is an extraordinary communicator.
She has that rare skill of being able to present information clearly and convincingly.
People want reassurance and information, and she provides as much of both as possible.
Confusing times call for simple messages, and her eight-minute address to the nation was even more simple than usual – enough to prompt a text from a friend asking "why is Jacinda speaking like we are all dumb?"
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The specific changes in measures were the new advice that all those aged over 70 or with health conditions should now stay home, and urging people not to travel domestically.
The one question mark around her statement on Saturday was whether she needed to issue it in quite such a dramatic fashion.
The power to require the public broadcasters to air a "statement to the nation" is an emergency measure for extraordinary announcements.
Those public broadcasters are usually exempt from political direction. Yet it requires them to let a politician talk, unfiltered.
There is a place for it, such as decisions of war. It is a power, but also a privilege and should not be misused. As a result it is rarely used.
Not since Sir Robert Muldoon announced wage and price freezes in the 1980s can anybody recall a PM using the public broadcasters to issue such a statement.
It is also a somewhat outdated power and unnecessary in the modern day when live-streaming of press conferences and statements is commonplace.
Choosing to use a "statement to the nation" did little to get her message across more widely than it otherwise would have spread. Nor did the scale of the announcement she made necessarily warrant it, although if she had been announcing New Zealand was going into a wide lockdown it would have.
But it was very good politics. It added a lot to the drama. Television is a powerful medium, and staring straight down the camera while delivering a message makes a politician look both powerful, and Prime Ministerial.
Ardern book-ended her address with slightly political messages, which would have had the added benefit of outraging the Opposition.
But they still should be used with caution. The rarity means it can be alarming to hear one is looming, especially at a time when people are already concerned about what is happening next.
Ardern's team advised it was happening two hours in advance with no details about its nature or content.
That created a two-hour vacuum which lent itself to the very panic the PM has warned against and speculation a lockdown was imminent.
That only increased when Ministry of Health head Ashley Bloomfield revealed an hour later that two cases were potentially community-transmission.
Nonetheless, the pace of the Covid-19 response is such that the Government has found itself contradicting its own messages not long after delivering them.
In February, the Government put up funding for a marketing campaign to encourage people to travel domestically to keep tourism ticking over.
On Saturday, the Prime Minister told the nation not to travel domestically to try to ensure Covid-19 did not spread.
New Zealanders now have to ignore the Government's own tourism marketing campaign.
There are also contradictions closer to home for Ardern: in fact one of them sits right beside her in Parliament. That is her Deputy PM Winston Peters, who is 74, and who is exempted from her new order for the over-70s to stay home.