He was the reassuring face of our Covid-19 lockdown, providing daily updates and guiding us through a tumultuous period with sage advice on what was needed to keep safe.

And now, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, proud Lower Hutt resident, at times even deified by admirers, has been rewarded with a mayoral citation.

Last night Mayor Campbell Barry issued his first city honour to the director general of health for his efforts during the early days of the outbreak.

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"This is the highest honour I can award a resident - and I can think of no one more deserving," wrote Barry in a celebratory post on Facebook.


"He has been a visible face during the Covid-19 pandemic, and he's also a proud resident of Lower Hutt. On behalf of the people of Lower Hutt - thank you!"

The citation read "in recognition for outstanding leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic and supporting New Zealand's successful health response".

Barry added while the citation was in Bloomfield's name he considered it was more far-reaching.

"I would like to think it is an acknowledgement of the commitment and service of our health professionals and public servants who have been integral to our health response."

As Bloomfield prepares to take his first holiday since the pandemic hit our shores, the honour comes on the back of navigating a difficult fortnight when former health minister David Clark publicly turned on his top health civil servant. The expression on Bloomfield's face, who was standing nearby, captured a moment of disappointment.

His followers aka "Bloomers" put their money together to buy Blooms for Bloomfield after a video of him being thrown "under the bus" went viral.

At his insistence, the money raised was donated to a charity.

Nonetheless he still received some flowers and cupcakes.


"I did get some flowers, very nice. I want to thank those who sent them. A family sent me some cupcakes as well and I think there was some money raised, which I am really thrilled to see has gone to a charity to protect women from domestic violence," he told the AM show.

"Really pleased to see that has happened and appreciate people's support, not just for me, but for our team here in the ministry that continues to work really hard to protect them."