At the weekend, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern displayed her frustration at those failing to follow the lockdown rules, saying "still some people I would charitably describe as idiots".

Those adults who struggle to fully grasp the concept of a lockdown have been put to shame by 7-year-old Ngākuru School student Harriet Grainger-Allen.

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Every year, the school holds its Pumpkin Roll, an event in which children decorate pumpkins, grown by the Parent Teacher Association, and roll them down a steep hill across the road.


This year the nationwide lockdown due to Covid-19 meant the event could not be held, not as usual anyway.

Principal Gareth Cunliffe said the event always brought the community together, so he was hesitant to cancel it completely. Instead, he and the teachers encouraged families to get involved virtually, doing their own decorating and rolling at home on video.

Harriet showed innovation and maturity when she decorated her pumpkin as Covid-19 and delivered a minute-long news broadcast providing viewers with important information relating to the pandemic.

"Covid-19 is trying to get into your life. Some people can fight it but old people struggle. New Zealand is in lockdown, if you go out stay 2m away from everyone around you.

"Be kind, be safe and stay home. If you are not sure who to contact for help, call the free Government helpline on 0800 779 997. Find out more at

"Thank you for listening," she said.

Her video was well received and even went global - after her dad Colin Grainger-Allen posted the video on Twitter it was picked up by USA Today.

Ngākuru School students were able to take part in the annual Pumpkin Roll virtually from home.

Cunliffe said the greatest concern for all the staff at the school was the wellbeing of the students during the lockdown so to come together virtually for the Pumpkin Roll was beneficial.


"We did it all online which goes to show anything is possible. We got videos and photos of them doing at the back of their own farms, they all started rolling in during the weekend, it was great.

Every year children decorate their own pumpkins for the Ngākuru School Pumpkin Roll. Photo / Supplied
Every year children decorate their own pumpkins for the Ngākuru School Pumpkin Roll. Photo / Supplied

"It's really good to see that even though we couldn't do it normally, everyone bought into it and got involved. It makes us think differently and be more creative with how we interact with the kids.

"[Harriet's video] was brilliant, I was amazed when it got picked up overseas. It shows the difference one little 7-year-old can make. One of the comments I saw said 'this 7-year-old understands Covid better than most adults'." The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website