It's been six months since the country went into Alert Level 4 lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19. March 26 marked the beginning of a change for all facets of society. Stephanie Arthur-Worsop talks to different corners of our community about how lockdown affected them and what has changed since.
The health sector will not go back to the way things were pre-Covid, "nor should we", Ranolf medical centre general practitioner Dr Harry Pert says.
"The big change to come out of lockdown was the better use of technology. There is a place for virtual consulting and the government investment into fast internet has paid huge dividends.
"One of the most pressing challenges we had been facing as a sector was the mix match of supply and demand. What lockdown showed us is we can build more capacity by working differently.
"At the moment we are still learning how to consult remotely but on the whole, it has been well received by patients who understand the reasons behind it, find it convenient, and want to have a consult with somebody they know and trust."
Pert said the other unexpected benefit to come out of Covid-19 and lockdown was the "complete absence of influenza this winter".
"Most winters we're hammered by influenza but because of the increased hygiene, wearing masks, social distancing and isolating when sick, it hasn't happened this year.
"It has saved a lot of lives that would have otherwise been claimed by influenza this year."
But he said there was one aspect of the industry that wouldn't change.
"The relationship between patient and health provider remains fundamental and has to be preserved."
Lakes District Health Board chief executive Nick Saville-Wood said the hospital was still in the process of catching up on procedures rescheduled due to lockdown and it was estimated to take a number of months.
"The backlog varies, depending on the surgical speciality, with the bigger backlog in orthopaedics."
He said virtual appointments through Zoom, Facetime and phone conversations were increased during lockdown and the hospital's visiting policy had been adjusted several times in the past six months in line with the changing alert levels.
"The need for increased hand hygiene, cough/sneeze etiquette and social distancing drove a number of the changes within the hospital settings, and continue to be a strong focus as part of protecting our staff, our patients and hospital visitors."
Saville-Wood said changes since lockdown included an increased level of flexibility to adjust to sudden changes and a constant presence of uncertainty since March.
However, Saville-Wood echoed Pert's assertion that winter illnesses had significantly reduced which was a positive change.
"With the Covid restrictions and messaging, there is now much greater awareness by staff working in health who are unwell, of the need to stay home until they are better.
"Following the messaging means you are protecting yourself and at the same time helping prevent infecting others."
He said the increased move to virtual consultations in hospitals was expected to be a firm feature of the health sector moving forward.
Teachers may have plunged head-first into virtual learning at alert level 4 but a number of other changes have occurred six months down the track.
Western Heights Primary School principal Brent Griffin said there were more rules and regulations about hygiene, intensified monitoring of absent children and permanent changes to the school's arrival and exit times.
"Pre-Covid we had children who were arrived at school just after 7am which was far too early. Now our gates don't open until 8.30am so children have more time at home and when they arrive at school, they are ready to go straight into the classroom.
"The monitoring of absent children has intensified as there are parents who continue to have concern and anxiety around Covid. Some of that has been driven by misinformation, particularly on social media. It has been a challenge getting those children back into school."
Griffin said Covid-19 had allowed for shifts in thinking around how teachers delivered the curriculum.
"We have always been a creative school but when we went into lockdown and had to move to virtual learning, we were even more creative and innovative in our approach.
"We had children building huts in their living rooms and looking for insects in the garden. We were very clinical and realistic about what we would be able to do during lockdown because many of our teachers had children of their own as well.
"That mindset has filtered back into our regular learning and our photocopier rarely gets used now. We are constantly trying to find ways to ensure education is not only fun for the kids but for the teachers as well.
"Meeting the wellbeing needs of our whole school community is paramount."
Rotorua Girls' High School principal Sarah Davis said coming back together after lockdown, the school had ramped up support and increased its communication with whanau.
"For our Year 13s in particular, so much of their final year has changed with events, sports tournaments being cancelled.
"We made sure to shift the school ball so this year group are still able to experience that rite of passage when so much of their year has been disrupted."
Davis said virtual learning during lockdown had been fine short-term but long-term, "key learning happens through the relationships between teachers and students".
"We're still in catch-up mode and have had to find new ways to be flexible in our approach to our girls getting the qualifications they need."
One example of this is the holiday courses the school has implemented, giving students the opportunity to gain credits in their own time.
Davis said she was sceptical at first about whether students would attend but there was significant uptake for the first holidays and more for the upcoming holidays.
"I think one of the main takeaways from Covid-19 has been making sure learning is designed to meet individual students' needs.
"That's good teaching anyway but we are putting more attention into managing courses for individuals rather than groups."
Davis said the Ministry of Education had also been incredibly generous with resourcing and support during and post-lockdown.
Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Bryce Heard said Covid-19 and lockdown had affected individual businesses differently but overall, it had highlighted how resilient the business community was.
"There are all sorts of personality types in business and the reactions to stress has differed through this time. We've seen the full spectrum of reactions but as a whole, I think businesses have taken this in their stride and have been innovative in dealing with it."
Heard said businesses were doing everything they could to mitigate risk but it was hard as the current situation could persist for a long time yet.
"We are seeing more online activity, more flexibility, more innovation but what hasn't changed is those businesses doing well are those with a personal touch, those with good people skills."
Paul Croucher, who owns Brew Bar on Eat Streat and The Croucher Brewing, said the current climate had created a yo-yo effect on business confidence.
"The first time we came out of lockdown the exuberance was exceptional. Then when Auckland went back into lockdown it was a little bit frightening. I suspect with each bounceback there will be less exuberance each time."
Croucher said businesses were still trying to deal with the immediacy of the situation but said there would be changes moving forward.
"I think we are going to be pretty scarred coming out of this as a society. Until we are confident we can treat the virus or there is a vaccine, people will be more cautious.
"The positive to come out of this is people are looking to support local businesses more and there is more focus on the relationships with people we can help and those that we need help from."
Police had to adjust a lot of its day to day business to ensure staff and the community were safe from Covid-19, Rotorua police area commander Inspector Phil Taikato says.
"Some of our work groups were re-purposed to ensure a consistent and effective approach was applied and our people were used in the best way possible to meet changing requirements.
"Our organisation's ability to adapt really stood out, especially in this period of uncertainty.
"We saw the community step up and work together to support Rotorua, with some fantastic initiatives especially from iwi, such as the Te Arawa Covid-19 hub. This meant we could subsequently leverage off all these groups to help the city through this crises."
Taikato said the police's role in supporting the community through Covid-19 had continued past the initial response and evolved according to changing needs.
"Our people have been involved in helping with the managed isolation facilities in Rotorua.
"We have maintained and strengthened our established relationships with iwi, the council and other government and NGO groups.
"Some of our operational processes adopted during lockdown have remained due to their effective relevancy such as the inclusion of iwi at the operational level for the managed isolation facilities.
Taikato predicted partnerships with local and central government, iwi and non-governmental organisations would continue to strengthen moving forward
"There will also be improved communications with stakeholder groups that will lead to iwi and the community being part of the decision making processes in crises management."
In the home
Every family in New Zealand was affected differently by the nationwide March lockdown.
For Rotorua's Robertson family, lockdown meant pancake and French toast breakfasts, family walks around the neighbourhood, baking and homeschooling.
Mum Kylie said prior to going into lockdown, she had no idea a country could do that kind of thing.
"It all happened really fast, nobody was really prepared for it.
"Lockdown certainly had its stresses but we were fortunate that my husband retained his full pay throughout the whole time so for us it was nice to have a little break from the normal day to day.
"The mornings were our favourite part of the day. Our eldest son got into cooking so we were having French toast or pancakes every day.
"My husband was the one who started going for walks. I was still anxious about going out but after a few days I was so sick of looking at the same four walls that we all walked around the neighbourhood counting the teddy bears."
She said the best thing to come out of lockdown was the time her husband was able to spend with their children.
"My boys were able to spend time with their dad, we could do things together as a family, even if it was just a walk to count the teddies.
"You don't really realise what you have in front of you in regards to family until this kind of thing happens."
Robertson said when the country moved down alert levels, her family were conscious of extending their bubbles as many of their extended family and friends were among the most vulnerable.
"A lot of the people we relied on, interacted with, had underlying medical conditions so we had to and still have to be really careful.
"Since lockdown, we've tried to keep up with the hand sanitising and social distancing. Our youngest is absolutely thriving being back at daycare.
"This is the new norm for now so we are just going with the flow and trying to keep on with life as normal.
"I guess what we took from lockdown is learning to appreciate our freedom. There are still precautions people need to take but when you look at other countries I count our lucky stars we are in New Zealand because it could be so much worse."