How long will it take before Covid is in our rearview mirror? That may be largely out of New Zealand's hands, according to epidemiologist Amanda Kvalsvig.

If vaccines are provided to low-income countries at a low price along with resourcing for roll-out, the pandemic could be essentially over in one to two years, she says.

The virus will still be circulating but would merge into the background of all the other infectious diseases that public health measures prevent.

Migration has been one of the most visible and fraught shifts under Covid as the border virtually closed, and neither Eaqub nor sociologist and demographer Paul Spoonley expect a return to pre-Covid levels.

The numbers are compelling. Spoonley says immigration has been a major driver of population growth in New Zealand, proportionately a third to two-thirds higher than Australia and Canada.

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