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MoneyMay 22, 2020

All the weird and wonderful creative tributes to Dr Ashley Bloomfield


The lockdown might be over, but the strange obsession with New Zealand’s director general of health is not. Tara Ward scoured the internet in search of Bloomfield-inspired works of art. 

Heroes save us when we’re in trouble, like when Chris Warner rescued everyone at Shortland Street when it was under siege, or the time Jason Gunn stayed calm when Thingee’s eye fell out. Bless our Kiwi hearts then, that in our time of crisis we began to hero-worship a well-paid public servant who was essentially just doing his job.

Over the past eight weeks, we’ve shown our admiration for Dr Ashley Bloomfield in a variety of creative ways. We wrote raps, love songs and fan-fiction in his name, and ordered t-shirts and tote-bags with his face printed on them. Some called him the Lockdown Wizard, others called him The Curve Crusher. He was the balm to our furrowed brow and a bit of afternoon delight, and nearly 5,000 people signed a petition to make him New Zealander of the Year. If he was toilet paper, we would have panic bought him.

We rode the Bloomfield wave all the way to shore, to the point where the media began to wonder: what the heck was happening? How could we critically analyse the government’s response to Covid-19 if we were too busy wondering what Ashley Bloomfield’s favourite love song was?

I don’t have the answers. In fact, I can’t even decide whether you should buy these Ashley Bloomfield coasters to rest your Ashley Bloomfield mug on. All I know is that the good doctor got New Zealand’s creative juices flowing during a time when life sucked in unexpected ways. And when the aliens eventually land on Earth and try to make sense of whatever the hell 2020 was, they’ll have several weird and wonderful tributes to sift through.

Lo-fi Ashley Bloomfield beats to chill out/self-isolate to

Take yourself to another realm by listening to this soothing 58-minute track of Dr Bloomfield saying things like “there’s a high demand for nasal swabs” and “all health care providers will attend to your needs”. Put it in the supermarkets, put it on the radio, put it on your hypnobirthing playlist. Just put it on. 

Dr Ashley Bloomfield Hand Towel

Wipe your wet hands on Dr Ashley’s face? Sure, why not. This hand towel originally sold out, but good news: Wellington boutique St Fabiola is now taking orders for a mid-June delivery. Consider it an essential service.

The Dr Ashley Bloomfield keyring

i carry your keyring with me Ashley Bloomfield (i carry it

in my heart)

Dr Ashley Bloomfield made out of recycling

Photo: Colleen Pugh

Out of trash comes a thing of beauty.  Artists Scott Savage and Colleen Pugh created this miniature press conference out of some old packaging they had lying around during lockdown, and their eco-friendly work of art is heading off to Te Papa as part of its Covid-19 collection.

This delicious cake

I Don’t Wanna Bone Ya Bloomfield by Two Hearts

It’s the anthem for the Covid-19 age. Comedians Laura Daniel and Joseph Moore created this beautiful ballad for Three’s lockdown show Dai’s House Party, dedicated to their “strictly professional” thirst for Dr “McQuarantiney” Bloomfield.

Dr Ashley Bloomfield earrings and pins

A little bit of Ashley in your lobes, a little bit of Bloomfield by your nose… It’s like ‘Mambo Number 5’ but for a pandemic. Plus, these earrings and Jacinda and Ashley pins have raised over $1,000 for Women’s Refuge.

Ashley Bloomfield (this one’s for you)

Any piece of music that features a melodica solo should go straight to number one.

Dr Ashley Bloomfield laser-cut wooden figure

“Push the pieces out and assemble your own Dr Bloomfield with the instructions provided.” What more do you need, you animals?

Keep going!