Coronavirus: Kiwis petition for Dr Ashley Bloomfield to be named New Zealander of the Year

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned life upside down for Kiwis and in the opinion of some, one man should be rewarded for carrying the country through the crisis - Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

A petition signed by more than 100 people is calling for him to be the next New Zealander of the Year for his role in the Government response to COVID-19.

Bloomfield has risen to internet fame in recent weeks for his calm and collected demeanour during the daily press briefings as the country battles against coronavirus.

"While we all sit at home waiting for this crisis to be over, we are being updated daily by a competent, calm, factual and reassuring man," reads the petition description.

"He should be proud of his work. I know our entire country certainly is."

The finalists for the 2020 New Zealander of the Year have already been chosen so if Dr Bloomfield is nominated he'll have to wait until 2021.

When asked about the petition during Monday's briefing, Bloomfield brushed off his rise to popularity.

"I would say that leadership is an invitation to collective action," he said.

"I'm very lucky to be part of an amazing team at the Ministry of Health and a fantastic country who have accepted that invitation to collective action." 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern acknowledged Bloomfield's humility, saying he "gets very humble when you play the song about him too".

Bloomfield has become somewhat of an icon throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A fan page for him on Twitter has more than 6000 followers and he's been the subject of several opinion pieces both for a New Zealand audience and a US one.