New Zealand

As of December 21, 2020, New Zealand has 2,121 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 25 related deaths. Since the end of October, there have been no confirmed cases in the community. The New Zealand government aimed for elimination of the virus from the beginning, as the country’s healthcare system was judged liable to being overrun under a ‘flatten the curve’ approach. Foreign nationals were barred from entering the country from March 19 onward, with returning New Zealanders required to quarantine for 14 days in designated hotels. The government introduced a four-level system to communicate COVID-19 restrictions to the public. Following a significant rise of cases in March, the entire country was placed on a Level 4 nationwide lockdown on March 25. Restrictions were gradually lifted as transmission rates fell until June 8, when all remaining restrictions were lifted except for border controls (Level 1). After 102 days of zero community transmission, an outbreak in early August prompted a return to partial lockdown measures in Auckland for two months. In November, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labor government won a majority in parliamentary elections, indicative of public approval for her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. In December, the New Zealand government announced that it had acquired enough vaccines to inoculate the entire New Zealand population and residents of neighbouring Pacific Island countries free of charge. It is anticipated that New Zealand and Australia will attempt to form a COVID-19 travel bubble in early 2021.

Down Under Travel Bubble Confirmed, While Others in Asia Falter (December 14, 2020)

Labour, Green Party Enter ‘Cooperation Agreement’ as New Zealand Cabinet Sworn In (November 6, 2020)

New Zealand Election: Landslide Win for PM Ardern, Labour (October 19, 2020)

New Zealand Postpones Elections as COVID Cases Rise (August 19, 2020)

End of New Zealand’s COVID-free Status with Confirmed Community Spread (August 12, 2020)

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Acquires Labs at the Forefront of NZ’s COVID Fight (August 5, 2020)

NZ Health Minister Resigns Amid COVID Concerns (July 3, 2020)

Māori Businesses Bracing for 2020 Export Crash (June 29, 2020)

Asia Pacific States Brace for Second Wave of COVID-19 (June 22, 2020)

New Zealand APEC Summit Faces Possible Delay (June 5, 2020)

New Zealand Easing Restrictions Following Two Week Halt in New COVID-19 Cases (June 5, 2020)

‘Travel Bubble’ Plans Floated Across the Pacific (May 4, 2020)

Special Dispatch | A Plan for All Won’t Work for All: COVID-19 and Māori in New Zealand (April 30, 2020)

New Zealand Reduces COVID-19 Alert Level (April 29, 2020)

Special Dispatch | Tracking the Asia Pacific’s Financial Policy Responses to COVID-19 (April 15, 2020)

New Zealand’s Māori health practitioners create pandemic group (April 6, 2020)

Australia, New Zealand respond to COVID-19 (March 22, 2020)

Asia’s central banks step in as stock markets fall (March 16, 2020)