100 Overall Score (No change since Aug 1st)

New Zealand

  • 97.9 Public Health
  • 77.4 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based
  • 97.9 Public Health
  • 77.4 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based

New Zealand has had very strong policy, particularly with regard to its reliance on science and facts and its relatively strong financial response.

Pre-COVID Conditions

New Zealand scored highly on most measures but has a low number of hospital beds and is a country of average wealth.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 29.8%
  • GDP/capita $42,045
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) NO DATA
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 5
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 86.2
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 19.7

Government Response

Select a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Mar 15.)

Public Health Directives

New Zealand has had very strong public health policy, and it scored well in all public health areas except in testing.

  • Stay at home order 0
  • Public gathering restrictions 0
  • School closings 0
  • Public event cancellations 0
  • Testing policy 2
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $61.64
  • Travel restrictions 4
  • Tests/1,000 people 377.7
  • Contact tracing 2

Financial Response

Despite a small stimulus package and limited debt relief, New Zealand had a relatively strong financial response to COVID-19, owing heavily to its very generous income support for workers.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 11%
  • Income support 1
  • Debt forebearance 2

Fact-Based Communication

New Zealand’s government is very strong in this category, as it has not engaged in misinformation or limited press freedom in response to COVID-19.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 0
  • Press freedom 0

COVID-19 Status as of Mar 15

New Zealand is among the best performers in this category, consistently scoring very strongly in all subcategories, likely attributable to its very low positivity rate and very strong policy score.

  • Total deaths 3
  • Death rate per 100K 0.7
  • Total cases 2,432
  • Cases per 100K 0
  • Percent of positive tests 0.1
  • Change in positivity rates -0.1
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 1 Lockdown Level 2 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 May 13 Social distancing requirements are lifted 0.00
2 May 18 Schools reopen 0.00
3 May 21 Bars reopen 0.21
4 Jun 08 Restrictions on personal movements, gathering, workplaces, and services are lifted 0.00
5 Aug 12 Country moves to Alert Level 2 for 3 days following several new cases 3.94
6 Sep 21 Restrictions lifted in all but one city (which will be lifted in 2 weeks) 0.00
7 Oct 08 All restrictions lifted 0.42

Differentiating Factors

Compared with Other Island Nations
  • 38.3
    Indonesia 1,425,044
    Per 1M

    Indonesia scores relatively weakly, a big drop in the past few months, keyed by substantial weakening of travel restrictions, testing policy, and debt relief.

  • 93.7
    Iceland 6,083
    Per 1M

    Iceland has a very strong score, owing heavily to its reliance on facts as well as generous debt and income support; its large improvement since January was keyed by significant improvements in public health policy and financial support.

  • 72.7
    Japan 448,000
    Per 1M

    Japan has a strong overall score, driven by its generous financial response and a reliance on facts, although its public health policy is very weak.

  • 73.3
    Taiwan 990
    Per 1M

    Taiwan has a relatively strong policy score, but its minimal stimulus and weak debt relief bring it down. However, the data does not accurately measure its advanced contact tracing, which may have diminished the need for more restrictions; this likely results in a score that underestimates Taiwan’s response.

Further Reading From Foreign Policy

Be the source of actionable insight.

Select one of the subscription options below to read the full Covid-19 Global Response Index. Unlock even more global intelligence with a subscription to FP Insider.

Already an FP Insider?

Best Value

One-Year All Access
FP Insider


1-year of full access to FP Insider exclusive content and subscription benefits

See benefits  ▾

  • All FP Analytics Special Reports, including the COVID-19 Global Response Index
  • FP Analytics Power Maps
  • Editorial conference calls
  • Unlimited articles on ForeignPolicy.com
  • Digital and print editions of FP’s award-winning magazine
  • Print archive, containing 50 years of FP journalism
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Security and defense news alerts
  • Bonus episodes of FP podcasts
  • FP mobile app

❌ Hide benefits


COVID-19 Report Bundle


30-day Access to the COVID-19 Global Response Index and Global Race to Vaccinate report

Looking for group access? Contact us directly

New Zealand

Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:

Pre-COVID Conditions:

  • Debt to GDP ratio
  • Infant mortality rates
  • Hospital beds per 1,000 people
  • Gini coefficients measuring inequality
  • Health access and quality

COVID-19 Public Health Directives:

  • Stay-at home orders
  • School-closing policy
  • Public-gathering restrictions
  • Cancellation of public events
  • Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
  • Emergency healthcare spending per capita
  • Travel restrictions
  • Contact tracing

COVID-19 Financial Response:

  • Stimulus package as a share of GDP
  • Income support
  • Debt-forbearance

Public Communications:

  • Instances of misinformation by leadership
  • Limitations on press freedom, censorship

Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:

  • Death rates per 1 million
  • Case rates per 1 million