Pandemic-economics blog

Pandemic-economics blogA blog by Commission staff to generate ideas and promote debate about policy responses to COVID‑19. We welcome robust, respectful and insightful thoughts and ideas. Comments can be posted at the bottom of blog posts, but please note they are moderated and won't appear immediately. 

About the blog

Judy wearing a CovidCard

I’d wear a CovidCard. The question is, should you?

4 August 2020 | Judy Kavanagh

I’m OK with wearing a CovidCard. But are you? There’s no point me doing it alone.

Ivory Lake, Westland

CovidCard carrying Kiwis?

22 July 2020 | Dave Heatley

New Zealand’s COVID Tracer app is “on track to achieve nothing”, according to Sam Morgan.

Second wave

The small numbers problem: distinguishing good luck from goo…

1 July 2020 | Dave Heatley

Zero community transmission. Just a handful of active cases, all in quarantine. New Zealand is in an…


How will the pandemic end?

25 June 2020 | Dave Heatley

Elimination. Border incursions. An outbreak. A lockdown, which takes us back to elimination.

QR code scanning

Preparing for further outbreaks – have we got the right app?

11 June 2020 | Dave Heatley

Alert level 1! Like you no doubt, I am breathing a sigh of relief. But no one can guarantee that New…

Washing hands under tap

Local government infrastructure financing meets COVID-19

20 May 2020 | Ron Crawford

Last October, New Zealand communities elected their local government councillors and mayors.

COVID19 warning

What’s the risk?

19 May 2020 | Dave Heatley and Judy Kavanagh

Eighty-four percent of New Zealanders were concerned about the chances that they or someone close to…

Misty Mt Cook

The future of work? Over-prepared for yesterday’s threat, an…

15 May 2020 | Dave Heatley

Are humans destined to be over-prepared for yesterday’s existential threat, and under-prepared for t…

The Lighthouse

Transparency… for ordinary times and for dramatic times

8 May 2020 | Nik Green

In times of crisis, it is said, speed is of the essence. And the dramatic consequences of the COVID-…

Kangaroo Kiwi

Re-opening the trans-Tasman border

6 May 2020 | Dave Heatley

“Shut the borders” is a natural first reaction to an external threat.


A stoat trappers’ guide to elimination

5 May 2020 | Dave Heatley

New Zealanders have a lot of experience with islands and unwanted organisms – keeping them away, lea…

Illustration Toby Morris The Spinoff

Prepay or prepare to flex?

30 April 2020 | Nik Green

As we (hopefully) exit from the constraints imposed to control the COVID-19 virus, it’s worth thinki…


A mountaineer’s guide to policy headroom

23 April 2020 | Dave Heatley

Over the last few weeks’, you might have felt like the country was making its way along a ridge betw…


How are we trackin’?

22 April 2020 | Dave Heatley

Let me introduce you to RPE, a “quick & dirty” estimate of the effective reproduction number of COVI…

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