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  • Robert MacCulloch

On the Wall Street Journal's opinion of NZ's approach to tackling the virus

When it comes to expressing opinions about which country has best handled the fall-out from the virus, beware! Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Take the Wall Street Journal which argued that "both NZ and Australia [have] seen new infections drop markedly, but the economic costs of NZ's strict approach are expected to be significantly higher".


Not so fast. The best measure of the severity of lock-down restrictions is by Oxford University's Blavatnik School of Government. The latest figures show that whilst NZ's lock-down was more severe than Australia's when the Wall Street Journal article was written on April 29, that situation has now been reversed. More recently, NZ has enjoyed a less strict approach than Australia (and increasingly so, due to a new outbreak in the state of Victoria).


Furthermore, Australia's biggest export industry is mining whereas NZ's is tourism. The virus has hit our international tourism harder than Australia's mining industry, which has little to do with differences in lock-down strictness.

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