This page contains archived information that could be out of date. It is retained here for historical and research purposes.

New Zealand’s economy remains volatile because of the lingering effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic and public health response. In May 2020 Waka Kotahi released commissioned research into the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, to help us understand the potential socio-economic impacts on New Zealand’s regions and communities at that time.

The pandemic continues to impact immigration, New Zealand’s economic structure, and customer preferences among many other things, all of which have flow-on effects for transport demand. It also presents funding and financing challenges for the public and private sector.

The analysis of the 2020 research primarily focused on the potential impacts over the next four years as the country recovers from the initial pandemic and subsequent economic slowdown. It also contains estimates of what will happen between years five to 10 in terms of the ‘direction of travel’ for demographics and the economy. The analysis helped shape the strategic direction of Arataki Version 2.

Significant levels of uncertainty remain regarding the scale and duration of COVID-19 impacts, particularly in the medium to long-term.

Updated 2021 research

Waka Kotahi also commissioned an update to its 2020 report. This revised research report and its findings are published below.

Key outtakes from the revised research were:

  • New Zealand fared much better than expected in the 2020 calendar year, although economic activity still declined significantly.
  • There continue to be quite different impacts of COVID-19 on different sectors and regions.
  • The gap between GDP projections and pre-COVID-19 expectations of the economy’s size is forecast to have closed to almost zero by 2025, even for the new Downside Scenario.
  • Considerable uncertainty remains about the potential scale and duration of the COVID-19 downturn, for example with regards to the duration of border restrictions.

COVID-19 research FAQs [PDF, 45 KB]

May 2021 COVID-19 research reports

May 2020 COVID-19 research reports

The data used in these reports is also available to download:

May 2021 COVID-19 employer modelling

The 2021 updated employment modelling is available to use as an interactive dashboard.

May 2020 COVID-19 employer modelling

The employment modelling used to inform Arataki V2 is available to use as an interactive dashboard.

Regional summaries of potential impacts, as at May 2020