COVID-19 modelling and other commissioned reports

Published online: 
31 March 2020

Last updated: 18 September 2020

These modelling reports were commissioned by the Ministry to help us understand the health outcomes and impacts on New Zealand of COVID-19 and to inform the response strategy.

The reports have been completed by Wellington researchers from the University of Otago in collaboration with university colleagues from Germany. The models have been revised based on feedback from peer reviewers, the Ministry of Health's Chief Science Advisor and public health officials.

Modelling will help inform Government decisions on when, how much, and for how-long, the country can ease the lockdown and other measures.

It’s critical to understand that each of the models presents a number of potential future scenarios; there are no “predictions”.   

Each model has its own degree of uncertainty determined by the assumptions required for any modelling work, and those assumptions are based on the best information available from overseas evidence.

The key assumptions within this model are sourced from available literature and expert judgement.

Some of the factors used in the modelling are still fairly unclear such as whether winter increases spread, the number of people requiring hospitalisation and the proportion who will die.  Over time these factors are expected to become more certain.

The key value of modelling like this is to assist with planning and decision making at an early stage – when prevention measures can have greater effect – but it is also at a time when we have limited information and modelling helps give the best guide to decision makers.


Working papers

The following working papers were commissioned by the Director of Public Health and provide background information and evidence for the Ministry's response to COVID-19. The views reflected in the working papers are those of the contributing authors who have been on secondment to or contracted by the Ministry of Health. Not all of the group members have contributed to every document. Due to time constraints, not all of these papers have been formally peer reviewed. The review process undertaken is specified in the documents. Comments are welcomed - please send to [email protected]

The group members are: Dr Ruth Cunningham, Dr Caroline Shaw, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Dr Lucy Telfar Barnard, Dr Anja Mizdrak from the University of Otago Wellington, Dr Polly Atatoa Carr from the University of Waikato, Dr Belinda Loring and Dr Melissa McLeod, Fellows of the NZ College of Public Health Medicine, independent contractors, and Dr Celia Hume, Public Health Medicine Registrar.


Key modelling reports

Other reports commissioned by the Ministry on surveillance, border control, support for the Pacific, and potential interventions for any 'manage it' phase

Earlier draft modelling reports (now outdated by the reports above)

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    31 March 2020
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
  • Copyright status:

    Third-party content. Please check the document or email the Web Manager to find out how to obtain permission to re-use content.

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