- New Zealand has recently secured top positions in multiple indices that measured the country’s performance with the rest of the world.
- The nation stayed at the forefront in terms of the world’s most powerful passports, along with bagging the status of most democratic, least corrupt, and best COVID-response countries.
- NZ appears to be performing much better than expected in driving the post-coronavirus recovery.
From being one of the top digital economies to having one of the best educational systems, Kiwi Land has established a strong position worldwide in terms of multiple parameters. Marking a robust entry into 2021, NZ has recently grabbed top spots in several indices that gauged the country’s performance relative to other nations.
Of late, NZ has managed to secure a position among the world’s most powerful passports despite COVID-driven travel restrictions. The latest Henley Passport Index rankings of 2021 suggests that the NZ passport is among the world’s top ten travel-friendly passports, with visa-free access to 185 destinations. Notably, the nation has moved one spot up from July 2020 passport ranking, reaching seventh place.
NZ’s exceptional handling of the virus crisis seems to have helped it retain its travel freedom status. Besides, the nation’s impressive economic recovery from COVID-19 recession seems to have supported its passport power.
In addition to passport index, Kiwi Land has recently achieved striking ranks in many other global indices, as discussed below:
Fourth Best Democracy
The Economist Intelligence Unit's latest Democracy Index indicates that NZ sat amongst the world’s top five democratic countries in 2020. Kiwi Land has been ranked fourth out of 167 countries, with a near-perfect score of 9.25 out of 10. The score is just a fraction below 2019 score of 9.26.
The democracy index ranked the countries based on five key aspects - functioning of government, electoral process & pluralism, civil liberties, political participation, and political culture.
The report highlighted that NZ had a peaceful democracy in 2020, achieving a perfect score of 10 in terms of the electoral process and pluralism. However, the civil liberties and the functioning of government aspects declined a bit amid coronavirus lockdowns.
Least Corrupt Nation
The 2020 global Corruption Perception Index (CPI) rankings from Transparency International have placed Kiwi Land as the least corrupt nation of the world. In the ranking of 180 countries, NZ and Denmark shared the top slot on the Corruption Perception Index, with a score of 88/100 each. The last year’s score reflects a 1-point improvement from 2019.
The Corruption Perception Index ranks nations across the globe based on the perceived level of corruption in the public sector. Over the past nine years, NZ has been consistently ranked as the country with the least corrupt public sector.
No doubt, NZ’s ranking in ‘corruption perception’ rules in favour of its reputation as a safe and fair country for trade and travel purposes. However, the index does not provide a comprehensive picture of corruption levels in Kiwi Land as it overlooks people’s perceptions of the private sector.
Best COVID-19 Response
The recently published Lowy Institute’s COVID Performance Index ranked NZ as the best-performing country in its response to the pandemic. NZ secured the first position amongst ~100 countries assessed based on their performance in managing the coronavirus pandemic.
The study evaluated the performance of nations based on six different parameters: cases and deaths per million, confirmed cases, confirmed deaths, tests per thousand, and confirmed cases as the proportion of tests. Under the study, all countries were examined in 36 weeks that followed their 100th confirmed case of coronavirus.
With fewer reported deaths and cases, NZ emerged as a top-performing nation in dealing with the pandemic crisis. Kiwi land’s "go early, go hard" testing and lockdowns regimes, coupled with stringent border restrictions, seem to have acted in the interest of the nation.
Notably, NZ’s exceptional job in containing virus spread supported an impressive economic recovery from COVID-driven recession. With most of its economic indicators pointing upwards, the nation appears to be performing much better than expected in driving the post-coronavirus recovery.
In a nutshell, Kiwi Land seem to be better placed than many other developed countries, backed by its progressive policy initiatives and its social & political advances. Going forth, the fate of the nation is likely to be decided by an effective distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and consequent resumption of international travel, given the latest Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine formal approval in the nation.