With the world seemingly facing a fast-approaching Apocalypse Now, this country's allure as a bolthole has apparently never been higher.
Small, temperate New Zealand, tucked out of the way in a bottom corner of the world maps, seems an antidote to whatever frightens people overseas about life in general and what's around the corner.
Pandemics, unbearable heat and other natural disasters, political upheaval, conflicts over scarce resources, automation, killer robots, space wars.
Dystopian visions in films like Mad Max and The Road aren't encouraging. But instead of driving around the futuristic Aussie Outback fighting over fuel, or wandering through a destroyed American landscape after an extinction event, why not hang out in the green and pleasant Shire of Middle Earth?
Unsurprisingly, New Zealand has been rated the best place to survive a global collapse of society, according to a sustainability study.
The country has some competition. Other small islands - Tasmania, the United Kingdom, Iceland, and Ireland - are considered good, resilient options.
Researcher Professor Aled Jones of Anglia Ruskin University, in the UK said: "This drive for just-in-time, ever-more efficient, economies isn't the thing you want to do for resilience. We need to build in some slack in the system, so that if there is a shock then you have the ability to respond because you've got spare capacity".
New Zealand's small population size for its area and benign climate were advantages. So too were the country's geothermal and hydroelectric energy and agriculture. Countries were assessed on their ability to produce their own food, protect their borders, and maintain an electrical grid and be able to manufacture goods.
New Zealand's performance during the first stage of the pandemic last year fitted that billing. We closed the borders and avoided the high death tolls suffered elsewhere. Our restrictions were short-lived. Expat Kiwis did bolt home.
The airflight equivalent of running for the hills is understandable in a sudden global crisis.
But living here in normal times has its challenges and doesn't suit everyone. Perceptions don't also necessarily synchronise with reality.
Far from being an overwhelming success story, the pandemic has shown up shortcomings such as our reliance on supply chains, distance from medical production facilities, love for the short-fix solution and insufficient planning. These are things that can be improved, but with difficulty.
We are also in a building boom because of insufficient housing and urban sprawl is inching into key food growing areas around Pukekohe. Reforms are under way into water and land use. Foreign interests are buying up more of our land. Transportation is a key climate policy factor and New Zealand's rail system is far behind those of Asian and European countries.
Things that are valued in an emergency - such as public safety, state support, a high degree of community spirit, and societal systems that mostly work - also aren't what people focus on normally.
Jobs, wages, costs, housing, traffic jams and other negative issues are our mundane matters, and this country can seem frustratingly very small-minded and insular on those scores.
People need to be able to want more of a work/life balance, a leisurely pace, social good times, and attraction to the outdoors to get the most out of being here. At least some returning Kiwis will head off again for a more dynamic place, higher income, career opportunities, and easier travel to interesting destinations.
Some people like living here for the lifestyle - as long as it is in combination with regular trips abroad for extra stimulation. And that's something that hasn't been possible with closed borders.
The beauty of travel is you get to see the best side of another country while having space and distance to appreciate the best of what you have at home.
People who live in a particular place have insider knowledge of its advantages and drawbacks and what suits best for different stages of life. When people dream of escape from where they are through emigration they're starting from an idealised standpoint, rather than the daily grind.
A New Zealand that can close the gap somewhat between how it seems to outsiders and how it functions on an everyday level for citizens, would be worth bolting for - apocalypse or not.