Former prime minister Helen Clark has commended the Government's "go hard and go early" approach to limiting the spread of Covid-19 in New Zealand.

It's an approach she said should be continued both here and around the world.

Speaking to Newshub Nation from self-isolation in New Zealand, Clark said the Government should leave "nothing to chance" when it comes to fighting the spread of the pandemic.

Covid 19 coronavirus: Taupō man who tested positive for Covid-19 could not get through to helpline for four days
Covid 19 coronavirus: New Zealand rolls out drive-through hubs for testing Covid-19
Builders, suppliers told to prepare for Covid-19 disruptions
Coronavirus: 'Shop normally' says PM as confirmed Covid-19 cases rise to 52


"A stitch in time saves more than nine, in this case," she said.

The Government has taken "unprecedented" steps to limit the spread of the disease in New Zealand, including shutting down the borders to any non-resident or non-citizen.

And Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday unveiled a four-levelled Covid-19 alert system.

New Zealand is currently at level two which means people over 70 should stay home and the rest of the country should limit domestic travel.

Clark, who was head of the United Nations Development Programme during the Ebola crisis in 2014, said she was pleased the Government had been following the World Health Organisation's (WHO) guidance on limiting Covid-19's spread.

"I'm feeling good about being here in New Zealand right now and not being in any number of other places."

She said the message from WHO at the moment was that Government's need to do all they can, including repurposing funding, to fight the spread of Covid-19.

"There is no more important issue right now than stopping a huge outbreak in countries and beating it back where there already is one," she said.


"We have to repurpose and focus on that because it is a public health crisis and if it's bungled, it has very major, long-running economic ramifications."

The Government has already earmarked $12.1 billion for a business support package aimed at helping Kiwi businesses hardest hit by the disease.

That package also contained extra money for New Zealand's health care system.

At the time, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said this package was only the first tranche and more would be unveiled during May's "recovery Budget".

But, speaking to Q&A this morning, Robertson said given the Covid-19 situation is moving so quickly, the Government is likely to unveil more funding announcements before Budget day.

"I think you can expect more announcements from us around economic response in the coming days."