Taiwan is held up as best in class when it comes to controlling coronavirus and calls are getting louder for New Zealand to follow its lead and end the disruptive lockdowns that are so damaging to the economy.
Today The Detail's Sharon Brettkelly looks at how this country of nearly 24 million people on an island a third the size of the South Island, tops the world with around 568 cases and just seven deaths compared with New Zealand's 1973-odd cases and 25 deaths.
Taiwan-based New Zealander Ron Hanson talks to Sharon Brettkelly about the similarities and differences between the two countries' strategies.
Both have a daily briefing, both have clear public messaging centred on the united push to stamp out the virus, but the stark differences are in the digital tools Taiwan uses to track people, the government's rapid response to the outbreak and its standalone agency to manage its response to the pandemic.
Hanson explains how Taiwan's experience with SARS nearly 20 years ago prepared it for Covid-19.
"We were getting about one or two cases a day and then suddenly it exploded."
Taiwan had the highest mortality rate in the world in the SARS outbreak. At Taipei's Ho-Pin Hospital there were 154 cases and 31 deaths. There were 57 health workers among the patients, seven of whom died.
"They locked the hospital down, they ordered everyone back into the hospital, more than a thousand people were locked in there. There was insufficient PPE and there were no real plans for how to deal with the lockdown."
For Hanson it was terrifying. He came to Taiwan 20 years ago for just a year to teach, but he's still there, married to a Taiwanese woman, applying for permanent residency and running an online arts magazine White Fungus.
"During SARS it was really chaotic, just the co ordination between national and local government, between business and it was just unclear at certain points who had authority over what, there were conflicts."
After the disaster of SARS, the Taiwanese government set up the Central Epidemic Command centre to co ordinate a rapid response to future pandemics and avoid conflict.
"New Zealand's won praise because of its speed in terms of a lockdown but Taiwan in terms of the border control, screening of passengers, the masks, just everything, the country was ready to go," he says.
Hanson also recalls the day - December 31 - when a switched-on health official spotted something suspicious about a virus alert in Wuhan. It triggered an instant response and within hours, PPE-clad health workers were screening passengers from Wuhan.
He explains how Taiwan's digital tracking system works using mobile phones and why Taiwanese see New Zealand's lockdown technique for stamping out the virus as invasive and disruptive.
"I think there needs to be a conversation about [digital tracking], I don't think it's that simple, I don't think it's something that should not be discussed. Lockdowns are pretty heavy handed and from our perspective in Taiwan, they seem rather authoritarian."
Hanson says Taiwan's economic success is also "remarkable". It has recorded growth of more than 1.5 percent in this year when most other countries' economies have contracted.
"Its a real confidence booster for Taiwan. Due to its complicated political situation Taiwan doesn't get a lot of attention, it can't participate in the Olympics under its own name, its not part of the WHO, this has been a rare moment."
For the full story, listen to the full podcast above.