Coronavirus: Grant Robertson on why New Zealand's done better than other nations in COVID-19 fight

New Zealand "can be pretty proud" of its response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Finance Minister says, after the number of daily cases dipped to its lowest level since the lockdown started today.

Grant Robertson echoed the Prime Minister's comments on Wednesday, saying Kiwis could be "cautiously optimistic" that our lockdowns and social-distancing measures appear to be stymying the coronavirus outbreak.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health revealed there had been just 50 new cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand, while 41 people had recovered from the disease.

And Robertson says this success - which is all the more impressive given the major health crises gripping powerful Western nations like the US, the UK, Italy and Spain - can be attributed to the strength of our economic and health systems.

"We can be pretty proud of our response," he told More FM's Polly and Grant on Wednesday.

"From the economic point of view, we've carefully squirrelled away our money. I've had lots of people asking me, over the last couple of years, to spend more.

"We have spent more than the previous Government did, but we also kept money back for the rainy day - and that's actually a bit of a legacy."

The Finance Minister said he inherited this legacy from predecessors Sir Bill English and Sir Michael Cullen, who he acknowledged were "really careful with [New Zealand's] finances".

He believes their legacy, and his continuation of it, has "put [New Zealand] in a good place".

Robertson also credits New Zealand's public health system as a major contributor to us curbing the spread of coronavirus.

"We've poured, over the last couple of years, billions of dollars into making sure [our health system] was in a reasonable state," he said.

"So I think it's the legacy of New Zealand having a pretty strong public sector, and basically caring about one another.

"That's the bottom line: if you've got people in Government who care about each other, then we'll put in place the things that are needed for times like this."

New Zealand's total of coronavirus cases reached 1210 on Wednesday, while a total of 282 people have recovered. Twelve people are in hospital and four are in intensive care, two of them critical.