It sounds like political self praise when New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern makes claims her country has “done what few countries have been able to do” and contained the community spread of Covid-19. A minuscule population spread out across a vast landscape is conducive to low spread rates.
New Zealand conquered Covid-19 with an average of 18 people per square kilometer and a smaller total population than New York City.
When I was there in February after Covid was already spreading no one in sight was wearing a mask, or taking any real precautions. We strolled with masks and people gawked at us like we were aliens.
The airport had some controls but nothing meaningful to protect citizens and by a stroke of luck New Zealand was not hit hard by Covid. During our stay, Chinese tourists were still traveling into New Zealand, and for the most part travel from China stopped by itself.
Jacinda was just lucky.