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Using the wisdom of crowds to predict the impact and timeline for novel coronavirus COVID-19

How many COVID-19 cases will there be?

How long will the NZ lockdown that started in March 2020 last?

When will the COVID-19 vaccine be ready?


A diverse thinking collection of independent individuals can consistently make some predictions  better than any single individual, or even experts. This is because they can frame things in different ways and come up with different potential options.


The below predictions were made by 62 respondents on, or before, 30 March 2020. Time will tell whether these specific predictions were accurate. In general, accuracy will depend on respondents:

  1. Covering enough different perspectives
  2. Having access to adequate information
  3. Providing their independent responses 


Predictions will be less accurate if there were systematic bias across any of the these three factors.


These predictions can be used as a base case assumption as at 30 March 2020. The range of predictions is indicates that there are alternative scenarios that, although less likely, should be considered by decision-makers too