Welcome to the requirements page. Here we aim to share possible supply gaps or oversupply of key products using our research and modelling work. Please be aware the Institute is not a government organisation (and therefore we do not have access to information that is not in the public arena); nor do we have medical experitse. Therefore please treat this information with this context in mind; we are simply trying to explore the demand for certain healthcare products based on limited information at a time when there is a high degree of uncertainty over what those requirements might be.

We also consider New Zealand’s National Supply Reserve will need to be refilled for the next pandemic, hence ‘more’ is arguably better than ‘less’, in that any surplus after COVID-19 can remain in the store for the future. Therefore New Zealand should particularly ‘over invest’ in items with long expiry dates (e.g. P2 masks and medical ventilators). We also appreciate that there will need to be a lot of medical operations once COVID-19 is over (due to recent closures of medical wards). This backlog will require additional medical ventilators and most importantly, the healthcare system will need to build in this additional capacity now for the surge of operations and medical care that will follow. There also needs to be some thinking now about how New Zealand might go about vaccinating 5 million people, probably twice and what equipment we might require (e.g. special fridges should be purchased or made now).

Caution 1: Without clarity over what we have, it will be very difficult to know the additional number of items that might be required. This is why we are calling for the OAG to complete a monthly audit of the National Supply Reserve. Only then can we have confidence over possible supply gaps. We have a concern that people may be focussing on some healthcare items (leading to surpluses in some areas) while missing other critical items. Supply chain analysis means analysing both ‘vertically’ (i.e. both up and down the supply chain, for example sourcing and storing back-up parts for ventilators) and ‘horizontally’. This means thinking in terms of  alternative items (for example instead of providing antibacterial wipes, provide bleach, cut up towels and buckets instead) or alternative processes (for example collecting and sterilising used P2 masks). Check out our 2015 paper here to learn more: Lessons From the West African Ebola Outbreak in Relation to New Zealand’s Supply Chain Resilience (2015); it can also be found on our resources page here).

Caution 2: The world has changed; international supply chains are breaking down. Until goods are under your lock and key, do not assume they will arrive on time or at all (always have a plan B).

Lastly, if you would like to explore scenarios on pandemics and on this specific pandemic, we have uploaded some resources on our ForesightNZ website, found here.


Opinion: Make or purchase more masks so that we have 60 m (minimum) in the National Supply Reserve at any one time. Fifty percent of these should be P2 or equivalent.

Based on our model, New Zealand would need 40 million masks for a 20% infection rate and 90 million for a 50% infection rate. See model here (Table 4). We believe our model is on the low side. Importantly, if we are successful at flattening the curve (i.e. flatten the surge over a longer period of time), we believe more masks will be needed for the same level of infections.

Medical ventilators:

Opinion: Make or purchase another 500 so that we have over 1000 in the public sector

Based on our modelling, New Zealand should ideally have 1000 medical ventilators for a ‘moderate’ pandemic and 11,000 for a ‘severe pandemic’. We now know that New Zealand has 533 in the public sector and 247 in the private sector. There are many public and private sector initiatives working hard to increase that number. Our modelling for ventilators for New Zealand (using 2018 US percentages for requirements for ventilators can be found here).

More items will be added to this list over coming weeks.