The country's GDP shrank by 12.2% between April and June as the lockdown and border closures hit.
It is New Zealand's first recession since the global financial crisis and its worst since 1987, when the current system of measurement began.
But the government hopes its pandemic response will lead to a quick recovery.
The nation of nearly five million was briefly declared virus free, and although it still has a handful of cases, it has only had 25 deaths.
The economy is likely to be a key issue in next month's election, which was delayed after an unexpected spike in Covid-19 cases in August.
Stats NZ spokesman Paul Pascoe said the measures implemented since 19 March have had a huge impact of some sectors of the economy.