Covid-19 contact tracing app

There have been various ways people and businesses can keep track of movements to help contact tracing.

The Ministry of Health has just released their own contact tracing app “designed to support rather than replace existing contact tracing processes”.

NZ COVID Tracer helps you protect yourself, your friends, your whānau and your community by enabling faster contact tracing.

Fast and effective contact tracing is essential to stopping any further spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand. NZ COVID Tracer supports this by creating a digital diary of the places you visit.

On this page:

How the app supports contact tracing

NZ COVID Tracer is designed to support rather than replace existing contact tracing processes.

The personal information and contact details you register through NZ COVID Tracer are provided to the National Close Contact Service (NCCS) so they can quickly get in touch if you are identified as a close contact of someone who has COVID-19.

If the NCCS needs to get in touch with you, they will ask you to read out the locations that you have signed into with NZ COVID Tracer. This will help contact tracers identify whether any of your friends, whanau or community members may also have been exposed to COVID-19, so we can respond quickly and stop any further spread of the virus in New Zealand.

But: Govt app doesn’t meet Level 2 requirements

The Government’s own “digital diary” app cannot be used as intended without amending Level 2 regulations.

Newsroom reported on Tuesday evening that the app had been released ahead of schedule.

The app, as well as others like Wellington City Council-favourite Rippl, doesn’t appear to meet the strict requirements, which mandate that certain businesses maintain a register of contacts themselves that includes names, contact information and residential addresses.

Several digital solutions, including the Government’s, seek to alleviate concerns about private businesses holding patrons’ data and potentially misusing it. But offices, hospitality outlets and those retail shops unable to maintain social distancing are required under the Level 2 rules to hold that data themselves – apps like Rippl and the “digital diary” which store all data on the phones of the users don’t suit.

Rick Shera, an IT law expert and partner at the law firm Lowndes Jordan, told Newsroom on Tuesday that the “digital diary” as described by the Prime Minister would not be able to replace business’ own sign-in sheets or other solutions without a change to the Level 2 regulations.


Leave a comment


  1. Ray

     /  20th May 2020

    Considering that there has been no evidence of community spread of Covid 19 for more than a month all this hysteria seems more about control rather than stopping the spread of Covid.

    • At best it is establishing tracing systems in case they become necessary if there’s a second wave of the virus.

    • david in aus

       /  20th May 2020

      By the time you have community transmission again, it will be too late. If history is any guide, there will be level 4 lockdown in NZ once this happens. You prepare for the rain before it happens.

      There is the asymptomatic spread of COVID 19, the sensible thing to do is to assume re-emergence. Perhaps NZ will be lucky, but it will be cheaper to have tracing apps so they continue life as normal as possible similarly to South Korea if a second wave occurs.

      • Duker

         /  20th May 2020

        Thats why we are still doing mass testing to catch asymptomatic cases not just those with symptoms. Its still over 4000 per day ? being tested.
        The stats people are advising on the numbers to be tested to give a very high confidence that there are no more cases in NZ .
        There is a plan and its working

        • But the numbers are still usually being reported as the total who’ve had it, and the number of active cases is often ignored.

          This, of course, gives the impression that it’s many times worse than it is and justifies the social control.

          The inane restrictions are designed to make it seem as if we are all in danger. ‘Don’t come in if you feel unwell.’ ‘If you’re unwell, stay at home.’ There are other illnesses than Covid19, and no one can catch it from someone who doesn’t have it !

          The library has the outside dunny door held open, but not, of course, the inner one. What is the sense of this, forsooth???

  2. NOEL

     /  20th May 2020

    It wont track 100000 who don’t have smart phones.

  3. Tracing the economic fallout.

    The Government want more houses built (8,000 of them).

    • Duker

       /  20th May 2020

      They make bad plans in good times and repeat their mistakes with more bad plans in the bad.
      Its a typical have a large financial ‘guesstimate’ of losses in this years books , so that future years look better.


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