'Digital diary' app coming for Kiwis to keep track of movements during pandemic

A new "digital diary" is set to be released on Wednesday by the Government so Kiwis can keep track of where they have been, as the country continues to grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic. 


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today the version, separate to the yet-to-be-released contact tracing app, was constructed through the Ministry of Health "and is a nationally consistent app that New Zealanders and businesses can use to record where they've been and when". 

"It is for you, it is on your device and it is your data and your information," Ms Ardern said.

"It's just really responding to some of the concerns that I've heard or seen, some people don't want to fill in a paper based form in a public place, some people have concerns about using apps that are provided by a business because they're concerned it's going to be used for customer loyalty or so on."

"This is an option that means someone could hold their own data, for themselves, and feel assured about that. It's just in case in the future that if you find yourself with Covid-19 you've got an easy reference to tell where you've been over a period of time."

Ms Ardern said it was just intended to support other physical contact tracing efforts, "not to replace them by any means".

"While there are other similar apps in this space we wanted to give greater certainty about the use of the data that is collected which app happens to deliver."

"This is around what I would describe as a digital diary, helping users when they're out and about, keep a log of their movements, for instance between cafes and restaurants."

Last month, National criticised the lack of a contact tracing app in New Zealand, after Australia launched its COVIDSafe app, and within hours more than one million people had downloaded it.

On March 9, Health Minister David Clark said the contact tracing app is well developed and expected to be released for voluntary registration very soon.