TODAY |

Govt to trial new tech in Rotorua to 'help make contact tracing faster and more effective'

A trial of a Covid card has been confirmed today, as the Government looks for ways to effectively contact trace. 

Source: istock.com

Health Minister Chris Hipkins said that "digital solutions can help make contact tracing faster and more effective".

"We are continuing to improve the NZ COVID Tracer app, which includes looking at how technologies like Bluetooth can be utilised to further support contact tracing and have also been investigating the proposed CovidCard."

An initial trial by Otago University and Nelson-Marlborough DHB "found the CovidCard works under controlled conditions, so we believe there is merit in exploring it further", Government Digital Services Minister Kris Faafoi said.  

"After consultation with community leaders and iwi, we have selected the Rotorua region for a further trial involving around 250-300 people."

"Any decision on whether to deploy the CovidCard will be made later this year.  At this stage it is not anticipated that the CovidCard would be mandatory.

"Key considerations will include whether the CovidCard meets high security and privacy standards and can be used by a wide range of New Zealanders."

Based of Ministry of Health figures, Newsroom found only one in seven New Zealanders had downloaded the Covid-19 tracer app, and of that, only one in 32 would use it on any given day.