New Plymouth Mayor calls for cash prizes to encourage people to use Covid Tracer app

The New Plymouth District Mayor says he wants to see daily spot prizes for those who scan QR codes as a way to boost national scanning rates.

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Neil Holdom says while more people are scanning in, the effort could be better. Source: 1 NEWS

Two of the positive Covid-19 cases from Papatoetoe in Auckland visited at least 10 destinations in Taranaki over Waitangi weekend. Queues at testing centres have died down since Monday and while Mayor Neil Holdom thinks more people are scanning in, the effort could be better.

“If [the Government] really want to get after it they should just gameify it. Ashley [Bloomfield] and Chris [Hipkins] should put up maybe three spot prizes of a thousand bucks a day. You scan in, the app says ‘bang, you’re a winner'. I reckon they’d double scan rates overnight.”

Holdom says a prize programme would be good value for money.

“One in four [people scanning] is where we were a week ago. That’s diabolical. If you want to get Kiwis on board give them an incentive, it’s a thousand dollars a day, a million dollars a year. We’ve spent $40 billion fighting Covid. We’ve got to dare to be different and get those contact tracing rates up.”

Elixir café in New Plymouth has a no-scan, no serve policy, but the mayor doesn’t think it’s feasible for all local businesses to do the same.

“I encourage them to be really vigilant in terms of really encouraging people. In some cases it’s really difficult with queues and things, it’s got to be horses for courses.”