Technical information published to support COVID-19 Vaccine Pass and verifiers

Media release

05 November 2021

The Ministry of Health has today published the specification for the COVID-19 domestic vaccine pass and the verifier specification to the Ministry of Health’s Github account. 

My Vaccine Pass, which is an official record of a person’s COVID-19 vaccination status, will help people access places within New Zealand that require proof of vaccination under the new COVID-19 Protection Framework.

A separate pass for use when travelling internationally will also be available shortly. Both passes will be stored in a QR code that can be downloaded to your personal phone or may be printed out. They will be available later this month. 

The specifications that are being released describe the data in the QR code, the technology that is used to encode it, and how the QR code is expected to be interpreted and processed. 

The Ministry of Health is also building a free Verifier App to be made available on the App Store and Google Play, for anyone to use to scan and verify a My Vaccine Pass.

“The release of the specifications today, ahead of vaccination passes being required or available, means business and the public can understand how this technology is going to work.  It is important for businesses to check out the approach being taken and start considering how best to make this a part of how they operate,” said Michael Dreyer, Group Manager National Digital Services. 

The Ministry of Health has appointed tech company MATTR to construct vaccination passes for use domestically and internationally. MATTR will be the main provider of the technology that underpins the Ministry’s My Vaccine Pass and will develop and support the Ministry’s Verifier App for businesses to confirm a person’s vaccine status.

Vaccination certificates can be claimed through the MyCovidRecord platform, which is operated by the Ministry.

“We have been talking to events companies, tourism operators, and other businesses to understand their requirements for verification. The Ministry’s Verifier App can be used for in-person verification, however if companies would like to introduce more sophisticated capabilities, such as integration into existing digital journeys or pre-verification processes, then the technical specification provides enough details for them to do so.” 

MATTR is a New Zealand company that has been contracted by the Ministry to construct the vaccination certificates for international and domestic use and has existing technology platforms designed for this and similar use cases. 

“It was important for the Ministry to work with a New Zealand tech company that understood the need for the public to have a secure digital record of their vaccine status,” said Michael Dreyer. 

A closed competitive tender process by the Ministry of Health called for a collaborative proposal by tech companies who had the credibility and capability to provide certificate generation capabilities for these purposes. 

Businesses may want to incorporate the verifier process into their existing software or may have an interest in how to offer this service. The specification and other documentation will be available from: the Ministry of Health’s Github account and MATTR and other tech companies can be engaged separately to provide additional verification tools and capabilities.

Feedback or questions may be provided via [email protected] 

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