My Health Account questions and answers

General

What is digital identity?

Digital identity is proof of who you are online. As more of our daily activities move online, whether connecting socially or making a purchase, people and organisations need to be able to prove who they are in a safe, secure and easily accessible way.

Why do I need a digital identity – My Health Account?

The Ministry of Health wants all health consumers to have easy access to their COVID-19 test results and their vaccination status through the internet. To make this information available digitally to individual health consumers, we first need to be able to accurately identify each person. Then we can be sure that only the right person can access and manage information about themselves.

My Health Account is the digital identity tool that the Ministry of Health has developed to make this possible. Over time, other health services will be linked to My Health Account.  

Why is digital identity important?

Digital identity gives people confidence that they are the only person who can access their personal information. This trust is important so that all people in New Zealand feel comfortable using online tools and can access essential Health services and information. Through My Health Account, the Ministry of Health uses your digital identity to give you access to your COVID-19 information and information held by other online health services linked to My Health Account. 

The Ministry wants people to have 100 per cent confidence in My Health Account. Security is important to us, as is privacy. You will keep control of your data and can choose when and with whom that information is shared.

Before I start, what do I need?

To get started you will need to: 

  • be at least 12 years old
  • have an email address that only you use
  • have a mobile phone and a computer or smart phone
  • prepare documents that help prove who you are, such as your passport, driver’s licence or birth certificate.

Create an account

How do I sign up?

Type https://identity.health.nz into your browser, then follow the on-screen instructions.

Why do I need a login?

Health information and personal information about you is private. Signing up for a My Health Account helps to keep your information safe and private while making it easily available to you and to the health professionals you nominate.

What are the Terms of Use for My Health Account?

It’s important that you understand the terms and conditions for creating your My Health Account. You can find the terms at the bottom of the website. When you have read them and are happy to proceed, tick the agree box to start creating your account.

I don’t agree with the Terms of Use. What do I do?

There are several ways for you to access your health information. We recommend you contact your GP or specialist healthcare provider.

Do you have a Privacy Statement?

Yes. You can read it at My Health Account Privacy Notice.

Forgotten my password

Go to the My Health Account homepage and click on the ‘forgot your password’ link.

Forgotten my email

Call us on 0800 222 478 or +64 6 927 6900 and we may be able to help.

How do I create an account for my child?

If your child is 12 years of age or over, they can create their own account. If you are the parent or legal guardian of a child aged 12 to 15 you may make this application on their behalf if they agree.

In the future we hope to offer parents and other care givers access to their children’s My Health Accounts or the accounts of those in their care.  

What will you use my data for?

Please see our Privacy Notice.

Do you have an app for my smart phone?

No. But you can use My Health Account on any modern popular smart phone browser such as Chrome, Safari, Edge, etc.

I don’t have a computer. Can I use someone else’s?

Yes, you can use any computer that has an internet connection. If you are using somebody else’s computer or one from a library or other public area we recommend you log off when you are finished. 

Can I use a mobile phone?

Yes. My Health Account supports most modern popular smart phone browsers.

Can I share an email address?

No. Unfortunately it’s not possible to share an email. However, creating a new email address is quick and easy and there are several free email services available.

Where can I get an email account if I don’t have one?

Free email accounts are offered by several providers including but not limited to:

Contact your Internet Service Provider, as many of them offer email as part of your broadband or other subscription services.

Someone else is using my email address. What should I do?

My Health Account needs you to have a unique email address. If you share one then you will need to create a new one. See ‘Where can I get an email account if I don’t have one?’ 

If you don’t share your email address with someone and the account set-up process is telling you that the email address is already in use then it’s possible somebody else has guessed your password and is using your email account. You should change your email password and check your sent emails. It’s also a good idea to contact your email provider and ask them for help.

What’s a verification code?

We will send a six-digit number (verification code) to your email address to make sure that you have input a valid email address. This happens one time when you first create your My Health Account. This number is called a One Time Password.

Why do you need to validate my email address?

We need to make sure nobody else is trying to set up an account with your email address. We also want to make sure that you are the only person who has access to your My Health Account.

What does ‘validate my email address’ mean?

Once you input your email address, we'll send you an email containing a random six-digit verification code. We'll ask you to input this six-digit code as part of the sign-up process. By sending and checking this code, we can make sure you have not made a mistake typing in your email address and that you can access your email account.

Do I need a mobile phone number?

No. But you can use one if you wish to manage your verification code preferences once you have finished creating your My Health Account. Our system is designed to minimise the need for mobile phone confirmation codes but sometimes they are required. You need not have a ‘smart’ phone.

Can I share a mobile phone number?

Yes, for now you can. This may change in the future.

Can I use my RealMe ID?

Yes. If you have a RealMe Verified account, then it is easy to set up a fully verified My Health Account. You will need to verify your identity with us if your RealMe account is not verified.

If you are a child younger than 14 years old, your parent or legal guardian needs to sign a consent form and come with you to the photo store when you get your photo taken. For more details, see RealMe - How to Apply

Can I use my Facebook, Google, Apple or other ID?

No. We take your privacy seriously and we have decided not to support Facebook accounts. We may support Google, Apple and Microsoft accounts in the future.

What if I don’t get a verification code?

If you don’t receive a verification code, check your Spam or Junk mail folder. If it is not there, click on the link to request a new verification code. If you still do not receive one, then it is possible you have made an error when you typed in your email address. Sign up again and check to make sure you type in your email address correctly. Note: for security reasons, verification codes expire after a period if they are not used.

My verification code doesn’t work.

Request a new verification code using the link. Sometimes email message delivery can get delayed and get out of order, especially if you have clicked the link to request a new code more than once.

I’m getting a ‘bad request’ error.

It could be that you need to clear your browser of old cookies and files. Hold down the CTRL and Shift keys and press the Delete button, then tick the check boxes to delete cookies and cached files.

I share my cell phone number with my partner, friend or family member. Is that okay?

Yes.

I want to delete my account.

Call us on 0800 222 478 or +64 6 927 6900.

I’ve entered my data into My Health Account. Where is it kept and is it secure?

Your privacy and the security of your personal data is our priority. All the information for your My Health Account is securely stored in our protected environment and we only share this information with other applications with your consent. You can see how we use your information in our privacy statement.

How is my data kept secure?

We have a mandate to protect personally identifiable information and we have built various digital levels to secure your information. The choice of security level is decided by you and based upon your need for health information.


RealMe

What are RealMe services?

RealMe is made up of a login that lets you access My Health Account, while a RealMe verified identity allows you to prove easily and quickly who you are online. You can improve your RealMe account by adding a verified identity. It's free to get one and once you’re verified you can use it for five years before it needs renewing.

A RealMe verified identity uses your name, date of birth, place of birth and gender to identify you, so that you can prove who you are when using online services.

A verified identity is electronic and made up of four pieces of information about you: your full name, date of birth, place of birth and gender. Once you have your identity verified by Internal Affairs and linked to your RealMe account, you can use it by logging in to My Health Account and giving consent to share your verified identity.

Can I use my RealMe ID?

Yes. If you have a RealMe Verified account, then it is easy to set up a fully verified My Health Account. You will need to verify your identity with us if using your RealMe Login account.

If you are a child aged under 14, your parent or legal guardian needs to sign a consent form and come with you to the photo store when you get your photo taken. For more details, see RealMe - How to Apply

Tell me more about a verified identity and how it works.

The identity verification service, operated by the Department of Internal Affairs, is part of RealMe, which is a service of the New Zealand government.

You need to complete an online application. If you apply using your New Zealand passport you can take your own photo online. Otherwise you'll need to have your photo taken at a participating photo store. Alternatively, you can get a verified identity when you renew your adult passport online. RealMe verify identity applications by checking the photo and identity details against official records. You’ll then be contacted to confirm that your identity is verified.

I have created my account using RealMe. Why do I need to put in an email address?

RealMe's policy means they will not share your email address with us. We need to get it from you directly. You can use the same email address as you use for RealMe so long as you only use it once in My Health Account.

Can I opt out of linking my RealMe account once I have clicked the RealMe button?

Yes, you can always go back during the sign-up process and opt out of linking your RealMe account to My Health Account. Once you finish the sign-up process for My Health Account, you can’t unlink your RealMe account.

Is it better to get a RealMe account prior to creating a My Health Account?

Yes. RealMe is used across many other services, including Covid financial assistance, MSD services, logging in to your Inland Revenue account, accessing local council services, renewing your passport, applying for a visa from Immigration, managing your company register details, accessing police vetting systems, and managing your real estate licence.

When I get a RealMe account can I add it later to My Health Account?

No, not yet. We will add this function to My Health Account in the future.

Is it compulsory for me to have a RealMe account?

No, My Health Account has various ways to confirm your identity.


Trusted Witness

What is a trusted witness?

Trusted Witnesses are trusted members of the Health system such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, and many more that are trusted both by consumers and My Health Account.

Do I need to contact a trusted witness?

A trusted witness is not required if you want to access My Covid Record. A trusted witness is required to access the End-of-Life Choice Regulatory system and other systems in the future. If you are using the End-of-Life Choice system, your practitioner will be able to be your trusted witness or put you in touch with someone who is.

I am using RealMe. Do I need a trusted witness?

If you used RealMe verified to create your My Health Account, then you do not need to contact a trusted witness.

Why do I need to contact a trusted witness?

We need to make sure it was really you who created your My Health Account rather than someone else who may have had access to your identity document details. This is to keep your personal and health information private.

Why can't you check that it is really me online?

We are working on offering an online check and we hope to have it available soon. In the meantime, you can create a RealMe verified account using RealMe’s online check and use that to create your My Health Account. If you use a RealMe verified account a trusted witness is not required.

My GP already knows me. Why do I have to visit them to check my identity?

Your GP knows you but we need to confirm it was really you who created the My Health Account online in your name.

What is a Unique Code?

This is the code you should give to your trusted witness along with your email address to enable them to confirm that it was you who created your account.

How long does the trusted witnessing process take?

It normally takes less than five minutes.


Document check

Why do I need to share an identity document with you?

Your health information is private. We need to make sure that the identity you are claiming is yours. We do this by comparing the information you give us to original government sources.

What documents can I use for the check?

You need one of the following documents:

New Zealand

Australia

Driver's Licence

Passport

Passport

Birth Certificate

Birth Certificate

 

Citizenship Certificate

 
I am a dual citizen with both a New Zealand and Australian passport. Can I use either to verify my identity when applying for a verified account?

Yes, you can.

I am aged 12-15 years (inclusive). What documents can I use for the document check?

You need one of the following documents:

New Zealand

Australia

Passport

Passport

Birth Certificate 

Birth Certificate

Citizenship Certificate

 
Or use RealMe Verified. If you are a child aged under 14, your parent or legal guardian needs to sign a consent form and come with you to the photo store when you get your photo taken. For more details, see RealMe - How to Apply
I don’t have one of the listed documents, what do I do?

If you were born in New Zealand you will be able to get a copy of your birth certificate from Order New Zealand Certificates. If you were not born in New Zealand or Australia then we may not be able to check your document at present. You will be able to get help from healthcare providers in the future.

Or use RealMe Verified.

I have already provided my identity document to my GP. Why can’t you use that?

At present, the application or system that your GP uses is not connected to My Health Account. We are working on connecting these systems so we can use your GP’s records in the future.

I’ve input the information off my document, but verification fails. What should I do?

Input the information exactly as it appears on your document:

  • Your names as they appear on your document.
  • Your middle name if it appears on your document.
  • If your name on your document contains letters with accents or macrons, then please type in the letter without the accent or macron as our checking service does not support accents or macrons.
I have run out of attempts and my document is still not verified. What should I do?

Please try another document type. If you do not have another document type then call 0800 222 478 or +64 6 927 6900 and request that the document check count is reset. Please see ‘I’ve input the information off my document, but verification fails. What should I do?’ for tips on how to input your document’s information so that it is successfully verified.

I get an error message that the document check service is not available. What does it mean?

My Health Account relies on a third-party service to communicate with underlying government sources of information. Please try again later.

Can I verify if I have a single name?

Yes, so long as it is exactly how it appears on your document.


NHI search

What does an NHI number look like?

An NHI number is a combination of seven characters – the first three are letters and the last four are numbers. These characters are assigned randomly. An example of an NHI number is ABC1234.

Where can I find my NHI number?

You can find your NHI number in the following places.

  • a prescription or prescription receipt
  • a prescription medicine bottle label
  • a hospital letter
  • an x-ray or test result
  • by checking your profile on the online patient portal provided by your General Practice (GP).
Not sure if you have an NHI number?

95 per cent of New Zealanders have an NHI number. It is the unique number that health providers and general practitioners use for you. If you don't already have one they can assign one to you.

Is my personal health NHI data protected?

Yes, it is. The Ministry of Health has always had your National Health Index Number (NHI). This is uniquely assigned to you from birth or as you need health care services. This number is not shared with other Agencies. We have legal protection of this information and will continue to protect it online.

I have moved to a new house and not yet told my GP. What should I put into the address field?

Please put your previous address. Any older address that is held by your GP, hospital or other publicly-funded health professional will help us search for and match your NHI number.

Why is the system asking me for more information to match my NHI?

The matching procedure will only automatically match your NHI number if it is sure that it has a unique match. We need more information to get a unique match.

You’ve automatically matched my NHI number, but it is wrong. What should I do?

The matching procedure is very accurate but sometimes mistakes happen. Please call 0800 222 478 or +64 6 927 6900 and we can correct it for you.

I got an error message that my NHI is already being used. What should I do?

Please call 0800 222 478 or +64 6 927 6900.

I don’t want to give my gender or address. Do I have to?

Providing your gender or address is optional. If you do not provide them, we will still match your NHI number, but it may take up to two working days because we will have to do it manually.

You don’t have an option for my gender. What should I input?

Please use ‘another gender’ or you can leave this field blank.

I got a message saying that my NHI number will be matched in two working days. What does it mean?

Our automatic systems do a good job of matching your NHI number based on the information you have provided. But sometimes the automatic system fails to get an automatic match. In that case, we need a human to manually match your NHI. Once your NHI number has been successfully matched, we’ll send you an email. In the very unlikely event that we need more information from you to match your NHI number, the matching team will get in touch with you directly by email.

I got a message saying that my NHI number will be matched in two working days, but I need a match now. What should I do?

Please call 0800 222 478 or +64 6 927 6900.


Other services

What is Tātai?

Tātai is a data collection tool that allows Māori to share iwi affiliations. Sharing this information with iwi and the Ministry of Health means iwi can collect much better health information. This will make a positive difference today and for future generations. Read more on the Tātai website.


Environmental

Can I use Internet Explorer 11?

No. We recommend these browsers and operating systems:

  • Microsoft Edge 87.0.664.75 or above on Windows 10 20H2
  • Safari 14.0.2 or above on macOS 11
  • Chrome 88.0.4324 or above on Windows 10 20H2, Android 11, macOS 11
  • Safari 14 or above on iOS 14
  • Firefox 84.0.2 or above Windows 10 20H2

Other versions may work but are not part of our standard test suite. You can find the version of your browser by clicking on the settings and selecting “About…”.

What mobile devices can I use?

Mobile devices running: iOS14, iOS13, Android11, Android10, Android7. Apple and Samsung devices are tested as part of our standard test suite.

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