How NZ COVID Tracer works

Use NZ COVID Tracer to keep a digital diary of the places you’ve been so contact tracing will go faster if it’s needed.

Page last updated: 23 November 2020

On this page:

See also: NZ COVID Tracer walkthrough video.

Record your visits

Use NZ COVID Tracer to create a digital diary of the locations you visit.

Select the ‘Record visit’ option if it isn't already selected. You can then either scan any Ministry of Health QR code or add a manual entry to your digital diary.

To scan a QR code, simply point your phone, with the app open on the ‘record visit’ screen at the QR code so it fits within the target area on the display of your phone. When successful, your phone will vibrate and a tick will appear on a green background to show that you have successfully scanned the code. You can then choose to add any further important details such as who you were with or what you were doing. Then tap ‘Finish’ to add the location to your digital diary.

To add a manual entry, tap the ‘Add manual entry’ option and fill in the form on the next screen. You can enter the place or activity, the arrival date and time, and any further important details.

Shows a visit recorded screen in the app
Shows a visit recorded screen in the app

Viewing and editing your digital diary

You can view your digital diary at any time by tapping the icon on the top-left of the ‘Record a visit’ screen or by tapping ‘My data’ down the bottom of the app, then tap ‘My diary’.

You can also edit or delete diary entries if you make a mistake or need to add some extra details. First, tap on the entry to see its details. Then tap either ‘Edit’ or ‘Delete entry’

For QR code entries, you can add any details that might help with contact tracing, such as the names of the people you were with.

For manual entries, you can also edit the place, activity, time and date information for the entry.

How to view your digital diary
How to view your digital diary


Read more about NZ COVID Tracer QR codes.

Enable for contact alerts

We recommend enabling alerts.  NZ COVID Tracer will let you know if you have checked into a location at the same time as a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, so you can be on the watch for any symptoms and take appropriate steps to protect your friends and whānau.

Upon download of the app you will be asked if you want receive contact alerts. If you chose not to, or you turned them off, you can turn them back via the Dashboard

Note: once enabled you can disable again via your phone settings, look for NZ COVID Tracer settings.

Contact alerts work through ‘push notifications’ to your phone. This does not involve transmitting any location information from your phone to the Ministry of Health or anyone else.

Visit the Dashboard

Visit the Dashboard to:

  • keep track of where you’ve been (Record a visit)
  • enable or disable contact alerts
  • update your details or address information
  • invite friends and whānau to download the app
  • access selected information and resources
  • register your interest in potential new features.
The dashboard in the contact tracer app
The dashboard in the app


Share your diary with contact tracers

If you are identified as a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, a contact tracer will get in touch to provide advice on self-isolation and to check on your health and wellbeing.

During the phone call, the contact tracer will also ask you for information about the places you’ve been and the people you’ve seen.  To help with this, you can open your digital diary by going to the ‘My data’ screen and tapping the ‘My diary’ option.

The contact tracer may ask you to share your digital diary with the Ministry of Health. You can do this by tapping the ‘Share my diary’ option within the ‘My data’ screen. You’ll be prompted to enter your personal information (if you haven’t previously entered it into NZ COVID Tracer). The contact tracer will then provide you with a verification code which will allow you to transmit your digital diary to us.

How to share your diary within the app

Save your NHI number

If you need to visit a COVID-19 testing station, it's helpful if you have your National Health Index (NHI) number with you, as this can help speed up the process. An NHI number is a unique identifier that is assigned to every person who uses health and disability support services in New Zealand.

You can save your NHI number within the NZ COVID Tracer app by going to the ‘My data’ screen and tapping on the ‘My NHI details’ option. You’ll then be prompted to enter you NHI number for easy access if you ever need a COVID-19 test.

You can find out your NHI by checking:

  • a prescription or prescription receipt
  • a prescription medicine bottle label
  • a hospital letter
  • an x-ray or test result
  • your ManageMyHealth profile (desktop website)

If you still can't find your NHI, try giving your general practitioner or pharmacist a call.

New features under development

Like all mobile apps, NZ COVID Tracer will be updated as new features are developed.

New features under consideration include:

  • call-back requests for contact alerts for high-risk exposure events
  • Bluetooth proximity detection.
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