ACT proposes COVID Tracer-app lottery to incentivise scanning

Sun, 22 Aug, 2021

“The ACT Party is today proposing a COVID-Tracer app lottery to encourage people to use the app more,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Instead of getting pinged to isolate, you might get pinged that you’ve won $1000.

“Today the Government announced compulsory app usage but the onus to ensure people are using it is on businesses owners.

“App usage is a crucial tool for contact tracing. Usage has been low and we need ways to incentivise New Zealanders to use it.

“ACT is proposing a $5.2 million fund. For each scan, the person would go into the draw to win $1000. There would be 100 prizes of $1000 a week.

“Anyone who scans in at the same place more than once in 15 mins would be ineligible. Some people might try to record their location more often than they need to just to win the prize, great, it will be easier to trace their location if they are infected.

“Businesses have been through enough with multiple lockdowns, as well as a raft of other costs placed on them by Government – like another public holiday and a raise in the minimum wage.

“Now they have been commandeered as law enforcement for a new rule, under threat of penalties up to $1000, and possibly more once reviewed. 

“Has Government considered the Health and Safety risks if a staff member asks someone to scan and they become aggressive? Will business owners, as Persons Conducting a Business Undertaking, need a plan to meet their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act? Will businesses have to employ more staff to make sure people are scanning?

“It’s time to think out of the box about how encourage more people to use the app.

“The Government needs to get more creative with its thinking. It’s happy to spend the COVID Fund on cameras on fishing boats and a business case for the replacement of Te Papa's Spirit Collection Area.

“The $5.2 million we’re proposing is less than the amount the Government spent from the COVID fund for the Royal NZ Ballet, NZ Symphony Orchestra and Te Papa’s Spirit Collection Area.”

“This is targeted COVID spending that will increase app usage and make contact tracing faster and easier.

“ACT will be here to make constructive criticisms where necessary and helpful suggestions where possible, while asking the questions New Zealanders need answered.”