Papakāinga adopts COVID Tracer QR code

Concern for whānau health and safety has prompted a Hastings papakāinga to get their own NZ COVID Tracer QR code.

Published: Rāpare, 20 Hereturikōkā, 2020 | Thursday, 20 August 2020

People with the Tracer app on their phones can scan the code to create a digital diary of the places they have been. This helps contact tracers quickly identify and isolate anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19.

Aroha Te Rangi Robin papakāinga member Shalom Haenga says registering and downloading the QR code was so quick and easy she wishes she had thought of doing it earlier.

“We are promoting businesses to put up QR codes and here we were with a development happening right next door. Builders, council people and an electrician were coming and going,” she says.

Spurred into action, Shalom went online and within five minutes had registered the papakāinga location and downloaded the QR code and poster.

“It’s a very simple process. You don’t need a business number so whether you’re a marae or a whānau trust you can set it up straight away.”

A government webpage provides information on completing an online form, downloading and displaying the code. As of Wednesday 19 August, all businesses must display a code for each business location in either a prominent place or near main entrances.

Encouraging manuhiri to get on board

Shalom put the posters up at the entrance to the papakāinga, on the front doors of four whānau homes, and on the fencing around a fifth house under construction.

Living in the papakāinga in Kohupātiki gives whānau a shared sense of wellbeing, says Shalom. While they already feel secure in this bubble, the habit of encouraging manuhiri to use the code provides additional comfort. 

“We’re doing something to help ourselves and we’re all involved. On the first weekend unexpected visitors turned up. They could scan the code at the entrance or at the whare they were visiting.”

Not all the whānau or their manuhiri have “flash phones with the app”.

“A lot of Nanny Rose’s visitors are kaumātua so she’s decided to manually record all visitors in a notebook. Being in the vulnerable age bracket, she’ll do whatever she can to keep herself, her husband and other manuhiri safe,” says Shalom.

Since moving to Aroha Te Rangi Robin papakāinga last year whānau have been able to look after each other, to promote well-being. Activating their QR code is a natural expression of that kaupapa.

How to get a QR code

If having a QR code at your whare or papakāinga is something you, your whānau or Trust is interested in doing here is some information on how you can do that;

  • Get your QR code poster at
  • Consider placing a poster at the entrance to the papakāinga where people can walk past without creating an obstacle and maybe one at the entrance to each whare.
  • To keep the poster dry, put it into a plastic sleeve or laminate it.
  • Check out the Ministry of Health site for information about your NZ COVID Tracer app.

If there is a construction site at you papakāinga, the builder or lead contractor is required to have a COVID Tracer QR Code for any visitors to the site.