COVID-19 NZ: Tracer design and implementation seriously flawed. Create your own QR code for free.

Tracer suggestions

Upon reflection please change our selections
Our objections are sound please make corrections
COVID has slowed help lighten our load
Let us download our own QR code
Now follow directions of our suggestions

Alan Grace
23 May 2020

Special offers:

  • Create a QR code for free (instructions below)
  • Get my first hour of tuition at half-price (via Zoom)
  • Create a hardcopy ID (paper ID including a QR code) for tracing COVID-19 in New Zealand (see below)

In this post we look at serious flaws in the design and implementation in New Zealand’s COVID Tracer App.

Maybe this App should be called the

Self-Hosted Infection Tracing App

(or the SHIT App)?

Below you will see how to create your own QR code for free.

First you need to register to get a registration number. You can register here:

You do not need to download the Tracer App before you register.

If you scan the QR code in my hardcopy example (see 9 below) with a QR code reader (like the program I suggest below), you will get a code to obtain my first hour of computer and/or maths tuition (via Zoom) at half price for adults, businesses, and students of all ages.

The are serious flaws in the design and implementation in New Zealand’s COVID Tracer App. In particular:

  1. Six digit ID numbers only allow 999,999 people to register. This means that only one fifth (20%) of New Zealand’s population can use the App. Overseas information suggests that 60% to 80% uptake is required to make such an App useful.
  2. The App is very lightweight and is not very useful for Tracing in its present form.
  3. In a full-page add in the New Zealand Herald on Thursday this week, the reference to the website missed out the ‘19‘ digits.
  4. In the registration process for Android users, the website said version 7 or above is required. Many phones (maybe half) do not have this version and older phones may not be able to upgrade to version 7. Apple devices need IOS 12 or later.
    On TV on Wednesday the NZ Director General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, said all Android phones should be able to use the Tracer App.
  5. The Government has not encouraged use of ID numbers (alone) when physically signing in at non-retail businesses and services/ venues (bars, restaurants, and other places where signing in is required). ID numbers should be sufficient when signing in. Many people do not want to give out personal information when going to these places. Only an ID number should be required.
  6. Business NZ COVID Tracer QR code posters (see example below) do not mention any ID number if people wish to record manually their location. When scanned the QR code poster example above only mentions the website (in the example above ). Nevertheless a reference number (one for each branch/location) should be printed on  the poster (but maybe no such number is generated when business generate their posters; a sad oversight).
  7. Businesses require an NZ business number to get a QR code. Small businesses (e,g, sole traders) do not require NZ registration at the Companies office and therefore may not have a business number.
  8. A hardcopy QR code for individuals (for use for signing in and exchanging contact details with others) should be downloadable (but isn’t) from the website similar to my example below. My example is designed to be folder in half to end up slightly smaller than VISA card size. Instead of 888888 you would have your own registration number.


For businesses, a poster (NZ COVID Tracer QR code poster) looks like this:



Below I will show you how to create a hardcopy QR code (to print out) like my example:


The above is designed to be folded in half to end up slightly smaller than VISA card size. Instead of 888888 you would have your own registration number.

Here is a pdf with 5 copies on one page
(maybe use one for each person in your family who may like one):


Please email me at if you would like a version in Microsoft Word.

My example is designed to be folded in half to end up slightly smaller than VISA card size. Instead of 888888 you would use your own registration number.

Originally I intended to laminate my ID (this is why I made it slightly smaller than Visa card size) but I found a name tag from an event I attended and recycled that for my ID. I was looking for an old lanyard to use but could not find one with plastic attached to insert my ID.

The only tricky part is generating the QR code which may contain any text you like (including your ID number if it may be used for tracing).

For years I have used the free CodeTwo program to generate QR codes:


Download CodeTwo QR Code Desktop Reader & Generator – free tool!
(I have no association with this App except as a user)

Once you have downloaded and installed Code Two, run the program, and first click to turn Generate mode on.

You can click on Size settings to change the size. I used 200px in my example.

You can then type in your text and save your QR code which will be created as you type..

When the QR code is complete, I usually use the Snipping Tool (you can find it under Start, Windows Accessories) to put a rectangle close to the QR code (to avoid too much white space around the code).

I then click on Edit, and Copy to make a copy of the code (in the Snipping Tool; note the name may change soon).

In Word, delete my QR code and paste in your own code.

Remember to save your work.

You can also scan the QR code in my business card if you wish
(it is even scannable business card size):


Please also have a look at my website:

Good luck!


My other COVID-19 posts can be found here:

Data for my posts can be found at:

I share my posts at:


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