Jo is a digital producer at Pattern. Jo has a background in communication, and has worked as a producer and editor for organisations such as Les Mills International, Tailor, Auckland Libraries and XtraMSN/Telecom. From 2007-2009, Jo was the web editor for Taste and Metro magazines.
Useful government apps to download
Updated 14 August 2020.
Last year, we posted about Unisys' Connected Government Study about Kiwis’ attitudes toward digital government services. The study found 64% of Kiwis surveyed (out of the 1000 sample) prefer to access services online. NZ recorded the third highest preference to use mobile apps.
As of this week, the city of Auckland went back to a Level 3 lockdown due to 17 new Covid-19 cases within three days. Even though the Covid tracer app was launched in May towards to the end of the first lockdown, it will see an uptick in downloads now that the government has mandated for all businesses to display the tracking QR codes.
1 - NZ Covid Tracer
NZ COVID Tracer is a Ministry of Health app that allows you to create a digital diary of places you visit by scanning the official QR codes. This will help contact tracers to quickly identify and isolate anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 if there is an outbreak in New Zealand. You can download the app in the Apple App Store or from Google Play. So far, over 626,000 Kiwis have downloaded the app.
Last week an update was made to the app so that Kiwis can add manual entries to their own digital diary, either at the time or afterward, regardless of whether a QR code is on display. This means you can maintain a complete – and private – record of all the places you’ve been and the people you’ve seen.
The Ministry of Health will continue to update the app over time as new features are developed including the consideration of integrating bluetooth technology within the app to further support contact tracing.
2 - Auckland Libraries
Not only has the free Auckland Libraries (AL) app had a facelift last year. During the 2020 Level 4 Covid-19 lockdown, the team at the libraries souped up the app making it go faster than ever, so don't be fooled by the low rating in the reviews.
You can do so much from your phone:
- Search the catalogue and request books, eBooks, audiobooks, CDs, DVDs, and game
- Check to see which books are due, and when they’re due Manage renewals and requests (e.g. freeze item if you’re heading overseas, or select any of 55 library branches for pick-ups)
- Browse and check out eBooks and eAudiobooks Find your nearest library across Auckland
- Use your digital library card barcode (very handy when you don't have your physical card)
- Scan an ISBN barcode to see if the item is available within the Auckland Libraries network
- Connect with AL via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and email.
3 - Snap Send Solve
Christchurch City Council was the first to lead with a number of cool apps including the popular Snap Send Solve with 4.6 stars with over 1,000 reviews.
The app lets you quickly take photos of problems and send these to council and local authorities. Issues you can report include parking, pavement, abandoned shopping trolleys, damaged roads, potholes, graffiti, litter, broken playground equipment, noise and more.
The app is excellent, easy to use and fast when it comes to getting action or a response. The best thing is this app lets you quickly ‘show’ council the problem and take fast action, instead of having to describe the issue in an email or over the phone.
4 - AT Park
The AT Park app has 3.6 stars by nearly 900 reviewers and positive feedback from this year. This app lets you find and pay for car parks without having to walk up to the physical machines on the street – think how good this is when it’s hailing outside.
AT Park also lets you update and manage your account details online, including setting reminders (e.g. unpaid parking fines), adding multiple vehicles, and having access to all your parking transactions and tax invoices.
This year’s reviewers love the app for its convenience and ease of use, and not having to run back to the machine to top up parking time. You can also stop the parking early (and save money) when you no longer need the park.