New Zealand’s third-biggest political party, the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers (ACT) party, has called upon the government to launch a lottery for those who use the country’s COVID-19 Tracing app amid rising levels of the virus, according to a Scoop Independent News report.
ACT has proposed that NZ$5.2m be put aside for the lottery draws which would be worth $1,000 each. It suggests that for each time a person scans into a venue, they will receive an entry into the lottery.
It says that extra incentives are needed for people to use the app as current usage is low and New Zealand is seeing a surge in cases of the Delta variant, plunging the country into another lockdown.
An ACT statement read: “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. 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.”
ACT claims to represent small businesses and taxpayers in New Zealand so it may be in its interests to keep business doors open amid rising cases. However, New Zealand’s impressive record early in the pandemic in controlling the virus was the envy of many countries, making an incentivised lottery a good compromise for the political party.
The statement continued: “Has the 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 to encourage more people to use the app.”