The NZ Covid Tracer app, developed by the government, was one of the key prizes at the NZ Open Source Awards 2021, which were announced overnight. According to Ministry of Health data, the app was developed by Rush Digital for $6.4 million and now has 3.6 million users.
NZ Covid Tracer may be used to keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve been with by manually scanning QR codes. It also uses Apple and Google’s Bluetooth technology to keep track of who you’ve been in proximity with. However, the Ministry has only made sporadic use of the Bluetooth feature.
The awards recognise and honour outstanding work with free and open source software in New Zealand, as well as the creative, scientific, and social effects it produces.
“Once again these awards have uncovered some incredible work by an amazingly diverse group of people. The joy of open source is the joy of sharing, learning from others, and building capability that can be used anywhere by anyone,” said Don Christie, NZOSA judge and managing director at Catalyst.
“We’ve heard about project teams, developers, designers, testers and users. All of whom make sure that the phenomenal impact of open source software continues to make a profound contribution to our communities and societies.” He adds.
The prizes were supposed to be announced during a gala dinner on February 8th, but due to Covid-related event restrictions, the gala was cancelled.