Vaccine Pass Q & A

Q: What is My Vaccine Pass and why do I need one?
My Vaccine Pass is the official New Zealand Government record of your COVID-19 vaccination status for use in Aotearoa New Zealand. It provides proof you are either fully vaccinated or have a medical exemption for vaccination.

It is a free pass issued by the Ministry of Health via My COVID Record.
Under the COVID Protection Framework you will be required to show My Vaccine Pass as proof of vaccination status in a range of public settings such as events, hospitality, retail, community, sport, and faith-based gatherings.

You do not have to show proof of your vaccination status to access supermarkets, pharmacies, health services, food banks or petrol stations.

Note: no other passes are verifiable therefore there is no benefit in purchasing proof of vaccination status from another source. It’s also worth noting that the purple appointment cards some people were given when they got vaccinated can’t be used as proof.

Q: Can I use the My Vaccine Pass as proof of vaccination status under the Vaccination Order?
Work is underway to see if there is a way the Vaccine Pass can be used as proof of vaccination status for those people whose employment is covered by vaccination orders. This is not currently the case.
Q: How do I get My Vaccine Pass?
Once you are fully vaccinated, sign up at My Covid Record - - to see your vaccination status and request a pass. Your My Vaccine Pass will include your name, date of birth and a QR code. You can save this pass on a digital device, like your phone, or print a physical copy.

If you don’t have access to the internet/computer or have a temporary medical exemption*, you can call 0800 222 478 to request a My Vaccine Pass - we may ask you a few things to confirm your identity – such as your name and date of birth.

Note: if you have a temporary medical exemption, your details won’t be entered into the system until 26 November.

Q: Where do you not need to show a My Vaccine Pass?
Under the COVID Protection Framework, there are certain settings where denying entry on the basis of vaccination status will be prohibited.

You do not have to show proof of your vaccination status to access supermarkets, pharmacies, all health and disability services, food banks or petrol stations. Proof of vaccination status is also not required in education settings, on all public transport (other than air travel), accessing housing and housing support services under state sector agencies.

For children under the age of 12, there is no requirement to show proof of vaccination status.

Q: How do I get a My Vaccine Pass if I don't have a smart phone, a computer or internet access?
If you do not have a smartphone or access to a computer, call 0800 222 478 to request a My Vaccine Pass – please have your National Health Index (NHI) ready or if you don’t have it, we may ask you a few things to confirm your identity – such as your name and date of birth.

Someone can call for you on your behalf, but they must have your permission.

Many local libraries have facilities where people can access the internet and printing. If you have family or friends who might not have access, see if/f you can help them access printing.

Q: What about 12–16-year-olds? How will they access My Vaccine Pass? (new Q/A as at 16 Nov @ 2.40 pm)
As of this week, 12-year-olds and over can now access My COVID Record using my Health Account.
Q: Do people do who share an email within their household?
An individual email is required when requesting a My Vaccine Pass via My COVID Record because people have different dates of birth, different medical records. This is common practice with digital services. For people who do not have an individual email account, they can register for their own unique email address from one of the free providers such as Gmail or Hotmail.
Q: Do you have any language supported to help those who cannot read English? Or are they supposed to register anyway from the help of their families and friends?
Once passes and certificates are available, consumers can call 0800 222 478 for themselves, or someone else they have permission to call on behalf of, to request a My Vaccine Pass or International Travel vaccination certificate. This will ensure those in New Zealand who are fully vaccinated but don’t have one of the accepted forms of identification can still get their vaccination pass or international travel vaccination certificate.

Our national call centre has a number of language options immediately available through the team members. For other languages not available at the time of call, call advisors have access to more than 40 certified language interpreters through NOCALL, an Australian-based service that the call advisor will connect the person to. Services can also be accessed via the New Zealand Relay Services for people who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, and speech impaired.

Q: I notice there is an expiry date after six months? What do I do after that?
My Vaccine Pass is valid for 6 months from date of issue.

This is because booster shots may be required to ensure ongoing protection against Covid, also because Medical Exemptions are only valid for 6 months. If vaccination passes are still required after your pass has expired, you will need to request another one to prove your vaccinations are current.

Q: I'm having trouble accessing My Covid Record – what's going on?
The fact that over 80% of us are fully vaccinated means everyone is keen to get their My Vaccine Pass. However, that also means we are experiencing extremely high demand on the My Covid Record website! The good news is you won’t be needing to use your My Vaccine Pass for a couple of weeks at least. Please try again tomorrow or in a few hours.
Q: How long will I need an official record of my vaccination status?
As part of the CPF, you will need proof of your vaccination status to access public settings in New Zealand until further notice. This is to help ensure we are reducing the risk of the virus spreading at large gatherings and events over the summer and into next year.

It’s anticipated that the need for proof of a vaccine certification when travelling internationally will be in place for years to come.

Q: Aren't these vaccine certificates discriminatory?
There are very few people that are unable to get a vaccine due to medical grounds. These people who apply through the Ministry of health and receive a temporary medical exemption process will also be able to receive a vaccine pass.

You do not have to show proof of your vaccination status to access supermarkets, pharmacies, health services, food banks or petrol stations. For children under the age of 12, there is no requirement to show proof of vaccination status.

Q: How does someone get a My Vaccine Pass if they don't have one of the six forms of ID needed to sign up for My Covid Record?
If someone has been vaccinated but doesn’t have an ID, they can call 0800 222 478 to request a My Vaccine Pass. We suggest that they have their National Health Index (NHI) number ready, but if they don’t have it, we may ask a few questions to confirm your identity – such as your name and date of birth.
Q: Why do you show my age on the pass?
Some businesses and organisations might require that ID is shown along with your vaccination pass. This is an important method to reduce vaccination pass forgery.
Q: How are you looking after my privacy?
The vaccination certificates are created from data held in the Covid Immunisation Register that records your COVID-19 vaccinations. The vaccination certificate system has been designed to keep your details private with vaccination proof securely coded into the QR code.
Q: When will booster shots be included into the systems?
People will be able to book a booster shot through Book My Vaccine from 26 Nov. Once they’ve had a booster shot, it will show up in their My COVID Record along with their other doses.

The date for a booster shot to be included as criteria for My Vaccine Pass as part of the definition of “fully vaccinated” is to be determined, requiring further advice from CVTAG.

Q: What if I'm coming from overseas? Can I get a My Vaccine Pass?
A process is being established to record COVID vaccinations administered overseas in the New Zealand Covid Immunisation Register. We can record all 23 vaccines that are approved as per the New Zealand entry requirements.

You have to apply for this information to be included in your records, this will take up to 14 days and people will need to provide proof of the vaccines and dates administered so they can be entered into the COVID-19 Immunisation Register.

While all 23 vaccines are able to be recorded, these do not mean that you will be eligible for the My Vaccine Pass. At this stage, from the week of 26 November, there are 8 approved vaccines that can be used as proof of vaccine status when applying for My Vaccine Pass.

They are:

  1. Pfizer/BioNTech
  2. Janssen (Johnson and Johnson)
  3. AstraZeneca (Oxford)
  4. AstraZeneca/Covishield (Serum Institute of India)
  5. Moderna
  6. Sinopharm
  7. Sinovac (CoronaVac)
  8. Covaxin (Bharat Biotech)
Q: Do I need a National Health Index number to enter My Covid Record and request My Vaccine Pass?
You won’t need your National Health Index (NHI) number to log onto My Covid Record, but you will need an email address and a valid identity document, such as a birth certificate, drivers licence or passport issued in New Zealand or Australia.

You can call 0800 222 478 to request a My Vaccine Pass. Please have your National Health Index (NHI) ready or if you don’t have it, we may need to ask you a few things to confirm your identity – such as your name and date of birth.

For overseas arrivals: currently those coming into the country do get issued with an NHI on arrival as they go into our MIQ system.

Q: Is there guidance for businesses on the use of verifiers?
Yes, this is available from MBIE.

International vaccine certificates Q&As

Q: When will international travel vaccine certificates be available?
International vaccine certificates can be requested now. If you are using the call centre, it’s recommended you request a certificate a week or so before the date you intend to travel overseas. The certificates have an expiry date of one year. You should sign up for My Covid Record now to ensure you can create certificates and are ready to go.
Q: How can I know that the international certificate will be accepted by my country of destination?
You should check the requirements of the country you’re travelling to and find out what proof of vaccination status, if any, is needed. You will need to follow all the usual immigration processes and additional steps, such as pre-departure COVID-19 testing.

Consult the official website or the nearest embassy/consulate of your country or territory of destination to find out about any border controls that may apply to you before travelling.

Q: How is this different from My Vaccine Pass?
You will receive a separate QR code for your international vaccine certificate. These certificates will be recognised by international jurisdictions and are for travel purposes only.
Q: How is this different form the Ministry of Health 'Proof of Vaccine; letter I requested and received?
If you’ve already received a vaccination confirmation letter from the Ministry of Health you can still use this for international travel, but to ensure the country you are travelling to recognises your proof of vaccination status we recommend you request an International Travel Vaccination Certificate, and the easiest way to request this is through My Covid Record.
Q: Which countries will accept New Zealand's international travel vaccine certificate?
International vaccine certificates from New Zealand are recognised as part of the EU Digital Covid Certificate, as announced 15 November. This now means NZ certificates may be used as proof of vaccine when entering 49 countries, with more countries expected to come.

EU DCC formatted certificates, including NZs, are being widely recognised by countries outside of the EU DCC system, including Australia and USA.

Q: Can I download the international certificate on my phone or is it print only?
Yes, you can receive a digital version via email that you can save on your phone. Please note that the international certificate cannot yet be added to Apple Wallet or Google Pay – you must either have the downloaded copy of the PDF on your phone or have printed a copy.

Climate Change statement endorsed by NZ Buddhist Communities received by Hon James Shaw and COP26 Representatives

New Zealand Buddhist Council message of encouragement to Governmental delegations to the 26th Session of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26)

It is time for wise, decisive and effective measures. Humanity’s impact has brought about rapid climate change and we are facing the results – shrinking ice sheets, warming oceans, ocean acidification, glacial retreat, sea level rise, and increasingly extreme weather and fire events. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that “unless there are immediate, rapid, and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to 1.5°C will be beyond reach.”

Wisdom and compassion in response to global climate crisis

Buddhist leaders around the world have said that it is essential for all societies and individuals to develop greater compassion and wiser respect for the environment, for humanity and for the other creatures living in the environment.

We need to be more wakeful and see that the great ecosystem of the planet is our mother and the cord binding us to her cannot be cut. When she becomes sick, so do we. When she is well, we can thrive.

Sustainable and harmonious relationships between humanity and the environment have been weakened by over-consumption and many have lost their sense of connection to each other and to the Earth itself. Without that connection we end up living in ways that destroy the systems which support our lives, and upon which all living beings depend. Through this wisdom of interdependence we can access compassion.

If the policies you choose to pursue in responding to the climate change crisis are rooted in deep principles of wisdom and compassion then humanity and all life will have a chance of thriving again.

Supporting well-being supports societal change

The Buddha made observations relevant to our current predicament. He discovered that personal suffering originates from inner craving and ignorance. The heart and mind, once caught up in afflictions of greed and fear become deluded and inclined to unskillful actions. Deeds performed from these states lead into further cycles of suffering. Chronic suffering is stopped when we see through our habitual narratives and find the causes in ourselves.

Our ecological emergency is caused by these same afflictions playing out on a collective scale. Both within ourselves and in the context of our negotiations with the world, we need to work with root causes. Resolutions of the climate crisis cannot be only technological. The traditions of Buddhism all teach that qualities of mindfulness and inner contentment are integral to reducing reactivity and greed. Acknowledging wisdom paths for their personal and social outcomes, and applying principles from them in secular contexts, will help us all to overcome the global challenges we face.

Excessive consumption of resources with excessive obsolescence and waste are signs of an unhappy society. Truly happy people do not depend on increasingly excessive consumption. To function sustainably with net-zero emissions we will need educational and economic systems which recognise balance ahead of growth.

May you have strong resolve, wise and skilful leadership

We seek from all of you cooperation and determination in securing transformational commitments through COP26 in Glasgow. The challenge is to “go hard and go early” with measures that work, commensurate with the causes of climate change.

    • ➢  We exhort you to commit to the strongest possible Nationally Determined Contributions with firm science-based milestones to achieve net-zero carbon emissions well before 2050.
    • ➢  Deforestation is both a loss of carbon retention and a source of a significant percentage of the world’s carbon emissions. Stronger effort is needed to halt the destruction of forests. Urgent and persistent efforts are needed to save the rainforest belt which is functioning as the lungs of the biosphere, and is also the home of a large percentage of plant and animal diversity.
    • ➢  Fossil fuels must be replaced with renewable energy sources that are benign to the biosphere. We recognise the enormity of the task of fully phasing out fossil fuels. Present systems of extraction, production, consumption, and waste are inducing climate change, as well as causing ocean acidification, rising sea levels, water and air pollution, depletion of soils and the consequent loss of biodiversity.
    • ➢  We also ask for a stronger commitment from wealthy nations to helping developing countries prepare for climate impacts and make transitions to low carbon futures.


To the delegation from Aotearoa New Zealand and to all delegations attending, with the motivation to benefit all, we offer our statement for your consideration.

With hearts and minds on the long-term welfare of all beings, may you fulfil the universal sacred duty to protect the web of life.



This NZ Buddhist Council Statement has been endorsed by Buddhist leaders and communities throughout Aotearoa New Zealand, and received by Hon James Shaw, Minister of Climate Change and Associate Minister for the Environment, Nick Baker UN COP26 President Elect’s Global Engagement Director and Ambassador Christopher Trott (UK Ambassador to the Holy See).

Leave No Traces

A short talk given at the New Zealand Buddhist Council AGM by Ven. Amala Wrightson, Auckland Zen Centre on 15th May, 2021.

We were posed this question: What skillful strategies from the Buddhist tradition are sometimes overlooked but could be used more widely to address the challenges of modern times? What immediately sprung to mind as a teaching to address the challenges of mass extinction and climate crisis was the Zen motto, “leave no traces.”

In Zen training centres and temples we first meet this teaching in the zendo, where we are instructed to smooth and plump up our cushion at the end of a sitting, so they are ready for the next person. In sesshin formal meals we are encouraged to take only what we need and to eat all that we take, leaving our plate bare, and we chant that “our meal is the labour of countless beings”, reminding ourselves that we are kept alive and healthy because of the labour of others. Our Ancestral Line chant reminds us of the precious gift of the Dharma we have received, like relay runners, from our Dharma forebears, and which we must hand on in good shape to the next generation. The ten precepts guide us in creating less “karmic residue” by thinking, speaking and acting in ways that don’t cause harm. And our sitting cultivates a state of absorption in which nothing is left over, nothing left out, no trace of self remaining. “Leave no traces” is a both an invitation to care, to include in our present moment those who come before us and after us, and an expression of boundless Buddha Nature. There’s a Zen story about this:

Two senior Zen students were refining their spiritual understanding by travelling throughout the country to train with respected teachers. They heard that there was a master living with a few disciples deep in the forest near the headwaters of a river. One morning, after weeks of travel, they were eagerly approaching the hermitage when they saw in the stream that flowed down the mountain, a cabbage leaf floating by. Disappointed, they immediately turned to leave, but as they did so they saw the old master, her sleeves flapping, running along the stream and scooping up the stray cabbage leaf. The two pilgrims smiled at each other and resumed their climb towards the monastery, sure now that they had come to the right place.

So “leave no traces” is about much more than frugality or gratitude or not wasting precious resources, though it encompasses all of these. It is an attitude of reverence and tender care towards all animate and inanimate things. It is a widely neglected practice in our consumer society, but it can be cultivated.  Here’s how nature writer Robert McFarlane puts it:

… to see ourselves as a web of gift, inheritance and legacy stretching over millions of years past and millions to come, bringing us to consider what we are leaving behind for the epoch and beings that will follow us.

Food for thought in times of infectious disease

Vimalakirti is quoted as saying “I am sick because sentient beings are sick.” 

Manjusri asked, “Householder, whence came this sickness of yours? How long will it continue? […] How can it be alleviated?” Continue reading …

– recommended by Ven. Amala Wrightson, Auckland Zen Centre