People reporting breaches of Covid rules should be allowed to be anonymous, according to a man who struggled with the dilemma of outing an unvaccinated festival-goer.
It comes after more than 55,000 reports of Covid non-compliance have been reported in almost two years, but police can't say how many were accurate or resulted in action against an individual.
The man, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Herald he was aware of a person, with whom he had a connection, who had attended a summer festival despite not being vaccinated.
All large-scale festivals in New Zealand require a vaccination pass on entry.
It was understood the unvaccinated person used doctored documentation to gain access to the festival.
Upon learning this, Devon* chose to report the breach through a form provided by New Zealand Police.
However, he initially decided against it because the form required his full name and date of birth, alongside his phone number and email address.
"I just didn't want my name to spread in multiple places and not know how they would follow up on that," he said.
Prior to submitting the form, a person is advised their details could be shared with any of the following government agencies:
• New Zealand Defence Force
• Ministry of Health
• New Zealand Police
• Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
• WorkSafe New Zealand
• National Emergency Management Agency
• Department of Internal Affairs
• Maritime New Zealand
• Ministry for Primary Industries
• New Zealand Customs
A police spokesperson said it was routine to request information from people as part of the standard intelligence-gathering process.
"The information collected is generally only sufficient to enable us to deal with the particular matter effectively," they said.
"We take extremely seriously our responsibilities to comply with the Privacy Act, including the management of personal information within the New Zealand Police."
In appeals for information from the public, police often refer people to CrimeStoppers - an independent charity that enabled people to give information anonymously.
Since April 2020, more than 55,000 reports of Covid-19 non-compliance had been filed.
As many had been passed on to other government agencies, the spokesperson couldn't say how many had resulted in action.
More information on how police managed personal information, visit www.police.govt.nz/about-us/how-we-manage-personal-information.
*Devon is not his real name.