A contact tracing app for COVID-19 will be available in the next fortnight, the Ministry of Health says.
The ministry said it would use mobile data to track the movements of people with the virus.
The first version of the app would allow voluntary pre-registration so the ministry had up-to-date contact details for users.
Respecting people's privacy and security would be a key focus, it said.
In Australia, more than a million people downloaded an official contact tracing app within hours of its release last night.
The Australian app warns users if they have more than 15 minutes of close contact with someone who tests positive.
In Singapore, the Tracetogether app uses Bluetooth for close-range swapping of contact information by smartphones, and is an opt-in smartphone app.
An audit of New Zealand's contact tracing capabilities by epidemiologist Dr Ayesha Verrall found the country's capacity needed to be increased three- or four-fold as long as the virus remained a health threat.
Dr Verrall said the ministry urgently needed to work on an app to help with contact tracing.
The ministry has been consulting on tracing with the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), New Zealand's communications spy agency, amid growing concern globally that contact tracing could lead to mass surveillance.