Newshub-Reid Research poll: Overwhelming support for COVID-19 vaccine certificates but 900,000 yet to be downloaded

In a few hours, COVID-19 vaccine passports will be the ticket to a mostly normal life - but 900,000 double-vaxxed Kiwis still haven't downloaded their passes.

Overstayers, the elderly, migrants and those jabbed overseas are battling to prove they're vaxx-verified. But the latest Newshub Reid-Research poll shows there's overwhelming support for vaccine certificates.

Kennedy Maeakafa Fakana'ana'a-ki-Fualu is known to many as the Tongan Robin Hood. He's been hustling to help overstayers get vaccinated - and then prove it.

"They live in fear - that's a fact," he told Newshub. "This will not be working for our vulnerable Tongan overstayer community."

You need a Government-approved ID or a NHI number to get a vaccine pass. 

And it's not just overstayers struggling - potentially thousands of legal Kiwis with ID are also finding it difficult to get a certificate. 

If you got vaccinated overseas, there's a two-week wait for the Government to verify vaccination status.

"I'm triple vaxxed, I've had my booster," says returned Kiwi Kaleb Lloyd. "I had plans tomorrow night to go and hang out with one of my best friends here in Wellington, and now it's off."

The tech-challenged are also battling. Age Concern has been giving them laminated passes. The process is too complicated for many to do on their own.

"It's been really stressful knowing that they've gone and got themselves vaccinated - as they should - and this just seems to be a bit of a barrier," says Age Concern Canterbury CEO Simon Templeton.

Almost 400 pharmacies are now equipped to help and print passes.

"It's a bit of scrambling with getting enough staff and helping provide the services," says pharmacist Rachael Horwood. "It's been very busy."

That's because on Friday, if you don't have a pass, you will not be able to go to the gym, hairdresser, cinemas, concerts or restaurants. It'll be takeaways only for you. 

You also won't be able to fly Air New Zealand or catch an Interislander ferry unless you also have a negative test.

And in 'red' regions, you're only allowed up to 25 people in your home, at a wedding or funeral - and you can't go to university. 

There's a touch more freedom under 'orange' - you can have up to 50 people at gatherings and you can go to university. 

But regardless of passport status, everyone's free to use healthcare, retail, banks and supermarkets. 

"In the event that people are in the queue when the new system kicks in on Friday, they will be able to get a temporary exemption for up to a week," said COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. 

Despite the chaotic rollout, the Government does have the public on board. 

The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll shows the overwhelming majority of Kiwis - 73 percent - support vaccine certificates at bars and restaurants.

It found that 20 percent don't agree with the policy and 6 percent don't know.

"I think a lot of New Zealanders are trying to do the right thing here," said Hipkins. "They're proud that they're vaccinated."