What is the COVID-19 Saliva Testing Programme?

COVID-19 saliva surveillance testing works alongside the swab testing programme.

COVID-19 Response Minister, Chris Hipkins, announced on 26 May 2021 that participation in saliva testing, as part of mandatory testing, will be an option for border workers. Workers will have some choice in the testing regime they participate in.

More frequent saliva testing means there is added security for your safety, and that of your whānau and our communities.

Who is managing the testing?

Asia Pacific Healthcare Group (APHG) has been selected by the Ministry of Health to carry out COVID-19 saliva testing for surveillance purposes in New Zealand.

APHG operates a national network of medical laboratories, sample collection centres and logistics services. We have considerable experience in COVID-19 testing, having tested approximately one third of all COVID-19 PCR tests in New Zealand, the largest number of any single service provider.

Asia Pacific Healthcare Group (APHG) is New Zealand’s largest human and veterinary pathology network. We operate as Labtests, Northland Pathology, Taranaki Pathology Services, Southern Community Laboratories, Wellington SCL, Canterbury SCL, Medlab South & Gribbles Veterinary Pathology. With 25 laboratories, over 2,000 staff and 150 collection centres throughout NZ, APHG performs over 6.5 million pathology patient episodes each year.

APHG testing laboratories are all accredited by the Independent Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ), this includes COVID-19 PCR testing on saliva and swabs.

How the Saliva Testing Works

Register for the COVID-19 Saliva Testing App.

Collect tube and biohazard bag from the saliva collection booth.

Open the Saliva Testing App & scan the barcode label on the tube

Dribble saliva into tube to reach 1ml mark, put cap on tube.

Scan barcode tube to confirm sample completion.

Scan large barcode at drop off point, drop biohazard bag containing tube into drop off bin.

Sample is picked up by lab courier and transported to lab.

Lab records arrival, tests sample and sends out result electronically.

You will receive results via the same method as your swab.

Border Workers


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