COVID-19 Tertiary Bulletin

COVID-19 Tertiary Bulletin

Last updated 21 September 2021
Last updated 21 September 2021

Tertiary Provider and International Bulletin

 

Kia ora koutou,

COVID-19 Alert Level changes and Section 70 notice

The government has announced that Auckland will move to Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm, today, Tuesday 21 September.

Auckland will stay at Level 3 for at least two weeks with a review on Monday 4 October.

The rest of New Zealand with the exception of Upper Hauraki will stay at Alert Level 2 and will remain there as long as Auckland remains at higher Alert Levels.

Anyone in Upper Hauraki needs to stay home, stay local, wear a face covering when you leave home and keep 2 metres distance from people outside of your bubble.  Watch for symptoms of COVID 19 and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you develop symptoms. This will be reviewed regularly.

If you have worked, been in a household or attended an indoor gathering in Upper Hauraki since 8 September and are no longer there, you must stay home, monitor symptoms of COVID-19, call Healthline if you feel unwell and check locations of interest here.

General Alert Level 3 information is available on the Unite Against COVID-19 website and the detailed guidance for tertiary education providers is available on our website.  

 

Rāhui | Alert Level 3 – Guidelines for TEOs and students in the Auckland region

From tomorrow, TEOs and students in Auckland should follow the Alert Level 3 guidance as detailed on the Unite Against Covid website and in our Guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations.

We will update our guidelines as soon as we have seen the final Health Order which is due later today, and will notify changes tomorrow in our next bulletin. We expect that our Alert Level 3 guidelines will remain the same, with the exception of cross-boundary travel. We expect that the Health Order will not allow students in an Alert Level 3 area to return to their primary home or place of residence in an Alert Level 2 area. In the meantime, we continue to recommend that students remain in their current accommodation once Auckland moves to Alert Level 3, and that they do not move into or return to student accommodation.

 

Whakaiti | Alert Level 2 – New gathering limits

The Prime Minister announced changes yesterday to gathering limits at Alert Level 2. From tomorrow, indoor gatherings of up to 100 are permitted. Outdoor gathering limits remain at 100 people.

While social gathering limits do not apply to education-related activities at TEOs, we are reviewing our recommended capacity limits (a maximum of 100 students and staff) following this decision and will provide an update in our next bulletin.

 

For TEOs: Supporting student wellbeing

The prolonged lockdown is immensely stressful for many students. Changing Alert Levels – even if restrictions are eased – can be a time of increased stress and anxiety, as students are required to make new adjustments. The number one priority continues to be the wellbeing of students and ensuring they remain safe during this time.

We encourage providers to continue to uphold their international Code and domestic Code obligations.

Student voice

We encourage you to keep in close contact with your students and continue using student voice (Outcome 6, interim domestic Code) to ensure their voices are heard and integrated into decisions and support services needed at this time. For example, consider inviting a student representative to your team meetings to act as a conduit for communication, or actively ask students during your regular welfare checks for their feedback as to what would help them right now.

Student Accommodation

If you are a tertiary student accommodation provider, please continue to ensure the following:

  • Appropriate welfare checks on residents, including regular checks on those identified as being at risk
  • Managerial oversight of accommodation staff at all times (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) so that issues can be escalated when they occur
  • Clear processes for responding to instances of resident behaviour that pose a risk to self or others
  • Clear and timely escalation processes for any incidents
  • Holding the contact details of a nominated person should a resident’s wellbeing or behaviour cause concern
  • Providing residents with learning and peer support on self-care, positive wellbeing and how to access pastoral care services – whether through the provider and/or the wider community.

The NZQA Code team is here to help, so please get in touch for support or advice either via 0800 697 296 or code.enquiries@nzqa.govt.nz

 

Stress counselling and support

This will continue to be an unsettling time, and the uncertainty of COVID-19 can have an impact on our mental wellbeing. We continue to remind staff and students that mental wellbeing is important, and can be supported through accessing a range of the self-help resources:

There are also a number of helplines that are available and can connect people to trained counsellors. These include:

  • 1737 which is available 24/7 via free call or text
  • Youthline which can be accessed by calling 0800 376 633 or by free texting 234. Youthline also has a web chat function
  • OUTline has a free helpline available between 6pm and 9pm for members of the rainbow community. This can be accessed by calling 0800 688 5463.
  • If you have immediate concerns for the safety of yourself or someone else, please call 111.

In addition to the support and services available to all New Zealanders, there are Pacific mental health and addiction providers that have activated pandemic plans and are supporting their communities digitally where possible. These providers include:

There is also free counselling/Psychology Service in response to COVID-19 for Migrants and Former Refugees: Diversity Counselling New Zealand | DCNZ Hamilton | Contact Us for help

 

COVID-19: locations of interest and the basics

Locations of interest

With a high number of locations of interest, we ask that providers continue to be diligent and contact their stakeholders directly, as they have been doing, if they become a location of interest.

COVID-19 basics

The Ministry of Health continues to remind everyone to please remain vigilant and stick to the basics:

  • If you’re sick, stay home. Do not go to work or school. Do not socialise.
  • If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and get advice about getting tested.
  • If you have been told to self-isolate, you legally must do so immediately.
  • In an emergency always call 111.

Things change quickly so stay up to date by following the links below:

For health advice, please refer to the Ministry of Health’s website.

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

Please continue to check the Ministry of Health’s locations of interest page to find out if you might have been exposed to COVID-19 COVID-19: Contact tracing locations of interest | Ministry of Health NZ

For cross-agency information about COVID-19, including what support is available, health advice, and travel restrictions visit the All-of-Government website https://www.govt.nz/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/

For resources in Te Reo Māori, visit https://covid19.govt.nz/updates-and-resources/translations/te-reo-maori/

For information to support Pacific communities, visit https://www.facebook.com/MinistryforPacificPeoples/

Resources in sign language and easy read formats

To keep updated on travel restrictions and visa information visit https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/media-centre/news-notifications/coronavirus-update-inz-response

Advice for international students in NZ https://naumainz.studyinnewzealand.govt.nz/help-and-advice/healthcare/the-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know

For additional advice for tertiary providers/whare wānanga visit the Ministry of Education website http://www.education.govt.nz/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-3/       

Update: 16 September 2021: COVID 19 Update

Kia ora koutou,

Ko tēnei te wiki o te reo Māori – kia kaha te reo Māori!

COVID-19 Alert Level Changes

The government announced on Monday that Auckland will continue to remain in Alert Level 4 and will in principle move to Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm Tuesday 21 September. This will be confirmed on Monday 20 September. The rest of New Zealand beyond the Southern and Northern Auckland regional boundary will remain at Alert Level 2 with a review of settings also on Monday 20 September.

This bulletin provides in-depth coverage of guidance for those of you in Auckland preparing for an anticipated move to Alert Level 3 next week.

General Alert Level 3 information is available on the Unite against COVID-19 website.

 

Rāhui | Alert Level 3 – Guidelines for TEOs and students in the Auckland region

TEOs and students in Auckland preparing for the anticipated move to Alert Level 3 next week should follow the Alert Level 3 guidance in our Guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations. Our guidelines are up to date, except on cross-boundary travel (e.g., from an Alert Level 3 area to an Alert Level 2 area) and some minor clarifications. We discuss these further below. Otherwise, we are not expecting to make significant changes to our guidance, although we will do a final check once the Health Order confirming the alert level change for Auckland is in place.

Overarching principles

At Alert Level 3, all guidance needs to be read and actioned with the following key principles in mind:

  • All teaching and other activities should be done remotely, wherever possible.
  • Where it is not possible to deliver teaching online, some facilities may open (e.g., for research, post-graduate teaching, lab/workshops).
  • Any class, workshop, etc. that cannot be delivered online should be limited to 10 people or less. Each such group is considered a ‘bubble’ and should not interact with any other student/staff bubbles of 10. Contact tracing information that identifies which student/staff bubbles have met, and where and when they have met must be collected.
  • For any on-site activities, appropriate infection control measures, such as physical distancing and face coverings, along with Worksafe requirements must be met at all times.

Key guidance

  • Site access to prepare for re-opening (and to meet public health guidance) is allowed before Alert Level 3 comes into effect. We suggest TEOs and campus businesses provide staff with a letter they can take with them explaining why they are going to their place of work in Alert Level 4. As a reminder: where access to a tertiary site is permitted at Alert Level 4, a minimum number of staff should be onsite for a minimum amount of time, contact tracing systems and infection prevention measures must be in place, and physical distancing must be maintained at all times. If there is more than one staff member on site, staff must wear a face covering.
  • On-site examinations at Alert Level 3 should only take place for existing students/staff bubbles of 10, where it has not been possible to deliver teaching online.
  • At-risk and vulnerable people (or those caring for/living with vulnerable people) should not be required to carry out any on-site activities unless they are fully vaccinated. However, they may work on site if they wish to, and it is safe for them to do so.
  • Libraries and computer labs may remain open where they are essential to education delivery and can be operated using closely monitored personal distancing conditions. There is a high bar for an activity to be considered essential to education delivery. Access to libraries or computer labs should only be allowed when the delivery of education cannot occur remotely, e.g., for research, post-graduate teaching, labs or noho-based delivery.
  • Face coverings should be worn at indoor facilities (e.g., libraries and student health services) where these are open. They are strongly recommended at all other times, particularly where physical distancing may be difficult.

Further detailed information on Alert Level 3 is also available on the COVID-19 website.

 

Tertiary student accommodation and travel guidance at Alert Level 3

We are aware that some students who have been in Auckland for Alert Level 4 are looking at returning to their TEOs in Alert Level 2 areas once Auckland moves to Alert Level 3. Cabinet has yet to decide the rules for cross-boundary travel once Auckland moves to Alert Level 3. Student and staff are advised to wait until the Health Order is finalised before making travel plans. When Auckland moves to Alert Level 3 students should remain in their current accommodation if possible and we recommend they do not move into or return to student accommodation.  

 

Alert Level 2 and 3 – minor changes to guidance

We have made minor changes to our Alert Level 2 and Level 3 guidelines to make it clear that they provide both minimum legal requirements and recommendations, to ensure we’re consistent in how we discuss these, and to ensure guidance provided to education entities is aligned with other COVID-19 guidance where appropriate. 

TEOs and students should continue to follow the updated Alert Level 2 and 3 guidance in our Guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations. We encourage providers to continue making their usual good sensible judgements within the guidelines, with their usual care for staff and learner wellbeing. 

 

Contact-tracing reminder

To stop any future spread of COVID-19, there is a need to trace the contacts of anyone who has had exposure to COVID-19 and break the chain of transmission. Recording people’s movements helps to do this quickly. The NZ COVID Tracer App is our fastest way to respond to the Delta virus – the faster we respond, the faster we can stop it.

You can find QR code posters at many locations you visit. Scan these using the NZ COVID Tracer app to create a private digital diary of the places you visit. The app keeps us one step ahead of the virus — the more we scan the safer we will be. You can also turn on Bluetooth tracing in your app. Bluetooth tracing keeps track of who you have been near, while maintaining everyone’s privacy. 

TEOs should display the official NZ COVID Tracer QR code posters in a prominent place at or near main entrances and ensure that each person entering the facility scans the QR code or provides details to enable contact tracing. In particular, TEOs are responsible for ensuring contact tracing information identifies which students and staff (and any other visitors) have been in each ‘controlled learning space’ and ‘other controlled environments’ and is collected (whether via the COVID-19 Tracer App, or other means).

Mandatory record keeping is required at busy places and events at all alert levels, to ensure we are able to contact trace quickly.

For more information on contact tracing, please visit the Unite Against COVID-19 website.

 

Whakakore | Alert Level 4 –Guidance reminder for the Auckland region

In the meantime, TEOs and students in Auckland should continue to follow the updated Alert Level 4 guidance in our Guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations. All tertiary education facilities should continue to be closed except for necessary student accommodation, and those deemed as ‘Essential services.’

Further detailed information on Alert Level 4 is available on the COVID-19 website

 

Stress counselling and support

This will continue to be an unsettling time, and the uncertainty of COVID-19 can have an impact on our mental wellbeing. We continue to remind staff and students that mental wellbeing is important, and can be supported through accessing a range of the self-help resources:

There are also a number of helplines that are available and can connect people to trained counsellors. These include:

  • 1737 which is available 24/7 via free call or text
  • Youthline which can be accessed by calling 0800 376 633 or by free texting 234. Youthline also has a web chat function
  • OUTline has a free helpline available between 6pm and 9pm for members of the rainbow community. This can be accessed by calling 0800 688 5463.
  • If you have immediate concerns for the safety of yourself or someone else, please call 111.

In addition to the support and services available to all New Zealanders, there are Pacific mental health and addiction providers that have activated pandemic plans and are supporting their communities digitally where possible. These providers include:

  • Pasifika Futures in Waitematā, Canterbury and Counties Manukau
  • Fonua Ola in Counties Manukau
  • Kāute Pasifika in Waikato
  • Pacific Health Service Hutt Valley and Naku Enei in the Hutt Valley
  • Vaka Tautua in Capital and Coast DHB and Auckland Ministry of Health are in touch with the pacific mental health community in Auckland and are looking at options to support as needed

There is also free counselling/Psychology Service in response to COVID-19 for Migrants and Former Refugees: Diversity Counselling New Zealand | DCNZ Hamilton | Contact Us for help

 

Travel: permissions, and exemption requests

While Auckland remains in Alert Level 4, cross-boundary travel continues to be heavily restricted. Go to the COVID19.govt.nz website for further information on what travel is permitted and what you need to do if permitted to travel.

Exemption to travel

If your travel is not permitted within the Health Order, then you will need to apply for an exemption. Exemptions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Go to the COVID19.govt.nz website for further information.

Update: 8 September 2021: COVID-19 Update

Mālō e lelei and happy Tongan Language week,

COVID-19 Alert Level Changes

The rest of New Zealand beyond the Southern and Northern Auckland regional boundary remains at Alert Level 2 with a review of settings on Monday 13 September. Auckland will continue in Alert Level 4 with a review of settings until Monday 13 September.

Whakaiti | Alert Level 2 – Updated Guidelines for Tertiary Organisations

The new COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order came out late last night. We can confirm that the guidelines released last night align with the Health Order.

In response to queries from providers, we have made some minor clarifications in our Alert Level 2 guidelines:

  • Public health measures for staff: Staff in non-public facing roles should maintain a 1-metre distance from each other. Staff in public-facing roles (e.g. student services and other roles not in controlled learning spaces) should maintain a 2-metre distance from students and visitors, and face coverings are strongly recommended.  TEOs may implement limits on the number of people in some spaces to allow everyone to safely physically distance. Staff working in hostels and halls of residence are not required to wear face coverings, but may wish to do so in shared and communal areas.
  • Guidance for shared premises: Businesses and services e.g. cafes on shared premises, e.g. learning hubs, should operate in accordance with the public health control measures that apply to that type of business or service. These may include gathering limits, physical distancing, contact tracing, and face covering requirements.

We have also made a change to our guidelines regarding permitted cross-boundary travel, which is outlined below. This is also updated on the Education website.

Tertiary education workers eligible for priority vaccination

The Ministry of Health has confirmed that any person employed by and working on site at a tertiary education entity, including tertiary accommodation services staff, is now eligible for priority vaccination, independent of the COVID-19 Alert level.

Tertiary workers should book their appointments through BookMyVaccine.nz in the first instance. There are a wide range of places staff can be vaccinated around New Zealand, including drive-through centres, marae-based centres, general practices, community pharmacies and Pacific providers.

If, for some reason tertiary workers cannot find an appointment within two weeks, they are advised to call the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 and they will assist arranging a suitable time.  Tertiary workers will need to tell the call taker they are an essential education worker so their vaccination can be prioritised.  All calls are free, and the team are available from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. Interpreters are available if needed.  

Below are FAQs that might help with any queries you receive about this.

If I am already booked in for a vaccination, should I cancel it and rebook as an essential worker?

It depends on how far in advance your vaccination is scheduled for. If your appointment is within the next two weeks, we suggest you keep it. If it is more than two weeks away however, you might want to rebook as an essential education worker. Just call the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 and talk to them before making any changes to existing bookings. As of 1 September 2021, vaccinations are open to everyone over the age of 12, so if you are already booked for a vaccination that appointment might occur sooner.

Where can I get more information about the vaccine?

Getting accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine and the rollout programme is important. Visit the health.govt.nz and covid19.govt.nz for the latest information. Trusted information in te reo Māori and English can be found at karawhiua.nz. 

Topping up the Hardship Fund for Learners

Today, the government announced a $20 million boost to the Hardship Fund for Learners (HAFL), to be paid out to providers. The fund supports domestic learners:

  • facing hardship as a result of COVID-19, and
  • can be used for technology-related costs where COVID-19 restrictions remove the options for face-to-face study.

Minister Hipkins has asked TEC to work with providers and students’ groups to ensure students understand how to access the fund. 

HAFL can be used to cover essential living costs such as food, internet, utilities, rent or other unexpected expenses. It can also be used to support access to technology-enabled tertiary education and training, where learning has been disrupted due to COVID-19.

The Government also made changes to ensure MSD can continue paying student living support for domestic learners on extended study breaks.

If you are a learner and need support, please talk to your provider.

If you are a tertiary provider, the TEC will communicate any new allocations to you. Please contact TEC if you have any questions relating to the Hardship Fund.

You can read more in the links below

Boosting support for tertiary students affected by COVID-19 | Beehive.govt.nz

Hardship Fund for Learners 2021 | TEC.govt.nz

COVID-19 information for students | Studylink.govt.nz

Travel: permissions, key principles and exemption requests

The new Health Order also had a new addition to permit travel in some circumstances, in order to attend your usual education entity or training facility for learning purposes. This means for example, that someone in Northland, who normally attends an education entity in Waikato, can travel through Auckland (without stopping) to get to Waikato.

Across boundary travel remains very restricted for anyone within the Auckland region.

Permission to travel across an Alert Level boundary

There are a range of permissions in the Health Order to support some individuals to travel across an alert level boundary, in specific circumstances including:

  • To travel to a principal home or place of residence – but only if travelling from Alert Level 2, into Alert level 4
  • Necessary travel through Auckland region from an Alert Level 2 area, to an Alert Level 2 (eg, Tai Tokerau to Waikato). This permission includes going to or returning from work and attending your regular training and education facility (and attending a funeral, tangihanga, wedding or civil union service).

If travelling for these purposes, you do not need to apply for an exemption to travel. But you must carry evidence of the purpose for your travel, and the location of your destination (eg, household bills, and letters or evidence of enrolment at an education entity). You will also need to have a form of photo ID.

Go to the COVID19.govt.nz website for further information on what travel is permitted and what you need to do if permitted to travel. Please note that this information will be getting updated following the Health Order coming into play last night.

Key principles for travel

  • Do it safely
  • Don’t travel if you are unwell
  • Don’t travel (or leave your home/place of residence) if you are self-isolating
  • You should be confident that all public health measures will be met at the location you are travelling to
  • Before you travel, make sure you know what is and isn’t allowed, at any alert level
  • Follow the rules when using public transport, domestic flights and taxi and ride-share services (eg, wear a face covering and follow physical distancing requirements)

Exemption to travel

If your travel is not permitted within the Health Order, then you will need to apply for an exemption. Exemptions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Go to the COVID19.govt.nz website for further information.

Whakakore | Alert Level 4 –Guidance reminder for the Auckland region

TEOs and students should continue to follow the updated Alert Level 4 guidance in our Guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations. All tertiary education facilities should continue to be closed except for necessary student accommodation, and those deemed as ‘Essential services.’

Further detailed information on Alert Level 4 guidelines is available on the COVID-19 website.

Contact tracing systems at TEO facilities

TEOs should now have contact tracing systems in place for all staff and students onsite. TEOs should display the official NZ COVID Tracer QR code posters in a prominent place at or near main entrances. It is important to ensure (to the greatest extent practicable) that each person entering the facility scans the QR code or provides details to enable contact tracing.

Update: 7 September 2021: COVID-19 Update

Mālō e lelei and Happy Tongan Language week,

COVID-19 Alert Level Changes

The government has announced that the rest of New Zealand beyond the Southern and Northern Auckland regional boundary will shift into Alert Level 2 from 11.59pm today with a review of settings on Monday 13 September. Auckland will continue to remain in Alert Level 4 until Monday 13 September.

While this is welcome news for many of you, to those in Auckland who remain at Alert Level 4 – Kia Kaha’.

Alert Level 2 – Updated Guidelines for Tertiary Organisations

We have updated the Alert Level 2 guidance in our Guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations in advance of the next COVID-19 Public Health Response health order. This is to give TEOs and students outside of Auckland as much clarity as possible as you prepare for a change to Alert Level 2 tonight. Once the Alert Level 2 Public Health Response Order is confirmed, we will do a final check to ensure all aspects of the order are reflected in our guidance. If there are further changes, we’ll notify you immediately.

In general, our Alert Level 2 guidelines outline minimum requirements and recommendations for TEOs operating in Alert Level 2. However, TEOs may wish to implement additional public health protocols on campus, e.g. requiring face coverings to be worn, to meet the health and safety needs of their campus community. Providers have their usual rights to set rules for conduct on their premises, and we recommend that they do so in consultation with staff and students.

Key points to note on our guidance:

  • Large teaching and learning spaces: Capacity limits for large teaching and learning spaces of a maximum of 100 staff and students, with physical distancing of 1-metre, are strongly recommended. Where course enrolment exceeds recommended capacity limits, TEOs should offer courses online and/or implement alternative in-person teaching and learning arrangements. TEOs should have protocols in place to ensure staff, students and visitors maintain physical distancing when entering and leaving teaching and learning spaces as appropriate – for example, ‘one-way doors’ for entrances and exits, adjusting timetabling to provide more time in between classes, or requiring face coverings if 1-metre physical distancing is not practicable.
  • Libraries: The rules for TEO libraries at Alert Level 2 depend on whether access is restricted. Where access is restricted to staff and students, libraries may open in accordance with the public health control measures for TEOs e.g. physical distancing of 1-metre, and face coverings are strongly recommended. Where a TEO library is publicly accessible, it should operate in accordance with the public health control measures that apply to public libraries e.g. physical distancing of 2-metres, and mandatory face coverings.
  • Research and related activities: We have clarified public health measures for research and related activities, which include maintaining physical distancing of at least 1-metre at all times; face coverings, which are strongly recommended in research and laboratory spaces; controlled group sizes, subject to health and safety assessments; and contact tracing systems.
  • Student accommodation and travel: Students are not required to wear face coverings at tertiary hostels and halls of residence as these are their places of residence, but may wish to do so in shared and communal areas. On travel to accommodation: students in Alert Level 2 areas may travel domestically to student accommodation in an Alert Level 2 areas. Students in Alert Level 2 areas may also return to their primary home or place of residence in Alert Level 4 areas. Students must carry evidence of their purpose of travel and destination if returning home from an Alert Level 2 area to an Alert Level 4 area, e.g. proof of accommodation arrangements. Once home, they are not able to return to Alert Level 2 while their area is in Alert Level 4. For more information, see Personal travel across an Alert Level boundary | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz).
  • Travel across Alert Level boundaries:  As we prepare to move to an Alert Level 4/2 split, please remember that at this stage an exemption is needed from the Ministry of Health in order for someone to move between Alert Level areas.

We also confirmed the following key points in our bulletin yesterday:

  • Noho marae: Overnight noho marae will not be permitted at Alert Level 2, due to the increased risk of transmission of COVID-19 with cumulative exposure time.
  • Contact-tracing: As at Alert Level 3, TEOs should have contact tracing systems in place for everyone on-site at Alert Level 2. TEOs should display the official NZ COVID Tracer QR code posters in a prominent place at or near main entrances, and ensure (to the greatest extent practicable) that each person entering the facility scans the QR code or provides details to enable contact tracing. In particular, TEOs are responsible for ensuring contact tracing information that identifies which students and staff (and any other visitors) have been in each ‘controlled learning space’ and ‘other controlled environments’ and at what time, is collected (whether via the COVID-19 Tracer App, or other means).
  • Face coverings: Staff and students should bring face coverings or masks with them when attending on-site activities at Alert Level 2. Face coverings must be worn at student health services, pharmacies, banks and other retailers on campus. Face coverings are strongly recommended at all other times – including teaching and learning spaces, and research and laboratory spaces, where practicable – but are not mandatory under the Health Order.

Sponsored Data

The Ministry of Health’s ‘Sponsored Data’ initiative allows access to key health sector websites via mobile phone without incurring data use charges.

Sponsored Data (also known as zero-rated data) removes the barrier around mobile data charges by providing free access to key health sector websites for anyone using the Spark, Skinny, Vodafone, 2degrees, Slingshot or Orcon mobile networks. All mobile data charges for content hosted on these websites are automatically charged back to the Ministry of Health.

Tertiary education organisations are encouraged to share this information particularly to learners for whom the cost of mobile data may be a barrier to accessing essential health and wellbeing information and digital health services. More information is available on the Ministry of Health’s website.

Whakakore | Alert Level 4 –Guidance reminder for the Auckland region

TEOs and students should continue to follow the updated Alert Level 4 guidance in our Guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations. All tertiary education facilities should continue to be closed except for necessary student accommodation, and those deemed as ‘Essential services.’

Further detailed information on Alert Level 4 guidelines is available on the COVID-19 website.

Update: 6 September 2021: COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Alert Level Changes

The government has announced that the rest of New Zealand beyond the Southern and Northern Auckland regional boundary will shift into Alert Level 2 from 11.59pm on Tuesday 7 September with a review of settings on Monday 13 September. Auckland will continue to remain in Alert Level 4 until Monday 13 September.

Given the risk associated with the Delta variant, Level 2 will be different. This bulletin provides some general updates following the Prime Ministers’ announcement today and initial guidance for TEOs preparing to move into Level 2.

General updates to Alert Level 2 (Delta) include: 

  • Face coverings are now mandatory for most public venues – e.g., libraries, or a mall however you can take your face masks off in hospitality venues. Staff in public venues must wear face coverings.
  • A limit of 50 people for event and hospitality venues. If you are in an outdoor space, you may have a limit of 100 people. This limit for 50 people will not apply to tertiary education providers. More info on that below and in future bulletins.
  • Surveillance testing will begin on 11.59pm on Thursday for twice-a-week testing for at least the next two weeks for essential workers who will be crossing the Alert Level boundaries.

Alert Level 2 – Preliminary guidance for Tertiary Education Organisations

We’re in the process of updating the Alert Level 2 guidance in our Guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations to align with Cabinet’s decisions and the next COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order. We intend to make this updated Alert Level 2 guidance available tomorrow.

To assist TEOs outside of Auckland with their preparations for Alert Level 2, we can confirm:

  • Class sizes: As noted above, the social gathering limits at Alert Level 2 do not apply to education-related gatherings. We are working with the Ministry of Health to develop guidance for TEOs on public health measures for teaching and learning in a tertiary context at Alert Level 2 including appropriate limits on class sizes and distancing requirements.
  • Contact-tracing: As at Alert Level 3, TEOs should have contact tracing systems in place for everyone on-site at Alert Level 2. TEOs should display the official NZ COVID Tracer QR code posters in a prominent place at or near main entrances, and ensure (to the greatest extent practicable) that each person entering the facility scans the QR code or provides details to enable contact tracing. In particular, TEOs are responsible for ensuring contact tracing information that identifies which students and staff (and any other visitors) have been in each ‘controlled learning space’ and ‘other controlled environments’ and at what time, is collected (whether via the COVID-19 Tracer App, or other means).
  • Face coverings: Staff and students should bring face coverings or masks with them when attending on-site activities at Alert Level 2. Face coverings must be worn at libraries, student health services, pharmacies, banks and other retailers on campus. Face coverings are strongly recommended at all other times – including teaching and learning spaces, and research and laboratory spaces, where practicable – but are not mandatory.
  • Conducting research: All research and related activities are allowed, provided public health control measures for TEOs are in place.
  • Noho marae: Overnight noho marae will not be permitted at Alert Level 2, due to the increased risk of transmission of COVID-19 with cumulative exposure time.

Alert Level 4 – Key guidance for the Auckland region

TEOs and students should continue to follow the updated Alert Level 4 guidance in our Guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations. All tertiary education facilities should continue to be closed except for necessary student accommodation, and those deemed as ‘Essential services.’

Further detailed information on Alert Level 4 guidelines is available on the COVID-19 website.

COVID-19 vaccination information for Māori and Pacific peoples

From September 4, Māori and Pacific peoples are not required to book at any Whānau Ora vaccination provider and may walk in to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Further information on this campaign is available on the Whānau Ora website

Stress counselling and support

This can be an unsettling time, and the uncertainty can have an impact on our mental wellbeing. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, upset or frustrated. Looking after you mental wellbeing is important, and can be supported through accessing a range of the following digital, self-help resources:

There are also a number of helplines that are available and can connect people to trained counsellors. These include:

  • 1737 which is available 24/7 via free call or text
  • Youthline which can be accessed by calling 0800 376 633 or by free texting 234. Youthline also has a web chat function
  • OUTline has a free helpline available between 6pm and 9pm for members of the rainbow community. This can be accessed by calling 0800 688 5463.

If you, or someone you know, is in need of urgent mental health or addiction treatment, crisis mental health and addiction services are continuing to operate. Call your local hospital or district health board about how to get help. The numbers for crisis mental health teams are also on the Ministry of Health website. If you have immediate concerns for the safety of yourself or someone else, please call 111.

In addition to the support and services available to all New Zealanders, there are Pacific mental health and addiction providers that have activated pandemic plans and are supporting their communities digitally where possible. These providers include:

  • Pasifika Futures in Waitematā, Canterbury and Counties Manukau
  • Fonua Ola in Counties Manukau
  • Kāute Pasifika in Waikato
  • Pacific Health Service Hutt Valley and Naku Enei in the Hutt Valley
  • Vaka Tautua in Capital and Coast DHB and Auckland Ministry of Health are in touch with the pacific mental health community in Auckland and are looking at options to support as needed

There is also free counselling/Psychology Service in response to COVID-19 for Migrants and Former Refugees: Diversity Counselling New Zealand | DCNZ Hamilton | Contact Us for help

Things change quickly so stay up to date by following the links below:

For health advice, please refer to the Ministry of Health’s website.

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

Please continue to check the Ministry of Health’s locations of interest page to find out if you might have been exposed to COVID-19 COVID-19: Contact tracing locations of interest | Ministry of Health NZ

 For cross-agency information about COVID-19, including what support is available, health advice, and travel restrictions visit the All-of-Government website https://www.govt.nz/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/

Stress counselling and support is available.  Friends and family members can help you to cope.

You can also get help and information from, your education provider, your GP or local community health centre, Youthline at 0800 376 633 or www.youthline.co.nz or by calling or texting 1737

For resources in Te Reo Māori, visit https://covid19.govt.nz/updates-and-resources/translations/te-reo-maori/

For information to support Pacific communities, visit https://www.facebook.com/MinistryforPacificPeoples/

Resources in sign language and easy read formats.

Free counselling/Psychology Service in response to COVID-19 for Migrants and Former Refugees: Diversity Counselling New Zealand | DCNZ Hamilton | Contact Us for help

To keep updated on travel restrictions and visa information visit https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/media-centre/news-notifications/coronavirus-update-inz-response

Advice for international students in NZ https://naumainz.studyinnewzealand.govt.nz/help-and-advice/healthcare/the-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know

For additional advice for tertiary providers/whare wānanga visit the Ministry of Education website http://www.education.govt.nz/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-3/       

Update: 3 September 2021: COVID-19 Update

Today’s bulletin focusses on queries we have received following our updated guidance. Please do continue to send your questions through.

COVID-19 Alert Level Changes

Auckland region remains in Alert Level 4 until at least Monday 13 September. The Northland region and all other regions south of the Auckland regional boundary are at Level 3 until at least Wednesday 8 September, with review on Monday 6 September.

Overarching Principles – Alert Level 3

The detailed tertiary guidelines have been developed in accordance with key overarching principles at each Alert Level. At Alert Level 3, all guidance needs to be read and actioned with the following key principles in mind: 

  • All teaching and other activities should be done remotely, wherever possible.
  • Where it is not possible to deliver teaching online, some facilities may remain open (e.g., for research, post-graduate teaching, lab/workshops, or noho-based delivery).
  • Any class, workshop, etc. that cannot be delivered online and remains open must be limited to 10 people or less. Each such group is considered a ‘bubble’ and must not interact with any other student/staff bubbles of 10. Contact tracing information that identifies which student/staff bubbles have met, and where and when they have met must be collected.
  • For any on-site activities, appropriate infection control measures, such as physical distancing and face coverings, along with Worksafe requirements must be met at all times.

Collecting staff vaccination information

We have had some follow-up queries about our guidance on what providers should consider in collecting staff vaccination information.

Our 29 August bulletin noted that Ministry of Health advice is for everyone to get vaccinated.  However, the current Health Orders do not provide a legal basis for TEOs to require staff members to be vaccinated.  

TEOs’ policies and practices for employees and other workers need to be consistent with employment agreements and employment law, the Health and Safety at Work Act, and the Privacy Act.  While government agencies can offer guidance, any employment situation must be assessed case by case. TEOs may need to seek their own legal advice in more complex cases.

MBIE has useful guidance for employees and workers on vaccines and the workplace

Worksafe has guidance on assessing if specific roles need to be done by vaccinated workers 

The Privacy Commissioner’s advice on the Privacy Act  

Personal information about vaccine status must be protected and cannot be shared without the staff member’s consent. Collecting, storing, and sharing information about people’s vaccination status must be done in accordance with the Privacy Act.

Requiring at-risk staff to come on site

At Alert Level 3, the detailed tertiary guidelines state that “at-risk and vulnerable people (or those caring for/living with vulnerable people) should not be asked to carry out any on-site activities unless they are fully vaccinated.”

Tertiary providers should therefore allow unvaccinated, at-risk people (or those caring for/living with vulnerable people) to work remotely, as they have been during Alert Level 4. Providers should only require at-risk employees to work on site if that employee is fully vaccinated (two weeks following their second dose).

If unvaccinated at-risk employees wish to work on site, the Health Orders do not prohibit this. However, employers must assess whether this is consistent with their Health and Safety at Work Act obligations.

DHBs requiring students on practicum placement to be vaccinated (e.g., nursing, medicine, and pharmacy students)

Some providers and students have queried whether students on a practicum can be required by a placement provider to be vaccinated, e.g., can a DHB require nursing students on placement to be vaccinated?

The current Health Orders do not require vaccinations for most roles. Vaccination requirements in the Health Orders currently focus on border, port and MIQ workers. 

DHBs and other organisations hosting students for practicum placements or internships have responsibilities for these students under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. These overlap with the responsibilities that TEOs have for those students (both under that Act and the Code of Practice). 

Where parties have overlapping responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act, they are obliged to consult and cooperate with each other. We recommend that TEOs contact the relevant workplaces and professional bodies to determine a collective response. Appropriate responses will need to be worked out on a case-by-case basis.

MBIE has also provided guidance on this in their Vaccines and the workplace webpage. This also discusses how vaccination information should be collected and stored under the Privacy Act.

Removing the 2-hour time limit for classes/workshops at Alert Level 3

We have removed the 2-hour time limit for classes at Alert Level 3. This change makes the Alert Level 3 guidelines more consistent with the rules for schooling and other essential services that operate at Alert Level 3.

While the risk of transmission of COVID-19 increases with cumulative exposure time, Health advice is that the other public health mitigations in place are appropriate – including operating in a bubble of 10, ensuring physical distancing of 1m, contact tracing, classes taking place in a well-ventilated area, and shared equipment are sanitised between use. On this basis Health supports removing this time limit.

Clarifying when on-campus libraries and computer labs can open

We have received queries about what circumstances on-campus libraries and computer labs can open at Alert Level 3.

At Alert Level 3, the detailed tertiary guidelines only allow for libraries and computer labs to open where they are “essential to education delivery”. There is a high bar for an activity to be considered essential to education delivery.

Access to libraries or computer labs is only allowed when the delivery of education cannot occur remotely; for example, if a computer science lecturer can only undertake remote teaching from a computer lab with specialist devices.

Any on-site delivery at Alert Level 3 must also be limited to 10 people or less (including tutor).

The detailed tertiary guidelines have been updated to emphasise the limited scenarios in which libraries and computer labs should open at Alert Level 3.

Contact tracing systems at TEO facilities

TEOs should now have contact tracing systems in place for all staff and students onsite. TEOs should display the official NZ COVID Tracer QR code posters in a prominent place at or near main entrances. It is important to ensure (to the greatest extent practicable) that each person entering the facility scans the QR code or provides details to enable contact tracing.

Reinstating Fees Free entitlement for learners affected by COVID-19

Tertiary Education Organisations (TEOs) should inform Fees Free eligible learners who used their entitlement for study or training in 2021 that there is a process to reinstate Fees Free entitlements in certain circumstances. Some or all of learners’ Fees Free entitlement may be reinstated if they are an eligible learner and:

  • they withdrew from study or training due to the impact of COVID-19 or
  • their study or training was adversely affected due to the impact of COVID-19.

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) will reinstate the entitlements of learners who withdrew between 17 August to 31 December 2021, without learners needing to appeal. Learners’ entitlements will be reinstated in the next few months.

For withdrawals outside this period, or where learners didn’t withdraw, but their studies were adversely affected, learners can appeal their entitlement use.

Learners can do so by entering their NSN on the Fees Free website homepage and completing the COVID -19 Entitlement Appeals form on the results page. For more details, visit the TEC website.

Update: 1 September 2021: COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Alert Level Changes

All of New Zealand remains at Alert Level 4 until 11.59pm today. From that time, New Zealand regions south of the Auckland regional boundary will shift into Alert Level 3 and stay at Alert Level 3 for one week, with review on Monday 6 September.

For those of you in Auckland, you’ll stay in Alert Level 4 for a further two weeks until Monday 13 September, while those of you in Northland will remain in Alert Level 4 until at least 11:59pm this Thursday 2 September.

Alert Level 3 – Updated Guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations

On Sunday 29 August, we updated our Guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations based on public health advice in advance of the next COVID-19 Public Health Response health order.  

We can now confirm that the updated Guidelines are consistent with the Public Health Response Order, which you can find on the Legislation website.

The key changes in our Alert Level 3 guidance are: staff/student bubbles should be limited to 10 people or fewer and at-risk staff should not be onsite unless fully vaccinated. We highlighted these and other minor changes in our updated guidance to help TEOs prepare for Alert Level 3 in our last bulletin. These can be found in the Tertiary and International Bulletin 29 August 2021.

Class time limits update

We have made one minor additional clarification to our detailed guidance on time limits for classes at Alert Level 3. The Ministry of Health’s Public Health team has confirmed that the time limit of two hours stated in our guidelines applies to classes held indoors only.

Classes (including assessments and examinations) that take place outdoors are not subject to time limits, but all other relevant infection control measures apply – including physical distancing of 1m, contact tracing, staff/student bubble limits of 10, and sanitisation of shared equipment between use. Face coverings are strongly encouraged.

Guidance on requirements for on-site tertiary exams at Alert Level 3 updated

The rules for on-site examinations at Alert Level 3 have changed, due to the increased risk of the Delta variant.  On-site examinations will only be allowed at Alert Level 3 for existing student/staff bubbles of 10, where it has not been possible to deliver teaching online.

Our detailed guidance on the requirements for on-site tertiary exams at Alert Level 3 has now been updated and can be found on the Education website.

Update to tertiary student accommodation and travel guidance

On Sunday, 29 August we also updated our guidance on tertiary student accommodation and the key points are:  

  • Students in an Alert Level 4 area must continue to remain in their current accommodation, unless there is an emergency situation
  • Students in an Alert Level 3 area are advised to remain in their current accommodation. However, students may move out of their accommodation in an Alert Level 3 area if relocating on a permanent or long-term basis to accommodation in an Alert Level 3 area or returning to their primary home or place of residence in an Alert Level 4 area provided conditions are met.
  • Students are strongly discouraged from moving into or returning to student accommodation at Alert Level 3 if they have been offsite for Alert Level 4, unless it is an emergency.
  • Students must not change their accommodation if they have been directed by a medical officer of health to isolate.

COVID-19 vaccinations are open to everyone from 1 September

Bookings for everyone aged 12 and over open from tomorrow. You can go online to the national booking system BookMyVaccine.nz, or phone the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 to reserve your spot.

Vaccines and healthcare for international students

All publicly funded COVID-19 related care – including testing, treatment and vaccinations – is provided to anyone who needs it, including international students, free of charge.

Students can read (and share with their families) translated information on New Zealand’s vaccine rollout on the COVD-19 website. More COVID-19 information for international students, including health and wellbeing advice, can be found on NauMai NZ COVID-19 page.

Hardship Fund for Learners

The Hardship Fund for Learners (HAFL) remains available for the 2021 calendar year, and is intended to provide temporary financial assistance for learners who are facing barriers to continuing their study or training, including technology-related costs because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has allocated HAFL funding to 90 TEOs in 2021. For this year, the TEC did not allocate HAFL to TEOs that had previously declined to receive HAFL funding in 2020. TEC are reaching out to these TEOs now, as well as to TEOs that declined to receive funding in 2021, to check if their need has changed. If any funding remains after this, the TEC is considering how that funding might be allocated to others.

There is no application process for HAFL funding, please see TEC’s Funding and Payments page for more information.

This week, TEC have also allocated HAFL to TEOs receiving funding from the Industry Training Fund to support work-based learners with access to technology.

More information is available on the HAFL webpage.

Mental health support during Alert Level 4 and 3

This can be an unsettling time, and the uncertainty can have an impact on our mental wellbeing. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, upset or frustrated. Looking after you mental wellbeing is important, and can be supported through accessing a range of the following digital, self-help resources:

There are also a number of helplines that are available and can connect people to trained counsellors. These include:

  • 1737 which is available 24/7 via free call or text
  • Youthline which can be accessed by calling 0800 376 633 or by free texting 234. Youthline also has a web chat function
  • OUTline has a free helpline available between 6pm and 9pm for members of the rainbow community. This can be accessed by calling 0800 688 5463.

If you, or someone you know, is in need of urgent mental health or addiction treatment, crisis mental health and addiction services are continuing to operate. Call your local hospital or district health board about how to get help. The numbers for crisis mental health teams are also on the Ministry of Health website.   

If you have immediate concerns for the safety of yourself or someone else, please call 111.

Support for Pacific students

In addition to the support and services available to all New Zealanders, there are Pacific mental health and addiction providers that have activated pandemic plans and are supporting their communities digitally where possible. These providers include:

  • Pasifika Futures in Waitematā, Canterbury and Counties Manukau
  • Fonua Ola in Counties Manukau
  • Kāute Pasifika in Waikato
  • Pacific Health Service Hutt Valley and Naku Enei in the Hutt Valley
  • Vaka Tautua in Capital and Coast DHB and Auckland

Ministry of Health are in touch with the pacific mental health community in Auckland and are looking at options to support as needed.

 

Update: 30 August 2021: COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Alert Level Changes

All of New Zealand remains at Alert Level 4 until 11.59pm on Tuesday 31 August. From that time, all New Zealand outside of Auckland and Northland will shift into Alert Level 3. Auckland and Northland will stay at Alert Level 4 for a further period, which will be decided on Monday 30 August.

In tertiary education, all teaching should continue to be delivered remotely, wherever possible. At alert level 3 Some facilities may open for limited activities involving small groups (up to 10 people including tutor) where it is not possible to deliver teaching remotely.

Alert Level 3 – Updated Guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations

We have updated our Guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations based on public health advice in advance of the next COVID-19 Public Health Response health order. This is to give TEOs and students outside of Auckland and Northland as much clarity as possible as you prepare for a change to Alert Level 3.  Once the Alert Level 3 Public Health Response Order is gazetted tomorrow, we will do a final check to ensure all aspects of the order are reflected in our guidance. If there are further changes, we’ll notify you immediately.

As we noted in our bulletin last Friday, the Public Health team at the Ministry of Health has closely reviewed the current guidance for the tertiary education sector at Alert Level 3 and identified key areas where changes need to be made. These changes were: staff/student bubbles should be limited to 10 people or fewer (with onsite examinations only allowed for these groups), and at-risk staff should not be onsite unless fully vaccinated (see further below).

These new recommendations by Public Health further support a lowering of risk for staff, students and whānau.

In addition, we highlight the following key points in our updated guidance to help TEOs prepare for Alert Level 3:

  • Site access to prepare for re-opening (and to meet public health guidance) is allowed before Alert Level 3 comes into effect. We suggest TEOs and campus businesses provide staff with a letter they can take with them explaining why they are going to their place of work in Alert Level 4. As a reminder: where access to a tertiary site is permitted at Alert Level 4, a minimum number of staff should be onsite for a minimum amount of time, contact tracing systems and infection prevention measures must be in place, and physical distancing must be maintained at all times. If there is more than one staff member on site, staff must wear a face covering.
  • At Alert Level 3, staff and students should bring face coverings or masks with them when attending on-site activities. Face coverings should be worn at indoor facilities (e.g. libraries and student health services) where these are open. They are strongly recommended at all other times, particularly where physical distancing may be difficult.
  • At Alert Level 3, TEOs should have contact tracing systems in place for all staff and students onsite. TEOs should display the official NZ COVID Tracer QR code posters in a prominent place at or near main entrances, and ensure (to the greatest extent practicable) that each person entering the facility scans the QR code or provides details to enable contact tracing. Contact tracing information that identifies which student/staff bubbles have met, and where and when they have met must also be collected.
  • Record-keeping requirements to support contact tracing is becoming mandatory for certain businesses that may operate on campus during Alert Level 3 – for example, food retail venues operating for delivery or contactless collection. This requirement comes into effect seven days from the change to Alert Level 3. The full list of places where record keeping is becoming mandatory is on the Covid-19.govt.nz website. Businesses can also check this page for further guidance to help them comply with the new requirements, which will be available soon.

Update to tertiary student accommodation and travel guidance

We have also updated our guidance on tertiary student accommodation, as we approach an Alert Level change.  There may be further details following publication of the Health Order, which we will provide guidance on in our next bulletin.

Students in an Alert Level 4 area

Students must continue to remain in their current accommodation.

There are very limited circumstances in which changing accommodation is allowed at Alert Level 4 – for example, needing to use an emergency home like a women’s refuge. Changing accommodation outside of these circumstances requires an exemption from the Director-General of Health. Exemptions are granted only in exceptional circumstances. For more information, see ‘Leaving or relocating home’ and ‘Individual exemptions’ at the Unite against COVID-19 website: Permitted movement at Alert Level 4 | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz).

Students in an Alert Level 3 area

The Ministry recommends all students in an Alert Level 3 area remain in their current accommodation.

However, students may move out of their accommodation in an Alert Level 3 area if relocating on a permanent or long-term basis to accommodation in an Alert Level 3 area, or returning to their primary home or place of residence in an Alert Level 4 area. Students must carry evidence of their purpose of travel and location if they are returning from an Alert Level 3 area to an Alert Level 4 area, e.g. proof of accommodation arrangements. For more information, see Personal travel over an Alert Level 4 and 3 boundary | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz).

Students are strongly discouraged from moving into or returning to student accommodation at Alert Level 3 if they have been offsite for Alert Level 4, unless it is an emergency. Students must not change their accommodation if they have been directed by a medical officer of health to isolate.

Higher-risk staff

Staff members who have a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 should be fully vaccinated before working on site. At Alert Level 3, all other staff members are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible, but are still able to work on site if they are not fully vaccinated.

Generally, people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they have received the second of the two doses of the vaccine. However, staff should work with their GP or specialist if they need help understanding their own level of risk and how best to stay healthy. Further information is available from the Ministry of Health

Many people who are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 will already be fully vaccinated. However, where a person cannot work on site because they are higher risk and not yet fully vaccinated, they should provide their employer with appropriate medical evidence to support this (such as a medical certificate obtained at the employer’s cost if required within the first three days after a request to return to work on site, and at the employee’s cost after that). Staff at high risk who are not fully vaccinated should work from home. If work is not available at home, they should be provided with discretionary paid leave.

Information for people considered at higher risk from the effects of COVID-19 can be found on the Ministry of Health website.

Disclosure of vaccination status

Ministry of Health advice is for everyone to get vaccinated, however you cannot make it a requirement for anyone get vaccinated. 

You can ask a staff member whether they have been vaccinated, but they do not have to disclose their vaccination status. If they choose not to disclose their vaccination status, you may assume that they are unvaccinated but should inform the staff member of this assumption.  

Personal information about vaccine status must be protected and cannot be shared without the staff member’s consent. 

Update: 26 August 2021: COVID-19 Update

Thank you

We know that the shift to Alert Level 4 generates a great deal of work and we truly appreciate your efforts to keep tauira connected to education, while we stay home to protect each other.

New Zealand will continue to remain in Alert Level 4 until Friday 27 August 11.59pm. Further decisions will be announced this Friday afternoon. Auckland will remain in Alert Level 4 until 31st August and further decisions will be reviewed on Monday 30th August.

Detailed guidelines are now updated for Alert Level four

We have now updated our Guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations on how to operate under Alert Level 4 to reflect current exemption criteria for tertiary provider site access.

NZQA Annual Return Statutory Declaration deadline extended to 30 September

New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) rules require tertiary education organisations to provide NZQA with an annual statutory declaration. This declaration attests that the organisation is complying with their obligations under the Education and Training Act 2020 and the NZQA rules. The initial deadline for this was 31 August 2021.

This deadline has now been extended to 30 September.  If providers have completed theirs, they are welcome to send this in. Information on the process is available on the NZQA website.  

Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) Financial viability assessment

Financial viability requirements for all TEC-funded private training establishments (PTEs) are required to demonstrate that PTEs provide quality assured qualifications which align to the Tertiary Education Strategy (TES) and are delivered through a financially viable entity.

We recognise that it is difficult for TEOs to get statutory documents witnessed during the COVID-19 lockdown. Therefore, PTEs will be able to get an extension to the due date for the statutory documents that they are required to submit for the financial viability assessment.

If you are required to complete a financial viability assessment in 2021 and cannot get financial statements witnessed in time, please call 0800 601 301 or contact customerservice@tec.govt.nz, with your EDUMIS number and financial viability assessment in the subject line and we will grant an extension.  Alternatively, you can get in touch directly with Bruce Lynch at bruce.lynch@tec.govt.nz to request an extension.

TEC is happy to also accept documents signed electronically, for example via Docusign.

Further information on financial viability requirements is available on the TEC website.

NCEA assessment dates pushed back by 2 weeks

NCEA end of year exam and portfolio submission dates have been pushed back by 2 weeks, to recognise the disruption lockdown is causing to senior secondary students.

More information is available at www.nzqa.govt.nz/ncea2021

Hardship Fund for Learners

The Hardship Fund for Learners (HAFL) remains available for the 2021 calendar year, and is intended to provide temporary financial assistance for learners who are facing barriers to continuing their study or training, including technology-related costs because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund can be used to support learners who are experiencing technology-related financial challenges due to COVID-19 restrictions and more information is available on the TEC website.

 Funding is allocated to providers who work with their learners to disburse assistance based on need. The latest allocation of funding is available on the TEC website.

You can also find further information on the HAFL webpage.

Financial support for businesses and international students

Business support

There is information about financial support to help with COVID-related financial pressures; businesses, organisations and self-employed people can now get information on support that is available on the Unite against COVID-19 website.

Emergency benefit for temporary visa holders

There is also support available for International students which is available until 31 August.  Full information is available on the Work and Income website.

COVID-19 misinformation

It is important to be mindful of COVID-19 misinformation, and rumours.  The Ministry of Health continues to hold responsibility for COVID-19 Alert Level changes.  Trusted COVID-19 information outlets can be found on the Unite against COVID-19 website.

Misinformation and scams | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz)

School hostels at Alert Level 4

School hostels will remain closed at Alert Level 4. However, the exception will be if there are boarders who cannot safely return home and who must continue to be cared for (for example, international students).
 
If you do have boarders on-site at Alert Level 4, please follow the requirements specified for Alert Level 3 for those boarders and staff. Staff should remain living on-site rather than mixing their home bubble and hostel bubble. As at Alert level 3, the biggest focus should be (wherever possible) that bubbles within your hostel do not mix. A minimum of a two-metre minimum distance should be kept between bubbles.
 
Consider arrangements for purchase and delivery of food and goods, minimise contact with others outside the hostel, and maintain strict hygiene and physical distancing protocols with external people. All boarders and staff must follow the public health requirements when outside the hostel.
 
A reminder that guidance for school hostels for all alert levels is on the Education website.

COVID-19 vaccination information for essential workers

The Government has expanded the list of essential workers eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination to include people who work in accommodation services (including tertiary accommodation providers).

Due to the number of people and organisations involved, the Ministry of Health is prioritising those who are most at risk.  Those people therefore being prioritised in the first instance are:

  1. Frontline staff in services and businesses in which customers/clients enter their workplaces under Alert Level 4, for example supermarkets and dairies.
  2. Other services/business that have direct in person interactions with customers/clients under Alert Level 4, for example hostels, accommodation (including tertiary accommodation providers), foodbanks, social and community services.
  3. Essential workers in critical infrastructure roles for New Zealand, for example distribution centre staff in the grocery industry, and electricity and water companies.

The Ministry of Health will be in discussions with many organisations/companies about how their staff can be vaccinated. If you have not yet been contacted and/or your organisation does not fall into any of the above three categories, we will be in touch as soon as practicable.

Full details are available on vaccinations for essential workers is available on the Unite against COVID-19 website.

COVID-19 information for Māori and Pacific communities

A whānau-centred approach to vaccinations continues – that means whānau Māori and Pacific families can be vaccinated when a member of the family is eligible to be vaccinated.

When you get a vaccination, you are not just protecting yourself but also your aiga, friends, churches and communities. Our Pacific health providers have been working very hard to support the roll out. This includes supporting Pacific families to book and get to their vaccination appointments, leading Pacific specific vaccination events and sites, coordinating community information sessions, assisting in translation services.

Further information on support packages, business and learning support is available for Pacific families on the  Unite against COVID-19 website.

Karawhiua is a campaign for whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori communities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and was created to make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing. There are various resources, factsheets and social media tiles that are available and can be used for sharing. Karawhiua is being led by Te Puni Kōkiri and is co-delivered by Te Hiringa Hauora (Health Promotion Agency) and supported by the Ministry of Health. More information is available on the Karawhiua website.

Further information on support packages, business and learning support is available for whānau, hapū and iwi Māori on the Covid-19 website.

You can go online to the national booking system BookMyVaccine.nz, or phone the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 to reserve your spot. Detailed advice on COVID-19 vaccination is available from the Ministry of Health, which can be accessed on the Health website.

COVID-19 information for disabled communities

Disabled people are included in Group 3 of our vaccine rollout. People in Group 3 can book their vaccination now.

 You can go online to the national booking system BookMyVaccine.nz, or phone the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 to reserve your spot. Detailed advice on COVID-19 vaccination is available from the Ministry of Health, which can be accessed on their website.

Further information on supports available for disabled people is available on the Covid-19 website.

 COVID-19 communications resources

We continue to have a range of COVID-19 resources that are available for you to use and share with your networks to help communicate the rules and guidance around Alert Level 4. If you require any further support regarding access to these resources, please contact Alexandra.grace@education.govt.nz 

COVID-19 basics

While New Zealand continues to remain under Alert Level 4, it has been great seeing everyone being compliant with the Alert Level rules. The Ministry of Health continues to remind everyone to please remain vigilant and stick to the basics:

  • If you’re sick, stay home. Do not go to work or school. Do not socialise.
  • If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and get advice about getting tested.
  • If you have been told to self-isolate, you legally must do so immediately.

Update: 27 August 2021: COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Alert Level update

The Prime Minister announced this afternoon that all of New Zealand will continue to stay in Alert Level 4 until 11:59pm on Tuesday 31 August.

From Wednesday 1 September, New Zealand, outside of Auckland and Northland, will shift into Alert Level 3. Auckland and Northland will stay in Alert Level 4, for a currently undetermined period of time, with a decision to be made on Monday.

What we’re doing is working. As we heard, Delta moves quickly, and the current outbreak in Auckland is larger than the original outbreak in March 2020. The Government’s decision to keep minimising contact is limiting the spread of cases.

Keep up the great work: continue to stay home; keep wearing a face covering. Providers and student communities are integral to this response. Koia kei a koutou – you’ve got this.

Alert Level 4 – key guidance

TEOs and students should continue to follow the updated Alert Level 4 guidance in our Guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations. All tertiary education facilities should continue to be closed except for necessary student accommodation, and those deemed as ‘Essential services.’

Further detailed information on Alert Level 4 guidelines is available on the COVID-19 website.

Preparing for Alert Level 3

While we wait for the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Orders (Health Order) to be confirmed, the Public Health team at the Ministry of Health has closely reviewed our current Alert Level 3 guidance for tertiary education organisations.

Based on public health advice at this time, Alert Level 3 will mean the following:

  • Any class, lab, workshop, etc. that cannot be delivered online must be limited to 10 people or less. Each such group is considered a ‘bubble’ and must not interact with any other student/staff bubbles of 10. For example, a student may attend a class, lab or workshop with a group of other students (of up to 10 students and staff), but not then move on to multiple other classes with different groups. The staff member must not have multiple ‘bubbles’ of students. 
  • Due to the increased risk of the Delta variant, on-site examinations will only be allowed at Alert Level 3 for existing student/staff bubbles of 10, where it has not been possible to deliver teaching online. We will update our requirements for on-site tertiary exams at Alert Level 3 shortly.

In addition to the Alert Level 3 requirements that apply to all New Zealanders, these new recommendations by Public Health further support a lowering of risk for staff and students on campus.

We will provide full and updated guidance for Alert Level 3 in a future bulletin, and update our guidelines for tertiary education organisation to reflect the Public Health advice, as well as the requirements noted in the Health Order as soon as this becomes available.

This will include more guidance on whether students in Alert Level 3 areas will be allowed to relocate and in what circumstances. We reiterate that students must continue to remain in their current accommodation at Alert Level 4. Relocation is not permitted.

International Code obligations for under-18 international students in Managed Isolation & Quarantine (MIQ)

In the event that an under-18 international student tests positive for Covid-19 and has to enter MIQ, international Code signatory providers need to consider their international Code obligations alongside MOH orders and MIQ regulations.

Please contact NZQA via 0800 697 296 (and ask to be put through to the Code team) or code.enquiries@nzqa.govt.nz, if you require further assistance in regard to the international Code.

Activation of alternative ID verification process

TEOs receiving on-Plan funding from the TEC are required to verify learner identity and eligibility for enrolment, usually by sighting an original or certified copy of an identity document.

This may not be possible while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Therefore, TEOs are authorised to accept identification documents submitted electronically, such as a scanned copy or a photo emailed to your organisation.

If a learner is unable to provide a certified copy of their identification document, they must make a declaration to state that they have submitted a true copy of the original document. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this is an acceptable form of identity verification until further notice. We suggest that you make a template of that declaration for all enrolling learners. The learner’s declaration must be provided in the form prescribed below.

I certify that every document I have submitted as part of the enrolment process at [TEO name] is a true copy of the original document. I will produce the original if requested by [TEO name] at a future date.

Full name: [full name as per identification document]

Signature: [pen or electronic signature]

Date: [insert]

If you have any questions, please contact the TEC Customer Contact Group on 0800 601 301 or customerservice@tec.govt.nz

Independent Assurance Practitioners Reviews and the Student Fee Protection Audit

NZQA has extended the deadline from 31 August to 30 September for those providers who are due to lodge their Independent Assurance Practitioners Reviews and the Student Fee Protection Audit Opinions.

COVID-19: locations of interest, vaccines and the basics

Locations of interest

With a high number of locations of interest, we ask that providers continue to be diligent and contact their stakeholders directly, as they have been doing, if they become a location of interest.

Vaccines

You can go online to the national booking system BookMyVaccine.nz, or phone the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 to reserve your spot. Detailed advice on COVID-19 vaccination is available from the Ministry of Health, which can be accessed on the Health website.

COVID-19 basics

The Ministry of Health continues to remind everyone to please remain vigilant and stick to the basics:

  • If you’re sick, stay home. Do not go to work or school. Do not socialise.
  • If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and get advice about getting tested.
  • If you have been told to self-isolate, you legally must do so immediately.
  • In an emergency always call 111.

Update: 23 August 2021: COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

Due to increasing numbers of community cases of COVID-19 in the Auckland region and several cases in Wellington, as well as the large geographical spread of people isolating due to potential exposure to the virus, the government has confirmed that New Zealand will remain at Alert Level 4 until Friday 27 August 11.59pm. Further decisions will be made and announced this Friday afternoon. Auckland will remain at Alert Level 4 until 31st August with a further review on Monday 30th August.

COVID-19 communications resources

We have a range of COVID-19 resources that are available for you to use and share with your networks to help communicate the rules and guidance around Alert Level 4. If you require any further support regarding access to these resources, please contact Alexandra.grace@education.govt.nz  

Tertiary provider site access

Thank you for your patience as we work to update the Guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations on how to operate under different Alert Levels with the new site access rules and exemptions.

In the meantime, our detailed guidance on the current rules regarding site access for tertiary providers is set out below. This pulls together all of the site-access guidance we have provided in our previous recent Bulletins, and reflects the current health order, COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 9) 2021 and exemptions:

  • All tertiary educational facilities must be closed, with the exception of necessary student accommodation, and those deemed ‘essential’ services.
  • Site access is permitted for tertiary providers for exceptional circumstances only (outlined below), and several public health measures are required. Where site access is permitted, a minimum number of staff should be onsite for a minimum amount of time. Infection prevention measures and contact tracing systems must be in place, and physical distancing requirements must be maintained at all times. If there is more than one staff member on site, staff must wear a face covering.
  • Very limited site access is permitted for tertiary staff for the following purposes only (and providers do not need to apply for permission to access sites in these circumstances):
    • Caring for animals.
    • Maintenance and management of facilities and ICT infrastructure if the task is essential to operations, and there is no way to complete the task remotely. Examples include maintaining IT servers and IT equipment critical to delivering distance education, securing the site, removing fire hazards, or essential contractors in the event of damage at a tertiary organisation.
    • Limited scientific services are designated as essential (e.g., significant research facilities, including animal facilities, clinical trials, and infrastructure that requires constant attention (for example, samples, collections, and storage facilities), that are important to New Zealand). Tertiary providers may only continue research if it is allowed under Schedule 2 of the current health order.
    • Collating and arranging for the delivery of educational resources to students who are otherwise unable to access resources remotely and undertaking contactless deliveries to those students is allowed. In addition to the public health measures above, staff undertaking deliveries must wear a face covering and keep physically distanced from others (2-metres). There must be no physical contact between staff and the person receiving the educational resources. Students are not permitted to pick up educational resources from TEOs.
    • Staff may collect items which are essential to allow themselves to work remotely from their homes.

Any site access outside of the above purposes will require an exemption from the Director-General of Health. The threshold for access outside of the approved purposes above is extremely high. TEOs that consider they need to access sites for reasons other than those provided above should contact the TEC to discuss this.  Please email customerservice@tec.govt.nz, with the subject heading “site access enquiry”, or get in touch with your Relationship Manager.

Mandatory requirement for contact tracing and QR codes

Record-keeping will become a requirement for busy places and events across all Alert Levels. Those responsible for relevant businesses, facilities and events will need to ensure that visitors over the age of 12 scan the QR code for their place or gathering with the COVID-19 Tracer App, or provide details in a contact tracing record.

TEOs should already have systems and processes in place to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that each person entering their facilities makes a record of their visit, consistent with the Guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations. The new mandatory record-keeping requirement is intended to apply to businesses and services that may not currently have adequate record keeping.  Examples include cafes, restaurants, exercise facilities, bars, libraries and more, including those that may operate on TEO campuses. A full list of places where record keeping is mandatory is available on the Covid19.govt.nz website.

Mandatory record keeping will come into effect 7 days after an Alert Level change. This will give relevant businesses and locations adequate time to ensure they have systems and processes in place to ensure customers/visitors can record their visit. Further guidance will be released soon to support businesses and help them comply with the new requirements shortly.

Information on how to display your QR code is available on the unite against COVID-19 website.

Advice for COVID-19 cases in tertiary education providers or accommodation

For students: Please follow COVID-19 regulations and advice from health officials and keep in regular contact with the providers. Any student (or tertiary staff member) who feels unwell or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 should immediately contact their TEO and contact Healthline.

Students who left residential accommodation before lockdown or during the 48-hour grace period, to join a “bubble” with friends, family or whānau, are not permitted to return to their student accommodation during Alert Level 4.

For providers: If a COVID-19 case is linked with a tertiary education or accommodation facility, the provider will be contacted by the Medical Officer or Health or their local public health authority. If a tertiary provider becomes aware of a case associated with their education or accommodation facility and they haven’t received notification from health authorities, they should immediately contact Sandra Ramsay or Gillian Dudgeon at the TEC at or the local public health unit.

Tertiary providers must follow Ministry of Health advice for organisations that are identified as a location of interest.  Guidance is available on the Ministry of Health website. The number one priority continues to be the welfare of students and staff and ensuring they remain safe and well. We encourage providers to continue to familiarise themselves with their international and domestic pastoral code obligations (see also the interim code guidance).

As outlined within the interim code for domestic tertiary students, providers must ensure that:

  • they have appropriate welfare checks, including regular checks on residents identified as being at risk
  • there is a managerial oversight of accommodation staff at all times (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) so that issues can be escalated when they occur
  • there is a clear defined processes within the student accommodation for referring and responding to instances of resident behaviours that are a risk to self or others,
  • there is a clear/timely escalation process of any incidents;
  • and that they have contact details of a nominated person should a resident’s wellbeing or behaviour cause concern

The Ministry of Health website contains a useful range of mental health and wellbeing resources your staff might need for themselves or to assist students, they can be found Ministry of Health website.         

Emergency procedures at all Alert Levels

At all alert levels, you are required to follow normal emergency procedures (e.g., in the case of fire, earthquake, tsunami etc). Emergency services will be accessible at all alert levels. The priority is to ensure all students and staff are safe.

Once you are safe, then take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as physical distancing or wearing a face covering.

More information on emergency services and healthcare access is available on the COVID-19 website.

COVID-19 vaccination information

The Government has expanded the list of essential workers eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination to include people who work in accommodation services (including tertiary accommodation providers). DHBs will work directly with employers of Group 2(c) workers to organise vaccinations.

Full details are available on the Unite against COVID-19 website

COVID-19 vaccines | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz)

Vaccination sites continue to operate under Alert Level 4 conditions. Unless you have been contacted to reschedule your appointment, please attend your vaccination appointment. By getting vaccinated, you’ll be protecting yourself and playing your part to protect New Zealand. It will save lives.

A whānau-centred approach to vaccinations continues – that means that whānau Māori and Pacific families can be vaccinated when a member of the family is eligible to be vaccinated.

You can go online to the national booking system BookMyVaccine.nz, or phone the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 to reserve your spot. Detailed advice on COVID-19 vaccination is available from the Ministry of Health, which can be accessed on the Ministry of Health website.

Hardship Fund for Learners

The Hardship Fund for Learners (HAFL) remains available for the 2021 calendar year. It serves two purposes, to provide assistance to learners facing hardship and provide funding to learners for technology-related costs where COVID-19 restrictions remove the options for face-to-face study. 

For providers: Please encourage your learners in need of support to access the funding through you. If you have questions on your existing allocation, think you will either need additional funding or an allocation, please contact the TEC through the normal channels.  

You can also find further information on the HAFL webpage.

Stress counselling and support

During this time, it's natural to feel emotionally and physically drained. You’re not alone in this and you don’t need to cope on your own. Friends and family members can help you to cope.

You can also get help and information from:

In an emergency always call 111.

Locations of interest

We encourage you to continue to check the Ministry of Health’s locations of interest page to find out if you might have been exposed to COVID-19. If you were potentially exposed, follow the guidance for the particular location of interest, which is on the same page:

COVID-19: Contact tracing locations of interest | Ministry of Health NZ

The Ministry of Health continues to remind everyone to please remain vigilant and stick to the basics:

  • If you’re sick, stay home. Do not go to work or school. Do not socialise.
  • If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and get advice about getting tested.
  • If you have been told to self-isolate, you legally must do so immediately.

Update: 20 August 2021: COVID-19 Update

Community transmission and alert level update

There are now a number of community cases of COVID-19 in the Auckland region and Wellington region.

As a result, the government has confirmed that New Zealand will continue to remain in Alert Level 4 until Tuesday 11.59pm. Further decisions will be announced on Monday afternoon.  

New Zealand’s return to Alert Level 4 can be unsettling, and this uncertainty can have an impact on mental health. It’s important to remember that our approach has worked to date. We have stamped out COVID-19 before and we can do it again.

The number one priority continues to be the welfare of students and staff and ensuring they remain safe and well during this time. We encourage providers to continue to familiarise themselves with their international and domestic pastoral code obligations (see also the interim code guidance). The Ministry of Health website contains a useful range of mental health and wellbeing resources your staff might need for themselves or to assist students.

COVID-19 vaccination information

Vaccination sites will continue to operate under Alert Level 4 conditions; however capacity will be reduced due to physical distancing requirements and other safety measures. Unless you have been contacted to reschedule your appointment, please attend your vaccination appointment.

Everyone in New Zealand aged 16 and over will be able to be vaccinated by the end of this year. By getting vaccinated, you’ll be protecting yourself and playing your part to protect New Zealand. It will save lives.

You can go online to BookMyVaccine.nz, the new national booking system, or phone the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 to reserve your spot.

Detailed advice on COVID-19 vaccination is available from the Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has advice on COVID-19 vaccination and employment

Essential Workers

The Government is expanding the list of essential workers eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination to include frontline staff who interact with customers and transport and logistics services directly supporting the vaccination programme. These people will be included in Group 2 in our vaccine prioritisation roll out. This group will cover frontline (non-border) health care workers and at-risk people living in settings with a high risk of transmission or exposure to COVID-19.

The new Group 2(c) includes people who work in accommodation services (which includes tertiary accommodation providers) and school hostels. The expanded list of essential workers can be read in Schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 9) 2021.

People in these workplaces will be able to receive vaccinations as soon as possible and DHBs will work directly with employers of Group 2(c) workers to organise vaccinations.

 Alert Level 4 - Government advice for tertiary education organisations

We will update the alert level guidance for tertiary education organisations to reflect current Alert Level 4 settings soon. In the meantime, please continue to follow the overarching principles and the advice we have provided in our previous Bulletins.  

  • All tertiary education facilities continue to be closed with the exception of student accommodation, and they are deemed as ‘essential services.’
  • Providers should continue to deliver education remotely where possible. This includes examinations, lectures, assessments, workshops, etc.
  • Gathering of people at tertiary facilities is not allowed.

Tertiary student accommodation

  • Tertiary student accommodation is an ‘essential service’ and will remain open.
  • Staff that work in student accommodation will live on site (if possible). Staff and students will be within a bubble in the accommodation (with contact contained within smaller bubbles in that accommodation). Students and staff living in tertiary accommodation should observe strict physical distancing, infection prevention measures, and ‘bubbles’ should be maintained at all times. For example, close contact should be limited to people of the same ‘bubble’ (which may be a single floor in a halls of residence); common social and recreation areas should be closed (except those shared by a single ‘bubble’); and there should be split shift access to common areas for staff.
  • Providers must support the safety and wellbeing of students and allow them to self-isolate, as required.

Tertiary provider site access

As announced today, tertiary staff can go on site for the purpose of collecting necessary items to allow them to work remotely or collating and sending educational resources to students who are otherwise unable to access resources remotely and may undertake contactless deliveries to those students or arrange for couriers to undertake those deliveries.

 Staff should be onsite for a minimum amount of time, and if more than one staff member is onsite, physical distancing requirements must be maintained at all times and face coverings must be worn.

Any tertiary staff undertaking deliveries to students or collecting items will be required wear a face covering and keep physically distanced from others (at least two metres). There must also be no physical contact between staff and the person receiving the educational resources. Students are also not permitted to pick-up educational resources from TEOs.

Further information on site access is available in the previous Bulletin and on the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 9) 2021.

Financial support for businesses

Information about financial support for business is available on the Unite against COVID-19 website.

Stress counselling and support

During this time, it's natural to feel emotionally and physically drained. You’re not alone in this and you don’t need to cope on your own. Friends and family members not affected by the event can help you cope.

You can get more help and information from:

In an emergency always call 111.

Locations of interest

We encourage you to continue to check the Ministry of Health’s locations of interest page to find out if you might have been exposed to COVID-19. If you were potentially exposed, follow the guidance for the particular location of interest, which is on the same page:

COVID-19: Contact tracing locations of interest | Ministry of Health NZ

The Ministry of Health continues to remind everyone to please remain vigilant and stick to the basics:

  • If you’re sick, stay home. Do not go to work or school. Do not socialise.
  • If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and get advice about getting tested.
  • If you have been told to self-isolate, you legally must do so immediately.

Update: 19 August 2021: COVID-19 Update

Community transmission update and updated Alert Level 4 guidance for TEOs

There are now a number of community cases of COVID-19 in the Auckland region that have now been identified as the Delta variant and linked to the ongoing outbreak in New South Wales. Due to the greater risk associated with the Delta variant, these developments strongly reinforce the importance of adhering to the lockdown conditions.

We will update the alert level guidance for tertiary education organisations to reflect current Alert Level 4 settings soon. In the meantime, please follow the guidelines below.

Tertiary provider site access

We have received a few queries regarding access to tertiary education facilities, especially to facilitate distance learning.

There is a process underway to enable tertiary staff to go on site for the purpose of collating and sending educational resources to their students who are otherwise unable to access resources remotely. This could include undertaking contactless deliveries to those students or arrange for couriers to undertake those deliveries. More information will be provided about this tomorrow.

Any tertiary staff undertaking deliveries will be required wear a face covering and keep physically distanced from others (two metres). There must also be no physical contact between staff and the person receiving the educational resources. Students are not permitted to pick-up educational resources from TEOs.

Other key points to note on site access, reflecting the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 9) 2021, are:

  • All tertiary educational facilities must be closed, with the exception of necessary student accommodation, and those are deemed ‘essential services’.
  • Very limited site access is allowed for the following purposes only (and providers do not need to apply for permission to access sites in these circumstances):
    • Caring for animals is allowed.
    • Maintenance and management of facilities and ICT infrastructure is allowed if the task is essential to operations, and there is no way to complete the task remotely. Examples include: maintaining IT servers and IT equipment critical to delivering distance education, securing the site, removing fire hazards, or essential contractors in the event of damage at a tertiary organisation.
    • Limited scientific services are designated as essential (e.g. significant research facilities, including animal facilities, clinical trials, and infrastructure that requires constant attention (for example, samples, collections, and storage facilities), that are important to New Zealand). Tertiary providers may only continue research if it is allowed under Schedule 2 of the current health order.
  • Where site access is permitted, a minimum number of staff should be onsite for a minimum amount of time, contact tracing systems must be in place, and physical distancing requirements must be maintained at all times. If there is more than one staff member on site, staff must wear a face covering.
  • Any site access outside of the above purposes will require an exemption from the Director-General of Health. The threshold for access outside of the approved purposes above is extremely high. Tertiary education organisations that consider that they need to access sites for reasons other than those provided above should contact the TEC to discuss this.  Please email customerservice@tec.govt.nz, with the subject heading “site access enquiry”, or get in touch with your Relationship Manager.

Mandatory requirement for face coverings

Face coverings are now mandatory when visiting essential businesses and services that are open in Alert Level 4 (e.g., pharmacy, supermarket, health services). It is also a requirement for staff to wear a mask. There is an exemption in place for children under 12 and those with physical or mental disabilities, who are not required to wear a mask.

COVID-19 vaccination information

The COVID-19 vaccination programme has resumed. With vaccination sites operating under Alert Level 4 conditions, capacity will be reduced due to physical distancing requirements and other safety measures. The reduced capacity means there may be some appointments that may need to be postponed. You will be contacted by your DHB, or healthcare provider if this applies to you.

For students: Hardship support is available

You will continue to get your regular Student Allowance and Student Loan living costs payments if you’re still enrolled and studying.

Talk to your education provider about your course, and any questions or concerns you have about being able to continue to study.

Answers to questions about Student Allowance and living cost payments can be found on StudyLink’s website

StudyLink can also help over the phone and through MyStudyLink in most cases.

Student hardship

If you need extra help during this time you can find information about emergency assistance on StudyLink’s website 

Hardship Fund for Learners

The Hardship Fund for Learners was extended earlier this year and continues to be available for the 2021 calendar year.

This is a limited fund intended to provide temporary financial assistance for learners who are facing barriers to continuing their study or training because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund can also be used to support learners who are experiencing technology-related financial challenges.

The fund will also be accessible to Transitional Industry Training Organisations. The Tertiary Education Commission is currently working through a process to facilitate this and will provide updates on the TEC website 

 Most domestic learners are eligible to receive support through this Fund, however due to full allocation there is limited accessibility of funding available and access to the hardship fund may not be guaranteed.

 If you are experiencing hardship, we encourage you contact your provider directly and talk about the support you require.

 Student Hardship for International Learners

 There is also support available for International students:

Stress counselling and support

Emergencies are usually unexpected, sudden, and overwhelming. It's natural to feel emotionally and physically drained.

You’re not alone in this and you don’t need to cope on your own. Friends and family members not affected by the event can help you cope.

You can get more help and information from:

In an emergency always call 111.

Draft Policy Statement: High value international education consultation

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we have decided to delay the Auckland workshops and will now hold all workshops online for the "Draft policy statement: High-value international education".

Virtual session dates and times are: 

  • 23 August | 10.00 - 11.30am - Christchurch
  • 24 August | 10.00 - 11.30am - Wellington
  • 27 August | 1:00 – 2:30pm - Auckland
  • 27 August | 3:00 – 4:30pm - Auckland

We remain very interested in your feedback as this will help us define what ‘high value’ means for international education going forward. Your views will help inform the final policy statement which will give a clear steer on the direction for international education as we rebuild and deliver on the longer-term goals outlined in the International Education Strategy.  

If you would like to attend, you can register online 

Advice for people who live in, or visited Auckland or the Coromandel Peninsula

With new cases announced in the latest update, the number of locations of interest have continued to grow.

For those in the Auckland and Coromandel Peninsula regions – and those who have visited these regions in the last few weeks – we encourage you to continue to check the Ministry of Health’s locations of interest page to find out if you might have been exposed to COVID-19.

It is also critical that people moving around in public spaces during Alert Level 4 frequently check the locations of interest page. This includes essential workers checking locations of interest where they may have worked in or have visited.

If you were potentially exposed, follow the guidance for the particular location of interest, which is on the same page:

COVID-19: Contact tracing locations of interest | Ministry of Health NZ

The Ministry of Health continues to remind everyone to please remain vigilant and stick to the basics:

  • If you’re sick, stay home. Do not go to work or school. Do not socialise.
  • If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and get advice about getting tested.
  • If you have been told to self-isolate, you legally must do so immediately.

Update: 17 August 2021: COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update – Auckland community case and change to Alert Level 4

 You will be aware a confirmed case of COVID-19 has been identified in the community in Auckland.  As a result, and because of the much greater risk associated with the Delta variant, all of New Zealand is moving to Alert Level 4 for 3 days.  Face coverings are strongly recommended when outside or in public places i.e. the supermarket. Auckland and Coromandel will likely remain at Level 4 for 7 days. This will take effect from 11:59 pm, tonight and will be under constant review.

There is a 48-hour window for travel, to allow people to return home. We encourage them to do so only if they can do so safely, with a minimum of personal contact. After this time, travel will be heavily restricted.

 While this is the news none of us wanted, it is a response that had been anticipated in recent weeks. This extremely short and sharp shift in alert levels will support health authorities to prevent widespread infection in the community.

 Acting with extreme caution has served us well for New Zealand’s COVID-19 response, and we all know what we can do to help keep our communities as safe as possible. The below information is a reminder of what is required.

You will be familiar with the alert level guidance for tertiary education organisations; however, here's a quick reference on how to operate under different Alert Levels.

The number one priority remains the welfare of students and staff and ensuring that they remain safe and well during this time.

Providers are reminded of their international and domestic pastoral code obligations (see also the interim code guidance ).

The Ministry of Health website contains a useful range of mental health and wellbeing resources your staff might need for themselves or to assist students. 

Alert Level 4 - Government advice

The guiding principles at Alert Level 4 for tertiary organisations are:

  • All tertiary education facilities must be closed from tomorrow, 18 August with the exception of necessary student accommodation, and those deemed as ‘Essential services.’
  • Providers must continue to deliver education remotely where possible. This includes examinations, lectures, assessments, workshops, etc where these should be remotely where possible.
  • Where access to a tertiary site has been approved for an Essential Service, use the minimum number of people to complete the task, after consideration of workplace safety and workload.
  • Gathering of people at tertiary facilities is not allowed.

Travel and accommodation advice for students

  • Tertiary accommodation is deemed an ‘Essential service’ and is to remain open throughout the shift to Alert level 4.
  • Students are encouraged to return home at their discretion if they can do so safely and within Alert Level settings in the first 48 hours. Some students who cannot return home will need to stay in student accommodation.
  • Staff that work in student accommodation will live on site (if possible). Staff and students will be within a bubble in the accommodation (with contact contained within smaller bubbles in that accommodation). Students and staff living in tertiary accommodation should observe strict physical distancing, infection prevention measures, and ‘bubbles’ should be maintained at all times. For example, close contact should be limited to people of the same ‘bubble’ (which may be a single floor in a halls of residence); common social and recreation areas should be closed (except those shared by a single ‘bubble’); and there should be split shift access to common areas for staff.
  • Providers must support the safety and wellbeing of students and allow them to self-isolate, as required.

Advice for people who live in, or visited Auckland

If you live in Auckland or recently visited Auckland, you should continue to check the Ministry of Health’s locations of interest page to find out if you might have been exposed to COVID-19, by being in the same place, at the same time as the positive case. If you were potentially exposed, follow the guidance for the particular location of interest, which is on the same page:

COVID-19: Contact tracing locations of interest | Ministry of Health NZ

The Ministry of Health continues to remind everyone to please remain vigilant and stick to the basics:

  • If you’re sick, stay home. Do not go to work or school. Do not socialise.
  • If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and get advice about getting tested.
  • If you have been told to self-isolate, you legally must do so immediately.

COVID-19 vaccination information

Update: 23 June 2021: COVID-19 Update

Wellington COVID-19 Alert Level change

A man who flew from Sydney to Wellington on 19 June 2021, and returned to Sydney on 21 June 2021, has been confirmed as being positive for COVID-19. As a result, the Wellington region is now at COVID-19 Alert Level 2 until 11.59pm on Sunday, 27 June. The Wellington area includes Wairarapa and Kāpiti Coast. The rest of New Zealand remains at Alert Level 1.

Advice for people who live in, or visited Wellington 19 June 2021 to 21 June

Wellingtonians and visitors to Wellington are encouraged to check the Ministry of Health’s locations of interest page, to find out if you might have been exposed to COVID-19 by being in the same place, at the same time as a confirmed case. If you were potentially exposed, follow the guidance for the particular location of interest, which is on the same page.

COVID-19: Contact tracing locations of interest | Ministry of Health NZ

At Alert Level 2, there are differences in how we access services. You can continue to go to work, school and tertiary education, but you should follow public health measures and consider others around you. Detailed information on Alert Level 2 guidelines is available on the COVID-19 website. 

For people outside of Wellington, the Ministry of Health reminds everyone to please remain vigilant and stick to the basics:

  • If you’re sick, stay home. Do not go to work or school. Do not socialise.
  • If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and get advice about getting tested.
  • If you have been told to self-isolate you legally must do so immediately.

Detailed guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations

You will be familiar with the detailed guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations (TEOs) on how to operate under different Alert Levels. These are available on the Ministry of Education websiteThis sets out the expectations that Wellington will need to operate under during Alert Level 2.

Welfare of students and staff

Alert level changes can be unsettling and may impact learners who study away from home and are unable to or choose not to return home. The number one priority remains the welfare of students and staff and ensuring that they remain safe and well during this time. Providers are reminded of their international and domestic pastoral code obligations.

The Ministry of Health website contains a useful range of mental health and wellbeing resources your staff might need for themselves or to assist students, they can be found at their website.  

COVID-19 vaccination information

Update: 15 January 2021: Border exception for some returning international tertiary students

COVID-19 Update - Border exception for some returning international tertiary students

On 14 January 2021, the Government approved an exception class for 1,000 bachelor’s degree level and above tertiary international students to return to New Zealand and continue their studies. These students need to hold or have held a valid visa to study in 2020 and have studied in New Zealand in 2019, or 2020 towards their current qualification and be returning to study with their current provider. 

This exception provides the sector a further opportunity to welcome back international students and delivers on a part of the Government’s long-term recovery plan for the international education sector.

The Government will continue to work with the sector to consider how suitable models can be developed to bring in more students over time as and when it is safe to do so. Capacity at MIQ will remain a significant consideration in any further exceptions and International Education also needs to be considered alongside a number of competing priority sectors.  Providers should take a conservative approach to planning for 2021 and prepare for a range of scenarios.

Eligibility criteria and process

To be eligible for this border exception students will need to

  • be studying at bachelor degree level or above
  • hold or have held a visa for 2020
  • have studied in New Zealand in 2019, or 2020 toward their current qualification and be returning to study with their current provider, and
  • provide evidence that they have access to $20,000 annually to meet living costs.

Priority will be given to students who are closest to graduation.

Students will need to undertake the border exception process with Immigration New Zealand.

Entry for these students will be phased and dependent on the availability of space in our managed isolation and quarantine facilities to ensure their arrival does not impact on the ability of New Zealander citizens and residents to return home.

All students entering New Zealand will comply with Government advice and regulation relating to COVID-19, which includes a 14-day managed isolation period in Government facilities, payment of the isolation charges and relevant mandatory COVID-19 testing. Students will need to book their space through the allocation system and are will be responsible for the standard charges for managed isolation. 

Students with questions about this border exception should contact their providers in the first instance.  The Ministry will work directly with Peak Body representatives to manage the process.

Read the Minister’s announcement.

View information from the Ministry of Education.

Update: 1 March 2021: COVID-19 Update

Last Saturday the government announced that from 6am, Sunday, 28 February, the Auckland Region will be at Alert Level 3 and the remainder of New Zealand will be at Alert Level 2, for seven (7) days.

You will be familiar with the alert level guidance for tertiary education organisations, and we have confidence that you will continue to implement appropriate measures for your staff and students. However for quick reference on how to operate under different Alert Levels, see Detailed tertiary guidelines for alert levels. Note we have updated some guidance related to tertiary accommodation, set out in the section ‘Detailed guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations’.

Welfare of students and staff

This will remain an unsettling time for some. As always, the number one priority remains the welfare of students and staff and ensuring that they remain safe and well during this time. Providers are reminded of their international and domestic pastoral code obligations. The Ministry of Health website contains a useful range of mental health and wellbeing resources your staff might need for themselves or to assist students, view on the website.          

Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT)

As you know, a new case of COVID-19 (Case M) has been identified as an MIT student. Our thoughts are with the MIT community and we thank them for all the leadership they are showing through this process. Ministry of Health has advised that under Alert Level 3 all MIT students should stay home and close contacts will be followed up by Public Health staff. You can check for updates on the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19: Contact tracing locations of interest, available on the Ministry of Health website.

Detailed guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations

As a result of the recent change to alert levels, we have updated some guidance relating to students’ movements in and out of accommodation.

Tertiary accommodation advice for Alert Level Three

  • We strongly recommend that during an Alert Level 3 lockdown, where possible, students remain in their current accommodation.
    • Students already in accommodation (including hostels, halls of residence, and self-contained flats) can remain there. Student accommodation should remain open. Providers should support the safety and wellbeing of students and allow them to self-isolate, as required. Students are also able to travel home if necessary.
    • Students due to go into student accommodation in Alert Level 3 areas should remain in their current accommodation if possible.
    • Students residing in an Alert Level 3 area but due to begin study outside of this area should remain in their current accommodation if possible.
  • Students do have permission under the current COVID-19 Health Order to move into their new accommodation at Alert Level 3 if necessary, assuming they are relocating on a permanent or long-term basis, but we would advise against this unless either:
    • it is not feasible for them to continue to stay in their present accommodation; and/or
    • staying in their current accommodation would prevent them from participating in classes or other activities of the programme of study they are enrolled in (this will not usually be the case if their place of study is at Alert Level 3).
  • If relocating on a permanent or long-term basis and needing to travel across an Alert Level boundary to get there, students will require evidence to show at the boundary. This could include proof of enrolment, and/or proof of accommodation arrangements. But no special permission to travel is required. Detailed information is available on the Covid-19 website.
  • If, in any of the above scenarios, a student requires additional support to move (for example, to move personal items, or support to set-up in their new accommodation if this is their first time moving out of home), there is allowance for a single support person. If a student was going to be accompanied by more than one person, an exemption would need to be sought from the Ministry of Health.
  • Students with questions or concerns about their accommodation situation should contact their accommodation provider in the first instance.

Tertiary accommodation advice for Alert Level Two

  • Students are able to move into new accommodation. This includes hostels, halls of residence, and self-contained flats. Scenarios related to moving from an Alert Level 2 area into an Alert Level 3 area, and vice versa, are covered in the above section ‘Tertiary accommodation advice for Alert Level Three’.
  • Alert Level Two protocols should remain in place in new and existing accommodation.  This includes displaying QR codes and providing the ability to self-isolate if necessary.
  • Guidelines for accommodation providers are available in Detailed tertiary guidelines for alert levels (pdf) document. Also available to download as a word document Detailed tertiary guidelines for alert levels (Word, 48 Kb)

Update: 23 March 2021: COVID-19 Update

On Saturday, 27 February, the government announced that from 6am, Sunday, 28 February, the Auckland Region will be at Alert Level 3 and the remainder of New Zealand will be at Alert Level 2, for 7 days.

We know that you are familiar with the alert level guidance for tertiary education organisations and continue to implement appropriate measures for your staff and students. You can read the detailed Guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations on how to operate under different Alert Levels, on the Ministry of Education website.

Welfare of students and staff

This will remain an unsettling time for some. As always, the number one priority remains the welfare of students and staff and ensuring that they remain safe and well. Providers are reminded of their international and domestic pastoral code obligations. The Ministry of Health website has a range of mental health and wellbeing resources to assist, they can be found on the Ministry of Health website.     

Alert Level 2/3 border crossings

At Alert Level 3 students and staff are strongly advised to stay where they are unless they have a compelling reason to move and are eligible to travel.

If students or staff wish to travel for personal reasons between Alert Level 3 and Alert Level 2 regions, they need to check whether they are eligible to travel on the Unite Against Covid-19 website

The full list of permitted reasons, and what evidence people need, is on the Unite Against Covid-19 website. If they don’t meet the permitted criteria they may apply for an exemption on the Ministry of Health website

Information about travel across the Auckland regional boundary for work reasons, including what is permitted and how to apply for an exemption if necessary, is available on the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment website.

Information for people who have visited Auckland

The Ministry of Health has advised that students, staff and others that have visited or left Auckland recently do the following:

  • Check the locations of interest page to find out if you might have been exposed to COVID-19 by being in the same place at the same time as a confirmed case. If you were potentially exposed, follow the guidance for the particular location of interest, which is on the same page.
  • Monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19, including some of the less usual symptoms like muscle aches and pains and fatigue. Details of symptoms to look out for are on the Ministry of Health website.
  • Keep a record of where you’ve been. Use the COVID Tracer App to scan QR codes and make sure you’ve got Bluetooth turned on in the app. This helps with contact tracing.
  • Everyone should follow the Alert Level guidance relevant for where they are staying.

Managed Isolation and Quarantine and Immigration New Zealand changes

Following a recent review of the costs of running Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ), changes are being made to the fees charged to temporary entry visa class holders, including any international students arriving in New Zealand.  Full details are available on the MIQ website.

On 23 February 2021, Immigration New Zealand announced they will bring more visa processing onshore and close offices in Mumbai, Manila and Pretoria by March 2021. Full details are available on the Immigration New Zealand website.

If you have questions about how these changes affect the tertiary sector, please get in contact with the Ministry of Education. 

COVID-19 testing and treatment

Everyone in New Zealand, including international students, can get free COVID-19 testing and treatment — you do not need to be a New Zealand citizen or resident. This access is irrespective of citizenship, visa status, nationality or level of medical insurance coverage.  

You may need to pay for a test if it’s for the purpose of entering another country.

You can find more information about this on the Ministry of Health's website.

Things change quickly so stay up to date by following the links below:

For health advice, please refer to the Ministry of Health’s website.

For cross-agency information about COVID-19, including what support is available, health advice, and travel restrictions visit the All-of-Government website

For additional advice for tertiary providers/whare wānanga visit the Ministry of Education website. 

Update: 15 February 2021: COVID-19 Update - Alert Level change

Yesterday, the government announced that from 11:59pm, Sunday 14 February 2021 the Auckland Region will be at Alert Level 3 and the remainder of New Zealand will be at Alert Level 2, for 72 hours.  This is to ensure that we prevent the virus from spreading in our community.

You will be familiar with the alert level guidance for tertiary education organisations, however a quick reference on how to operate under different Alert Levels is available on the Ministry of Education’s website.

The number one priority remains the welfare of staff and students, and ensuring that they remain safe and well during this time. The Ministry of Health website contains a useful range of mental health and wellbeing resources your staff might need for themselves or to assist students.

The guiding principles for all alert levels for tertiary education organisations are found on the Ministry's website.  As per government advice the following is worth noting:

  • Travel in and out of Auckland is restricted to essential travel only. If you are an Aucklander you can travel to Auckland to return home.
  • While it is not mandatory to wear a face mask or face covering while on campus, wearing them is advised where it is not possible to practice social distancing or to carry out contact tracing. This includes, for example, in crowded spaces on TEO campuses, or teaching and learning situations where close physical contact cannot be avoided.

The guiding principles at Alert Level 3 for tertiary education organisations in the Auckland region are:

  • All teaching and other activities should be done remotely wherever possible.
  • Where it is not possible to deliver teaching online, some facilities may remain open (e.g. for research, post-graduate teaching, lab/workshops, or noho-based delivery).
  • Any class, workshops, etc., that open, must be limited to 20 people or less. Each group is considered a ‘bubble’ and should not interact with any other student/staff bubbles of 20.
  • Distance learning provision will be available for other students.
  • Social distancing and contact tracing requirements must be met in all situations.
  • Wearing face masks (or other face coverings) is mandatory on public transport and advised if out and about, for example visiting the supermarket.
  • Student accommodation should remain open and in a position to provide appropriate support to allow students to self-isolate, as required.
  • Large classes or gatherings (of more than 20 people) are not allowed.
  • Workplace-based learning is subject to the policies and practices being applied to that type of workplace.
  • Vulnerable people (or those caring for/living with vulnerable people) should not carry out any onsite work or learning.
  • Any educational facilities affected by COVID-19 will be closed for a specific period of time.

What this means for your staff

  • Stay home. All teaching, meetings, and other usual on-site activities should continue to be done remotely, wherever possible.
  • If teaching online is not possible, you can run limited classes for 20 people or less to resolve that issue. Strict physical distancing and ‘bubbles’ should be maintained at all times.
  • Staff can go on site to prepare for practical workshops/classes, following the physical distancing guidelines.
  • Physical distancing guidelines. 2m outside home, or 1m in controlled environments, for example onsite at TEO’s.
  • Essential only i.e. for delivery of teaching/learning, research or for effective management and governance functions that cannot be done remotely, and then only within your local region.

What this means for your students

  • Stay home. Where students can access their courses online, they will continue to do so. For those students where delivery online is not possible some facilities may open (e.g. for research, postgraduate teaching, lab/workshops, or noho-based delivery).
  • Hostels, halls of residence or self-contained flats will remain open and Ministry of Health guidelines on hygiene and social distancing will remain.
  • Students are encouraged to wear masks or face coverings when out and about.
  • Student services, such as counselling and health services should continue to operate, with consultations delivered online or over the phone, where possible. Other supports available are;
    • GP or local community health centre
    • Youthline 0800 376 633 www.youthline.co.nz
    • Need To Talk by calling or texting 1737
    • In an emergency always call 111
  • Answers to questions about Student Allowance and Living Cost payments can be found on StudyLink’s website.
  • Students can attend a class or lab or workshop with a group of other students (of up to 20 students and staff), but not then move on to multiple other classes with different groups.
  • Any class, workshop, laboratory etc., that opens, must be limited to 20 people or less. Each such group is considered a ‘bubble’ and should not interact with any other student/staff bubbles of 20.

Archived bulletins (2020)