COVID-19 (coronavirus) information

COVID-19 (coronavirus) information

Last updated 21 May 2020
Last updated 21 May 2020

Update for tertiary providers

NZ COVID Tracer app

The NZ COVID Tracer App was launched yesterday which will assist with contact tracing in New Zealand. Please note that this app will not be able to send contact tracing data to tertiary education organisations and therefore cannot replace collecting contact information.

Contact tracing information should still be collected and retained that identifies which students, staff (and any other visitors) have been in each ‘controlled learning space’ or ‘other controlled environment’ and at what time. A ‘controlled learning space’ may be a lecture theatre, a lab, a classroom, etc., while ‘other controlled environments’ may be a building or an outdoor site with perimeter control.

Students, staff and visitors who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to business premises, other organisations and public buildings. People can also register their contact information through the app so that the National Close Contact Service can get in touch if they need to.

TEOs can generate a QR code poster for each of their premises through MBIE’s Business Connect online service. All TEO’s should already have a NZBN (you can search the NZBN.co.nz website to find your number).  Businesses operating on a tertiary campus, such as a restaurant, bookshop, etc., can also generate their own unique QR code posters using their NZBNs.

If you want to participate, you can generate a QR code poster to display for those coming on site to scan in their phones (they will need to download the app to do this).

To generate a code you will need to have the following:

Once you have your RealMe login, NZBN and authority over your business, you’ll need to register with Business Connect or login to an existing Business Connect account.

Once you’ve registered your TEO with Business Connect, you can create multiple QR codes, and then download and print a poster for each location that you want to keep track of (e.g. a lecture theatre, library, etc.). Each poster contains a QR code which your staff, students and visitors can scan using the NZ COVID Tracer app.

The poster can be displayed at the entrances of each ‘controlled learning environment’ and ‘other controlled environments’ around the tertiary campus.

TEOs should continue to have multiple overlapping systems to support contact tracing; for example, sign-in/sign-out sheets, QR code posters, swipe access, utilisation of wireless hotspot data, etc.

For more information visit business.govt.nz

The more QR code posters we have in place the more Kiwis will be able to keep track of where they’ve been with the app. This will speed up contact tracing and help stop any further spread of COVID-19, which is good for everyone.

Further information on the App (from the Ministry of Health)

“Any information you decide to record with the app will be stored securely on your phone and deleted automatically after 31 days. It’s your choice whether you share any of this information with contact tracers, and any information you do share will be used only for public health purposes and never for enforcement,” says Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

“Like all mobile apps, NZ COVID Tracer will be updated over time as new features are developed. In the next release, NZ COVID Tracer will be able notify you if you have been at the same location at the same time as someone who has COVID-19 and will allow you to send your digital diary directly to the National Close Contact Service.

“You will also be able to self-report any COVID-19 symptoms so you can be tested for the virus if appropriate and will be able to complete a daily health check-in through the app if you’re in isolation.

“I encourage all New Zealanders to download the NZ COVID Tracer app to help protect yourself, your friends, whânau and community by making it easier to trace the people you’ve come into close contact with.”

NZ COVID Tracer is available now from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

Further information about the app can be found on the Ministry of Health's website.

Things change quickly so stay up to date:

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

For Cross-agency information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), including health advice and travel restrictions visit the All-of-Government website 

To keep updated on travel restrictions and visa information visit Immigration New Zealand.

For additional advice for tertiary providers/whare wananga, visit the Ministry of Education website

Update: 13 May 2020: Update for tertiary providers

This bulletin provides updates on:

  • Prime Minister's announcement on moving to Alert Level 2
  • Wellbeing for staff and students

Moving to Alert Level 2

The government has announced that New Zealand will move out of Alert Level 3, at 11.59pm on Wednesday 13th May. We will move into Alert Level 2 on Thursday 14th May. See Information about the four level alert system.

Under Alert Level 2, all on-site activities at tertiary education facilities can resume i.e. classes, lectures, labs, workshops, tutorials, noho, and meetings. However, strict public health control measures need to be in place before you can open.

For more detail about what these public health measures mean for TEOs, along with more detailed FAQs, visit public health control measures for TEO's at Alert Level 2.

You can choose to take a phased approach to resuming activities on-site to allow time to put the required public health control measures in place. For example, you could continue with online delivery for a few weeks and phase in face to face learning, when you are ready.

TEOs will need to keep in close contact with staff and students about which specific facilities and activities will be reopening, and when.

On Monday, the government asked that ‘gatherings’ be limited to 10 people initially. The government will look at these remaining restrictions again in two weeks’ time and if the numbers continue to look good the number of people at a social event, will grow.

As outlined in our detailed guidelines for TEOs, workplaces, educational facilities, and public and school transport are not considered gatherings. This means there are no restrictions on the number of students and staff on-site at a tertiary education facility, other than what normal health and safety principles would permit. TEOs should manage capacity of lectures, etc. to enable one metre physical distancing, where possible.

However, gatherings that are not directly education-related, such as speaking events open to the public, cultural events, social events, etc. should be limited to a maximum of 10 attendees and should follow public health control measures that apply to gatherings.

Wellbeing for staff and students

We acknowledge that recent times have seen increased pressure and stress on staff and students.  You have been asked to make changes in your lives that will be affecting how you work, how you relate to others and what you can and can’t do. We thank you for your dedication during this difficult time.

As tertiary education facilities start welcoming people back to campus, we still need to prioritise the wellbeing of staff and students as they return to classes, lectures, labs, workshops, noho and meetings.

As well as resources on the COVID19 website, there is lots of useful information online at the Mental Health Foundation  and NauMai that can be shared with students and staff.

Things change quickly so stay up to date:

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

For official Government information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), including health advice and travel restrictions visit the All-of-Government website 

For more advice for students, visit the Ministry of Education website

Update: 7 May 2020: Update for tertiary providers

The Government has outlined what Alert Level 2 will look like. A decision about whether New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2 will be made by Cabinet on Monday 11 May. The Prime Minister has said that the move to Alert Level 2 would occur with 48 hours’ notice.  See information about the four level alert system.

To enable you to begin planning, under Alert level 2, all on-site activities at tertiary education facilities can resume, such as classes, lectures, labs, workshops, tutorials, noho, and meetings.

However, TEO’s must maintain their ability to deliver courses remotely, and should be in a position to transition to fully remote learning (if required).

Tertiary education staff are no longer restricted to interacting face-to-face with one group of students. However, strict public health control measures should be in place.

Specific public health control measures for TEOs to be put in place are:

  • Contact tracing information should be collected and retained that identifies which students, staff (and any other visitors) have been in each ‘controlled learning space’ or ‘other controlled environment’ and at what time. A ‘controlled learning space’ may be a lecture theatre, a lab, a classroom, etc., while ‘other controlled environments’ may be a building or an outdoor site with perimeter control.
  • Physical distancing of two metres should be maintained where people do not know each other and where contact tracing measures are not in place. In areas designated ‘controlled learning spaces’ or ‘other controlled environments’, where contact tracing and strict hygiene practices are in place, people should be encouraged and enabled to maintain physical distancing of one metre, where possible.
  • Students and staff should remain at home if they are sick, have any COVID-19 symptoms, are in isolation, or are awaiting COVID-19 test results.
  • Hand sanitiser should be available at entry to classrooms, lecture theatres etc., and students and staff should ensure they are regularly washing and drying their hands.
  • Disinfect and clean all TEO facilities regularly, with a particular focus on any surfaces or items that are likely to come into frequent contact with different students. For example, desks, door handles, keyboards, workshop tools, etc. that multiple people are likely to touch should be disinfected as often as is practical. 
  • On-campuses businesses such as gyms, pharmacies, cafes, restaurant, etc. must operate in accordance with the public health control measures that apply to that type of business.
  • Residential accommodation is a type of ‘other controlled environment’, and TEOs should therefore ensure robust contact tracing information is collected on all those who enter the premises (including any guests of residents). Strict hygiene and cleaning protocols should also be in place.
  • There is no specific size limit for education-related gatherings (lectures, classes, etc.) though TEOs should manage the capacity of all spaces (including lecture theatres) to ensure there is enough room for students and staff to maintain appropriate physical distancing (ideally one metre, where possible). This may mean that some larger lectures continue to be delivered online for some students.
  • Large gatherings that are not directly education-related, such as speaking events open to the public, cultural events, social events, etc. should be limited to a maximum of 100 and must follow public health control measures that apply to gatherings.
  • Social events with external visitors are not allowed within residential accommodation.  Hostels, halls and other residential accommodation may have social events involving people who are resident in that accommodation, but need to exercise restraint over the size and scale of these.  Students in residential accommodation may have a small number of family or close friends as visitors within accommodation, but TEOs need to ensure this is managed so as not to result in large gatherings taking place.
  • Workplace-based learning should be managed within the specific public health control measures that apply to that type of workplace.
  • Close-contact courses such as training for hair dressers, beauty salons, physiotherapists, etc., should operate in accordance with the public health control measures that apply to that occupation. This applies whether the training is conducted in the workplace, or on-site at a tertiary facility.
  • PPE is not required or recommended as necessary in any educational facility by the Public Health Service, except for in research facilities (where this would normal be required) and during other activities where PPE is specified as a public health control measure (such as for some close-contact work/training).

For more detail about what these public health measures mean for TEOs, along with more detailed FAQs, visit public health control measures for TEO's at Alert Level 2.

To ensure we maintain the gains of Alert Levels 3 and 4, TEOs are asked to ensure the above measures are maintained at all their facilities/campuses. However, TEOs are not responsible for managing or monitoring activities of staff and students outside these facilities/campuses.

Upon advice from the local medical officer of health, any educational facilities connected to a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 must close on an individual or group basis, for as long as directed by that medical officer of health.

However, this does not mean that the entire institution would necessarily need to close. The extent of the required closures will depend on the nature of the COVID-19 case, and may be limited to a single building or group of buildings, as required to ensure the risk of infection is managed. The decision on this should be made by the TEO in consultation with medical officer of health.

Things change quickly so stay up to date:

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

For Cross-agency information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), including health advice and travel restrictions visit the All-of-Government website 

To keep updated on travel restrictions and visa information visit New Zealand Immigration

For more advice for students, visit the Ministry of Education website

Update: 6 May 2020: Update for tertiary providers

This bulletin includes updates on:

  • Support for tertiary students to learn online
  • Advice on students wanting to return to accommodation under Alert Level 3

Government announces $20 million to support tertiary students to learn online

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced a $20 million fund to help eligible tertiary learners continue their education disrupted by COVID-19. Read the full announcement.

The fund will be available to tertiary education organisations including Wānanga, the NZIST and its subsidiaries, Universities, Transitional Industry Training Organisations and Private Training Establishments who will be required to ensure vulnerable students are prioritised.

TEC intends to open an application process for a second phase of funding in the coming weeks. The application process will allow TEOs not covered by the initial round, and those who need more funding, to apply.

Details on how tertiary providers can access the fund are available on the TEC website.

Advice on students wanting to return to tertiary accommodation under Alert Level 3

Student accommodation has remained open during Level 4 and Level 3, although many students have returned to their whanau. As set out in the Guidelines for TEOs on how to operate under different Alert Levels, students who left residential accommodation before lockdown, to join a “bubble” with friends, family or whānau, should not return to student accommodation under Alert Level 3.  The aim of this is to minimise the number of tertiary students travelling across the country, leaving their current bubble and potentially entering a new bubble.

However, under exceptional circumstances, a student may return to their accommodation if;

  • they face serious welfare/safety issues
  • there is absolutely no way for them to learn remotely from their current residence
  • a student has no other appropriate accommodation

A student finding it difficult to study at their current residence, or wanting to attend on-site classes/workshops (where these have reopened), are not what we would consider to be valid reasons for a student to return to their accommodation.

The decision on whether a domestic or international student should return must be agreed between the provider and the student. Students will not be accepted at student accommodation unless the exception is agreed with the provider. Acceptance will be based on whether:

  • specific circumstances of the student meet the above guidelines for granting exemptions
  • the provider can guarantee they are able to safely self-isolate the returning student, in line with the Ministry of Health guidelines re social distancing and hygiene practices
  • they can comply with the Ministry of Transport guidelines on travel under Alert Level 3.

Providers must keep a record of all students who return to their student accommodation under Alert Level 3, in line with existing contact tracing requirements.

Private flats are not covered by this advice but we would still recommend that these students remain in their current accommodation and avoid relocating, unless this is absolutely necessary.

If a student needs to return to a private flat, they must follow general guidance on travel and relocations during Alert Level 3 (see COVID-19 website and MOT Guidelines on travel).

Emotional and mental health are still important. Students may be feeling stressed or lonely, especially if they are self-isolating or are worried about family and friends overseas. Providers should encourage students to reach out to their usual supports, like family and friends, and to talk about how they feel. Under the international Code, providers must ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to address the needs and issues of international students at risk or with special needs.

Update: 1 May 2020: TEC update on extramural delivery of programmes

TEC has provided clarity on the rules regarding changes to your programme delivery in response to COVID-19 restrictions on face-to-face engagement.

You can read the letter here (PDF, 696 Kb)

Update: 30 April 2020: Update for tertiary providers 

This bulletin provides guidance on:

Health Act (COVID-19 Alert Level 3) Order 2020 and the implications for TEO operations

Last Friday, the Government signed the Health Act (COVID-19 Alert Level 3) Order 2020 which sets out the legal framework for operating under Alert Level three, including the minimum requirements for TEO operations. This order came into effect at 11.59pm, Monday 27 April.

The key message under Level 3 remains: staff and students should continue to work/learn from home where this is possible.

We have updated our detailed guidance for TEOs operating under Alert Level 3 to ensure alignment with this new Health Order, which you can access on the Ministry of Education's website.  The guidelines are not significantly different from last week but have been strengthened in terms of infection control, following Worksafe guidelines, outdoor gatherings and physical distancing in student accommodation.

A summary of these guidelines for how TEOs should operate under Level 3 is provided below.

Requirements for operating under Level 3

  • Providers operating under any Alert Level must ensure that appropriate infection control measures and Worksafe guidelines are met (as relevant to that Alert Level).
  • Infection control measures for TEOs under Level 3 include: physical distancing, contact tracing, maintaining stable bubbles.
  • Worksafe have provided guidelines on how to keep your staff healthy and safe, reduce the chances of COVID-19 recurring and ensure that you can continue to operate without moving back to Level 4.
  • To enable contact tracing, TEOs must collect names, contact details, buildings visited, etc., of all staff, students, contractors (e.g. plumbers, electricians, cleaners), who go on site.
  • Physical distancing at Level 3 within tertiary facilities means keeping 1m away from people at all times.
  • Staff should not have multiple 'bubbles'.

Accommodation and food

  • In tertiary accommodation:
    • ‘Bubbles’ should be maintained.
    • 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.
    • Contact tracing processes must be in place, as per the requirements for operating under level 3 above.
  • Students who left residential accommodation before lockdown, to join a 'bubble' with friends, family or whānau, should not return to student accommodation under Level 3.
  • Private flats are not covered by this TEO guidance.
  • On campus food venues should be closed to customers, but may operate for delivery and contactless collections in compliance with relevant infection control measures.

Site Access and outdoor gatherings

  • Site Access permissions are not required under Level 3.
  • Anyone who is not a student/staff/contractor (e.g. plumber, electrician, cleaner) should not be on site at a tertiary education facility.
  • Outdoor gatherings on tertiary campuses are not allowed.
  • TEOs may wish to put up signs around campus stating there must be no gatherings

Key messages to communicate to your students are:

  • Stay home. Courses will still be delivered remotely, wherever possible. If a tertiary facility is opened (i.e. for research, postgraduate teaching, lab/workshops, or noho-based delivery), then students/staff may travel locally (or to their neighbouring region) to attend these classes.
  • Stay in your 'bubble'. Hostel, hall of residence or other accommodation will remain open to those who have stayed during Level 4. Ministry of Health guidelines on hygiene and social distancing will remain. If you moved to join a 'bubble' with friends, family or whānau, you must stay home. You cannot return to your student accommodation under Level 3.
  • There is extra help if they need it. They can access financial assistance or support through;
  • student support package
  • emergency assistance to cover costs of food, rent etc.
  • assistance for international students
  • counselling and support e.g. through their GP of local community centre

Planning for Alert Level 2

  • Now we have moved to Level 3, planning is underway for the eventuality of moving to Alert Level 2. Note we do not currently have a timeframe for any potential shift in Alert levels. A review of our current alert level is due from the government on the 11th May.
  • At the heart of being able to move to Level 2 and beyond will be the ability of providers to ensure that appropriate infection control measures and Worksafe guidelines are met (as relevant to that Alert Level).
  • We have provided some high level guidelines for Level 2 and we will be working with you in the coming days to ensure we come up with workable solutions for the sector that are aligned to the government guidelines

Update: 20 April 2020: Urgent Update for tertiary providers

This bulletin provides updates on:

Moving to Alert Level 3

This afternoon the government has announced that New Zealand will move out of Alert Level 4, as at 11.59pm on Monday 27th April. We will move into Alert Level 3 on Tuesday 28th April.  Information about the four level alert system is here.

We have been consulting across the sector in preparation for moving out of Alert Level 4, and we shared some guidance with you recently, to assist you in your planning. In summary, the guiding principles at Alert Level 3 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 10 people or less. Each group is considered a ‘bubble’ and should not interact with any other student/staff bubbles of 10
  • Distance learning provision will be available for others students
  • Physical distancing requirements must be met in all situations
  • 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 10 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 on-site work or learning
  • Any educational facilities affected by COVID-19 will be closed for a specific period of time.

For answers to some potential questions, click here to link to the Department of Education website.

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

What this means for your staff

  • Stay home. All teaching, meetings, and other usual on-site activities should continue be done remotely, wherever possible.
  • If teaching online is not possible, you can run limited classes for 10 people or less to resolve that issue. Strict physical distancing and ‘bubbles’ should be maintained at all times.
  • Preparation. 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 (eg TEO’s).
  • Travel. 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.
  • Support. Any support your staff might need for themselves or to assist students, they can visit mental-health-and-wellbeing-resources.

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, post-graduate teaching, lab/workshops, or noho-based delivery).
  • Any class, workshop, laboratory etc., that opens, must 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. (For example, a student can attend a class or 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.
    Students in hostels, halls of residence or self-contained flats will remain open and Ministry of Health guidelines on hygiene and social distancing will remain. If students went home to join the family “bubble”, they must stay home. They cannot return to your student accommodation.
  • Support. The Student support package will continue under Alert Level 3. Claims can now be made via their MyStudyLink account. They should receive the payment into their nominated bank account within 24 - 72 hours of the claim being received.
  • Answers to questions about Student Allowance and Living Cost payments can be found on StudyLink’s website 
  • Some students will become increasingly anxious as restrictions remain in place and their mental wellbeing is likely to be impacted during this time. Sharing clear and regular information might help: about changes to their courses and assessments, how they can ask you questions about their own circumstances, and about where they can find help for urgent or unexpected costs.
  • As well as resources on the COVID19 website, there is lots of useful information online at the Mental Health Foundation  and NauMaI to guide students, where needed.
  • Student hardship will increase and there are a number of ways students can access support Visit what’s available to support students so you can guide students, where needed.

Offshore online delivery

TEOs have signalled interest in offshore online delivery to international students who are unable to enter New Zealand due to COVID-19 restrictions. NZQA will consider approval to deliver offshore online through two pathways and for two cohorts of international students.

  1. TEOs can seek temporary approval of offshore online delivery until 30 June 2020 where they have currently enrolled international students with a valid visa, who are unable to start/continue/complete their study because they are offshore and unable to enter the country.
  2. The second pathway enables approval of offshore online delivery under the Offshore Delivery Rules and is for new offshore international students, and to continue offshore online delivery to current international students beyond 30 June 2020. 

More information about offshore online delivery can be found on the NZQA website.

Update: 23 April 2020: Update for tertiary providers

This bulletin provides updates on:

Guidance on operating at Alert Level3

  • All decisions about staff and students must be in line with public health requirements
  • Under Level 3, all tertiary education should still be delivered remotely, wherever possible
  • Some facilities at your tertiary organisation may open (e.g. for research, postgraduate teaching, lab/workshops, or noho-based delivery), following Ministry of Health guidelines, in particular with regards to physical distancing and hygiene. Track and tracing requirements must be in place (guidance on this on page two)
  • Students who left student accommodation before lockdown, to join a “bubble” with friends, family or whānau, should remain where they are, and should not return to student accommodation under Alert Level 3.

Guidance on Site Access to tertiary education facilities now, and under Alert Level 3

  • From 6.00pm on Tuesday 21 April, in addition to the set of Essential Services with automatic Site Access approval set out on the Education.govt website, automatic Site Access approval is also being extended to “necessary work”.
  • “Necessary work” includes work required to prepare the premises for opening (and meet public health requirements) after 11.59pm on Monday 27 April 2020, as well as “minimum basic operations required to maintain the condition or value of, or clean, the premises, plant, equipment, or goods, care for animals, acquire additional stock and to enable workers to be able to continue to work remotely from their homes”.
  • Individual permission to access tertiary education facilities to undertake this “necessary work” is not required
  • Until we move to Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm on Monday 27 April, all other visits to a tertiary site for activities not covered by the above “necessary work” category still require specific Site Access approval.
  • Once we move to Level 3, Site Access permission for tertiary education facilities will not be required for the limited set of activities that are allowable under Alert Level 3 (as set out in the guidance on the Education website e.g. Laboratories and workshops). Site Access permission to tertiary education facilities will still be needed for any other activity that is outside of this set of allowable activities.

Guidance on tracking and tracing requirements

  • Under all Alert Levels TEOs must maintain an up-to-date log of all staff, students, contractors, etc. who go on-site at one of their tertiary facilities. In line with public health advice this is critical for tracking and tracing potential outbreaks of COVID-19.
  •  TEOs are also required to provide a formal letter/email to NZQA (for PTEs) and the TEC (for all other TEOs) confirming that they are collecting this information to enable tracking and tracing, and are able to provide this information to agencies on short notice, when requested.
  • It is critical that TEOs have appropriate information collection mechanisms in place before opening up any facilities (in line with Alert Level 3 guidance).  If a TEO does not have track and trace processes in place, then staff/students/contractors should not be going on site, even after we move to Alert Level 3.

Accessing hand sanitiser – update for Tertiary Education Institutions only

We have streamlined access to government contracts so you can purchase cleaning products and hygiene supplies from NXP or Office Max at preferential prices.  Both suppliers have stock of all cleaning products, including hand sanitiser, and have national distribution networks

Tertiary Education Institutions who already purchase products from these suppliers under the All of Government Office Consumables contract can continue to order through their normal channels (via the supplier’s website or 0800 number).

If you already order through one of these companies but you’ve not joined the AoG Office Consumables contract, you can continue to order through your normal channels and your pricing will be adjusted to the lower preferential pricing.
 
Tertiary Education Institutions who do not currently purchase from one of these two suppliers can call either of the suppliers and place an order over the phone – NXP on 0800 726 484, or OfficeMax on 0800 426 473.
 
Some things to note:

  • Stock will be progressively available, with large quantities available from 28 April
  • To avoid unnecessary stock level issues, orders will be monitored to ensure products are allocated fairly and efficiently. The suppliers may impose maximum order limits if required
  • You must treat all product and pricing information as confidential and must not disclose it to third parties or use it for any other purpose
  • Products purchased via this offer are for the use of students and staff only.

Update: 20 April 2020: Tertiary Students

Moving to Alert Level 3

This afternoon the government has announced that New Zealand will move out of Alert Level 4, as at 11.59pm on Monday 27th April. We will move into Alert Level 3 on Tuesday 28th April.    Information about the four level alert system is here.

What this means for you

Movement and travel

Stay home. If you can access your courses online, continue to do so.  If you can’t access your course online, some facilities at your tertiary organisation may open (e.g. for research, post-graduate teaching, lab/workshops, or noho-based delivery). Contact your provider for more details.

Student accommodation

Stay in your “bubble”. Hostel, hall of residence or other accommodation provided by your tertiary organisation will remain open to those who have stayed during lockdown level 4. Ministry of Health guidelines on hygiene and social distancing will remain.

 If you moved to join a “bubble” with friends, family or whānau, you must stay home. You cannot return to your student accommodation under Alert Level 3.

Student support

The Student support package will continue under Alert Level 3.

Claims can now be made via your MyStudyLink account. You should receive the payment into your nominated bank account within 24 - 72 hours of the claim being received.

Answers to questions about Student Allowance and Living Cost payments can be found on StudyLink’s website https://www.studylink.govt.nz/.

Student hardship

  • If you need extra help during this time you can find information about emergency assistance on the StudyLink website here
  • If you are an international student, you can access the following essential services to help with basic needs here.  You can also speak to your provider and/ or your embassy as they may be able to offer some support too.

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. Talk to your friends and family members to help you cope. You can get more help and also information from:

  • your education provider
  • your 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.

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

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

For official Government information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), including health advice and travel restrictions visit the All-of-Government website 

For more advice for students, visit the Ministry of Education website

Update: 20 April 2020: Update for tertiary providers

This bulletin provides updates on:

  • Guiding principles on operating at:

a)      all Alert Levels
b)      Alert Level 3
c)      Alert Level 2

Thank you for your continued support and forbearance in uniting against COVID-19.  New Zealand is still at Alert Level 4 and we must continue to follow the guidelines for Level 4 until further notice. However as we prepare for a possible move out of Alert Level 4, we thought it might be helpful to provide some guidance on operating at each Alert Level. Below are a set of guiding principles at various Alert Levels to assist you with your planning.

a)      Principles at all Alert Levels

  • Maintain your ability to deliver courses remotely, and be in a position to transition back to fully remote learning within 24 hours.
  • If the Alert Level is lowered, you may choose how best to transition your delivery, as long as they meet the new Alert Level requirements (e.g. you may choose to continue with online delivery for an extended period, even if this is not required at the new Alert Level).
  • If the Alert Level is raised, you must transition to the new requirements by the time the new Alert Level comes into effect (you should be in a position to transition within 24 hours).
  • To enable track and tracing of contacts in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case, data must be collected on all staff, students, contractors etc., who are working, living, or visiting a tertiary education facility (including student accommodation) - a log of this information may be requested by officials on short notice. TEOs will be asked by TEC or NZQA to specifically attest that they have an appropriate log in place.
  • Any staff or student who exhibits symptoms of COVID19 should immediately contact the TEO where they work/live/study to let them know.
  • Stringent self-isolation of those who display relevant symptoms of COVID-19, test positive for COVID-19, have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, or have been overseas in the last 14 days. Contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

b)      Principles at Alert Level 3

  • Education facilities should continue providing education services under the principles below, in conjunction with more detailed guidance  provided under Alert Level 3.
    • 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 remains open, must be limited to 10 people or less. Each group is considered a ‘bubble’ and should not interact with any other student/staff bubbles of 10 (For example, a student can attend a class or 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).
    • Distance learning provision will be available for others students.
    • Physical distancing requirements must be met in all situations.
    • 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 10 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 on-site work or learning
  • Any educational facilities affected by COVID-19 will be closed for a specific period of time.

c)      Principles at Alert Level 2

  • Tertiary education facilities open, with arrangements made for vulnerable staff, students and students still located in a region with a higher alert level. Additional guidance would be issued for that scenario.
  • Most activities are allowed, but must be managed to ensure physical distancing requirements are met.
  • Gatherings of 100 people or more are not allowed.
  • Remote teaching/learning arrangements should remain available for all students (e.g. for vulnerable students), and all students/staff must be in a position to move to fully remote delivery on 24 hours’ notice.
  • Vulnerable people (or those caring for/living with vulnerable people) should not carry out any on-site work or learning.

For answers to some potential questions, click here to link to the Department of Education website.

Fees Free– Statutory Declarations

TEC understands that you are working to continue enrolling students and determine their Fees Free eligibility. For students with a ‘maybe’ eligibility status when they enter their National Student Number (NSN) on the Fees Free website, this means they may need to complete a statutory declaration to be made eligible. This must be signed by an authorised witness, something they might be unable to do under the current restrictions.

With this in mind, TEC has developed a process for verifying a student’s information to help enable us to determine eligibility during the period of restrictions only.

The following process will apply over this time:

  • Learners with a ‘maybe’ eligible status are able to generate a statutory declaration on the Fees Free website by selecting the eligibility criteria that apply to them.
  • Learner to print and sign the statutory declaration (if they can). Those learners who do not have access to a printer should contact the TEC Customer Contact Group for assistance at customerservice@tec.govt.nz or phone 0800 601 301.
  • Learner to email a copy of the completed statutory declaration to feesfreecheck@tec.govt.nz along with a copy of photo identification (passport, drivers licence, etc.).

TEC will record receipt of the email and arrange a time for a TEC-authorised delegate to contact the learner to verify their identity and the information declared via a series of questions (instead of the witness signature process). Once completed, these questions and answers will be reviewed alongside the statutory declaration, and the learner will be advised of their Fees Free eligibility status.

Update: 14 April 2020: Ensuring continuity and adequacy of student support

Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced a support package to financially assist tertiary students whose study has been affected by Covid-19.

“The Government wants to give certainty to students as soon as possible so that they can continue to be engaged in their education and will be supported adequately until such time that tertiary education providers can put in place alternative ways of delivering teaching and learning.
This short-term tertiary domestic package will be available from Wednesday 15 April,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Key measures include:

  • helping to cover extra costs by increasing student loan course-related costs from $1,000 to $2,000 on a temporary basis
  • continuing support payments for students unable to study on-line for up to 8 weeks to allow providers sufficient time to make alternative arrangements to enable distance learning
  • technical changes to ensure that:
    • where students receive partial tuition fee refunds in 2020 because their course has been discontinued due to Covid-19, this will not affect their future entitlement to student loans
    • where students are unable to complete a course of study in 2020 due to Covid-19, this will not affect their entitlement to Fees Free tertiary study. 

These measures, together with the support the Ministry of Social Development can already give, aim to provide an immediate response to the financial impact Covid-19 is having on tertiary students.

More information is available on the Ministry of Education website and the StudyLink website.

About the package:

Who does this package apply to?
It applies to all fulltime domestic students studying at university, institutes of technology, polytechnics, wānanga or private training establishments this year whether they are enrolled already or planning to enrol.

Why are these changes needed?
These changes are to ensure income continuity and adequacy for tertiary domestic students during the Covid-19 outbreak. Many students’ incomes have been impacted because they have not been able to continue part-time work. Others have had to move from cities during the lockdown. Some are facing additional costs to connect to the digital technologies they need to continue studying their programmes in different ways.

What do students have to do to apply for support?
Information regarding how to apply for support will be available from StudyLink (MSD), the Ministry of Education and your provider.

Why is the extended study break only for eight weeks?
It has been extended from a period of 3 weeks to 8 weeks, because students’ study has been interrupted while providers reorganise their courses. At this stage, we expect all students to be continuing their studies within 8 weeks.

Do students have to extend their allowance or loan?
No, StudyLink will advise all affected students about the continuation of their student loan payments and provide students with an option to ‘opt-out’ if they do not wish to continue drawing on their student loans.

Do these supports apply to students who have withdrawn recently?
We have been advising students to stay enrolled so that they can access assistance packages such as this. If students have already withdrawn before 14th April, this package won’t be available to them. But, for students who were receiving Fees Free this year, their study so far will not affect their eligibility for their Fees Free entitlement in the future.

Does this package include support for additional costs for studying remotely?
Officials are still exploring some of the challenges that students are facing accessing study remotely. The additional $1,000 is to spend on course costs to support learning at home, for example on internet costs and increased energy consumption.

What if my parent’s income has reduced because of COVID-19?
StudyLink (MSD) has flexibility to reassess the support available to you based on your parent’s expected income. If your parent’s income has decreased because of COVID-19, then you may be able to access more financial support through StudyLink. You can find out more on the StudyLink website.

What additional support is available for students’ mental health needs?
Students can access mental health support services through their providers. The way these services are delivered may have changed, for example interviews may now be online or by phone. Students should talk to their providers regarding how to access these services.There is a range of other support available to New Zealander’s. This includes online resources like the: Low Down, Mental Health Foundation and Ministry of Health’s website.

Does this package apply to international students?
International students cannot access direct financial assistance in the same way as domestic students. In usual circumstances, international students are required to have supports in place during their study. Government is concerned to make sure that international students have access to the essential services that can provide for their basic needs so international students can use

  • COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme: available to temporary work visa holders whose full-time or part-time employment has been affected by COVID-19 (although this will have limited effect for international students)
  • Temporary Accommodation Service: suitable for foreign nationals in need of temporary accommodation during the lockdown period or until assisted departure options become available (most likely tourists and working holiday makers but could include some international students)
  • Civil Defence Emergency Management support: welfare assistance to foreign nationals (including accommodation support, transportation and essential goods and services) provided by community and NGO providers, paid for by local authorities and reimbursed under the Guide to the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan 2015.
  • Community Response Package: funding to boost community/NGO provision of emergency support to people impacted by and in vulnerable situations due to COVID-19; (however, the majority of this funding bolsters NGO services unlikely to meet foreign nationals’ needs (e.g. family violence, disability support services) but may have some impact for international students)
  • COVID-19 related healthcare: available free-of-charge for anyone in New Zealand, regardless of their visa status.

International students can also speak to their provider and to their embassy as they may be able to offer support too.

Did Government consider the request in the NZUSA Action Plan for a universal benefit?
Government considered a range of requests and advice before announcing this package. At this stage, we wanted to move quickly on providing relief so decided it was better to use existing mechanisms such as course related costs, and student loans and allowances, rather than wait till a new process, which could take some time, was set up. Another reason we preferred not to explore a universal benefit is because different students will be needing help with different things. Some may choose to access an increase to their cost related costs, others to extend their student loans.

How soon can students expect to see the course-related costs in their bank accounts?
Government is moving quickly on this and wants this processed promptly. Information about how to access the supports announced today, and when the payment will be processed, will be available from Studylink, or talk to your provider.

If the lockdown is extended, are you planning on boosting student allowances?
These are unprecedented times and it’s not clear how long the impact of COVID 19 will be with us. One of our main concerns is to keep students in study as soon as we could. This package gives assistance that students can access now when many have different costs they need to meet so they can learn from home, and while providers make plans for how they will deliver programmes over the next few months.

Will I receive a refund for my stay at the halls of residence?
Students in halls of residence have signed contracts with their provider. As these contracts differ between providers, it’s best to check your contract and then talk to your provider about what arrangements might be available to help you.

Is the government planning on releasing any information outlining employment rights’ information for tertiary students?
Government is working to make sure that any entitlements and allowances – for study, for hardship, for employment – are transparent and readily available. MBIE is updating information on what support is available for employees and this is likely to cover information relevant to students who are studying part-time.

Will there be any extra support for students who have lost their part-time jobs?
This package is designed to keep you in study now. Further work is continuing to find out what options may help priority groups of learners but this is in its early stages.

Update: 9 April 2020: Update for Tertiary Education Organisations

This bulletin provides updates on:

Pastoral Care

  • The lack of social community during the lockdown will be very significant for some students, leading them to feelings of loneliness, isolation, anxiety, depression or stress.
  • Providers can help by staying in touch with students on a regular basis, advising where they can seek help and who they can talk to about any barriers to learning.
  • We know that three main factors impact on their wellbeing: social isolation, financial constraints, and their academic programme.
  • Providers should ensure students understand any programme changes (eg moving to online delivery or changes to assessment timelines) and who to talk to about any questions or choices they might need to make.
  • For Student Allowances and Living Cost payments students can be referred to StudyLink’s website.
  • For help with essential services and basic needs.  
  • For help with feelings of isolation or stress: www.mentalhealth.org.nz, www.hpa.org.nz, and a new resource launched this week https://www.allright.org.nz/campaigns/getting-through-together.

Student visa changes to support essential services

Changes have been made to relax visa restrictions for some visa holders to work in essential services to support New Zealand’s response to COVID-19. Students currently employed by supermarkets and the healthcare sector will be able to work for more than 20 hours per week in certain circumstances, explained below.

Where this applies the student needs to discuss their plans with their education provider as they must still meet the study requirements of their student visa.

Supermarkets

If the student was an employee at a supermarket on 23 March 2020, they may work more than 20 hours per week from 25 March to 25 April 2020 (inclusive).

This applies to supermarkets operated by Woolworths (Countdown, Super Value and Fresh Choice)  and Foodstuffs Limited – (New World, Pak n Save and Four Square).

Healthcare sector

If the student was employed in an essential health worker role (including aged residential care) on 3 April 2020, they can work more than 20 hours per week for the period 3 April to 3 July 2020.

For more information visit Immigration New Zealand

International student travel

As the Government is working to safely repatriate foreign nationals, international students can now choose to leave New Zealand on scheduled commercial or foreign-government assisted charter flights. To do so they must have a confirmed international booking and travel to either Auckland or Christchurch airports by private vehicle, public transport or a single domestic flight.

Educational providers must ensure students and their parents are fully informed of the risks associated with international travel right now and have in place:

  • a transfer of care plan for students under 18 that is agreed to in writing (digitally) by the student’s parent or legal guardian.
  • appropriate and safe supervision for students under 18 to ensure their wellbeing is maintained during their transfer of care.

See: FAQs for signatories – students on commercial or repatriation flights

If you need students to be met off domestic flights at Auckland or Christchurch airports, and/or support with accommodation, chaperoning, or transfers, please contact:

Please include in your email: student name and mobile number, education provider key contact name and mobile, and details of the support required (chaperoning/accommodation/transfers – please specify)

Trades Academy funding

  • Funding paid to Trades Academy Lead Providers will continue in 2020 and will not be recovered due to under-delivery in 2020. This applies to funding for both tertiary education organisations (TEOs) and school Lead Providers.
  • For TEOs that are a delivery partner of a Trades Academy, funding for 2020 will depend on the specific agreement or MOU you have with your Lead Provider (TEO or school). As stated above, all Lead Providers will continue to be funded in full based on existing financial commitments for 2020.
  • We recommend you contact your Trades Academy Lead Provider to confirm your ongoing funding arrangements for 2020.
  • The Ministry (with support from TEC) is in regular contact with all Trades Academy Lead Providers. The initial information update provided to all Lead Providers and schools when we moved to alert Level 4 is available on the Youth Guarantee website. Youth Guarantee website
  • We are continuing to work with all Lead Providers to find out how they and their delivery partners are placed to move to online learning, what alternative learning arrangements they can put in place in time for the start of Term Two, and to make preparations in the event of a longer term disruption to practical courses

Private training establishments (PTEs) and student fees

  • All PTEs must have ceased face-to-face delivery.
  • A PTE that uses a standard trust:
    • can continue to draw down tuition fees as usual if it is continuing to deliver its course using online or alternative arrangements
    • must stop drawdowns of tuition fees if it has temporarily paused delivery
    • must stop drawdowns of tuition fees for any students whose enrolment has been put on hold
    • must ensure accommodation payments and living expenses in trust continue.
  • A PTE that uses a static trust:
    • must ensure that enough money is held in trust at all times to cover the maximum liability amount
    • is allowed to request drawdowns from its trustee more often than usual.
  • If a student withdraws, PTEs may need to consider a wider range of factors than usual in determining whether or not they should provide a refund, and/or the amount of the refund. PTEs may wish to explore other options with the student, such as putting their studies on hold or changing to a different course.

Further information and guidance is available on the NZQA website.

Addressing students’ concerns about course changes

NZQA has released new guidance for TEOs about how to respond when a student for whatever reason is not willing or able to engage in their course in its new delivery format.

The new guidance includes:

  • a recommendation to be responsive to students’ concerns, and flexible where appropriate
  • a reminder about contractual obligations and the external avenues available to students to seek remedy.

For PTEs, this should be read alongside the information previously published about student fees.

Agencies recognise that many TEOs are working hard on important decisions about how to adapt in these difficult circumstances. We appreciate your efforts to minimise disruption and meet needs of your students.

English language entry requirements for international students – acceptance of online tests of English language proficiency

Education providers are responsible for ensuring the international students they enrol have the NZQA-required level of English language proficiency for their intended study level. One option is to require the student to have passed the relevant level of one of the internationally recognised proficiency tests listed in the Table appended to Rule 18 of the NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2018.

Due to the  COVID-19 restrictions, many English language proficiency testing centres are closed until official restrictions are lifted. We understand many of the listed test providers have moved to offer online testing.

NZQA position on the acceptance of online English language proficiency tests

NZQA emphasises that the requirements set out in Rule 18 continue to stand. However, in recognition of the limitations caused by the COVID-19 restrictions, NZQA considers that until face-to-face testing resumes, the online form of the tests listed in Table to Rule 18 can be accepted by providers as sufficient proof of English language proficiency for international students in New Zealand who wish to change programmes or providers.

More detailed information can be found on the NZQA website.

Reporting and compliance

  • We are working to balance the need to reduce pressure on education providers with the need to collect key information that can help support the Government’s response to COVID-19.
  • We may need to ask you for further ad-hoc information over the next few months, and appreciate your continued willingness to respond to these requests.

Amendment to funding conditions on certified copy

The TEC recognises that, as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions, most learners are not able to obtain certified copies of documents in the usual way (for example, getting documents witnessed by a Justice of the Peace or a lawyer).

In response, the TEC is temporarily amending funding conditions as necessary to provide an alternative way to verify a learner’s identity.

The amendments, including a list of the funds affected (PDF, 276 Kb), will take effect from 14 April 2020 and will remain in effect until revoked.

In addition, learners can still provide certified copies that have been certified by an authorised person if they already had them completed, or can do so within the Government’s COVID-19 response guidelines. If you have any questions please contact us.

Things change quickly so stay up to date:

For answers to questions about Student Allowance and Living Cost payments refer to StudyLink’s website

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

For official Government information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), including health advice and travel restrictions visit the All-of-Government website 

For more advice for students, visit the Ministry of Education website

Update: 6 April 2020: Answers to domestic tertiary students’ questions

Regardless of what is going on at the moment e.g. course timings changing or moving courses on-line, for the duration of the lockdown, you will continue to get access to all the student support available, so stay enrolled.

Over the past two weeks, we have been gathering your key questions and providing answers through regular bulletins. This bulletin provides answers to;

If your question is not answered in this bulletin, we will try to provide an answer in the coming days.

Why stay enrolled?

As tertiary education providers work to adapt their course delivery to New Zealand’s COVID-19 response, some students may consider withdrawing from study due to uncertainty around how their courses will continue, significant changes to their programme or other circumstances of hardship.

We encourage students to remain enrolled with their tertiary provider because:

  • You will continue to receive student allowance or living costs, even if your provider is currently unable to deliver your course during Alert Level Four.
  • You can continue to access student support services offered remotely such as remote counselling services and financial hardship assistance.
  • Staying enrolled is the best way for you to stay on track with your studies and complete your programme or qualification. Withdrawing from enrolment will likely extend the amount of time it takes to complete your studies, meaning you may need to take on more student loan debt if you’re borrowing for fees or living costs.
  • Withdrawing from study now may also affect your eligibility for student allowance or living costs in the future.
  • If you withdraw from study, you may not eligible for potential future support.

What if my tertiary provider cannot continue to deliver my programme? 

  • Some tertiary study may not be suitable for remote delivery via online learning, particularly courses with lots of practical components. Tertiary providers are working hard to adapt their programmes where they can.
  • We ask that students work with their providers to understand how their programmes may need to change over the coming weeks and how start and end dates of programmes may be affected.
  • If your tertiary provider has to discontinue a particular course in your programme or defer your programme, talk with your provider about alternative courses you could do which could credit towards your qualification. If your provider offers the option for you to study part-time you can keep accessing student support.

What is the process education providers must follow to make major changes to their course structure for 2020?

  • Government has asked all tertiary education providers to review their programmes so that students can progress their studies during this lockdown period and in the following months. In many cases this will mean shifting to digital delivery, or the timing of programmes, for instance.
  • The unprecedented situation caused by Covid-19 means everyone is trying to make good decisions quickly.  Stay in touch with your provider – it’s likely they’ll publish more information about the reasons and impact of decisions on your study.
  • How can we know that providers are following processes and ensuring the student voice is heard, when they are making course changes?
    • Talk to your provider about particular issues any changes presented to you.
    • Talk to your student association about how they can help with questions you have.

What to do if I am feeling low or anxious?

If you’re feeling low or anxious about yourself or others in your bubble, have a look at The Lowdown website.  The website has information to help young New Zealanders recognise and understand depression or anxiety, including:

Helpful information on anxiety and depression.

  • Guidance on other issues relevant to young people, such as bullying and family relationships.
  • Quick steps to help build healthy mental wellbeing.
  • Places to go to get help.
  • Information for anyone worried about a friend.
  • A moderated forum for young people to share stories and experiences and provide peer-to-peer support.
  • A free text service (text 5626).

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

For answers to questions about Student Allowance and Living Cost payments refer to StudyLink’s website 

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

For official Government information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), including health advice and travel restrictions visit the All-of-Government website 

For more advice for students, visit the Ministry of Education website

Update: 3 April 2020: Access to tertiary sites prohibited

Access to all tertiary education sites has now been prohibited. The exceptions are for access for tertiary education accommodation services, as these are regarded as essential.

There are also limited circumstances under which access to tertiary education sites can be granted by the Secretary for Education. This permission can only be granted upon submission of an application form.

These restrictions will continue as long as New Zealand is at Alert Level 4 for COVID-19, which is the highest alert level and aims to restrict movement around and within communities to the maximum extent possible.

You can see the circumstances under which access may be granted here and find the permission form here.

Stay up to date and get more information below:

For official Government information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), including health advice and travel restrictions visit the All-of-Government website 

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

For more advice for students, visit the Ministry of Education website

To keep updated on travel restrictions and visa information visit the Immigration NZ website

Update: 2 April 2020: Update for Tertiary Providers and International Students

The government has today released its plan to safely repatriate foreign nationals including international students while the country is in lockdown.  We understand the past few days have been uncertain for you and the government is working to respond quickly to your needs.

This update provides advice for international students who want to depart New Zealand on scheduled commercial or foreign-government assisted charter flights.

  • If you are a student intending to travel, you should speak to your education provider about travel arrangements.  They are working with the government and have all the latest and accurate information.
  • Under Alert Level 4, international students are now able to leave New Zealand on scheduled commercial or foreign-government assisted charter flights.
  • You must have a confirmed booking and a valid international ticket to travel to the airport and depart New Zealand.
  • To get to an airport, you must be able to drive in private transport, or complete a public transport, taxi or uber ride within two hours or a single domestic flight (commercial or charted) to either Auckland or Christchurch International Airport.
  • Students travelling to airports must follow the Alert 4 health and safety advice to protect themselves and others. These measures include ensuring 2 metres distance between people, coughing/sneezing into an elbow, washing and drying hands often.
  • Educational providers must ensure certain requirements are met under the Code. These include:
  • Clear and timely communication with students and parents about travel. Parents and students should only be consenting to travel with an informed understanding of the relevant risks and the possibility of changing plans.
  • A transfer of care plan for under 18 students that is agreed to in writing (digitally) by the student’s parent or legal guardian.
  • Appropriate and safe supervision for students under 18 to ensure that the wellbeing of the student is maintained during their transfer of care.
  • We have included a check list on the following page to assist you with students under 18.

For more information on other travel criteria, visit Update on domestic travel criteria for foreign nationals returning home.

Checklist for providers with students under 18

Is the student eligible to travel?

Students must:

  • not have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and if recovered from COVID-19, have medical clearance to travel;
  • not have symptoms consistent with COVID-19;
  • not be awaiting test results for COVID-19;
  • not be a close contact of a suspected/probable/confirmed case of COVID-19; and
  • not have travelled internationally within the last 14 days
  • Have the student’s parents been provided with the relevant information to support their decision about the flight?

This should include, but is not limited to:

  • Information on the current situation in New Zealand (for example, the link to the COVID-19 website, MoH situation updates etc.)
  • Information on current education and pastoral care arrangements, and ongoing supports available
  • Information on the support the signatory can give to repatriation arrangements (for example, intended approach to transport, supervision, accommodation, transfer of care and communication arrangements, including the possibility that plans may change)
  • Information on insurance coverage (where the insurance was arranged by the signatory)
  • Information on enrolment continuation / deferral processes
  • Information on any refund provisions
  • Information on who to contact for further information (eg Embassy, Immigration New Zealand for visa queries).
    Have the parents or guardians of the student confirmed in writing (digitally) that they approve the student travelling back to their home country under these circumstances?

Have the parents or guardians of the student confirmed in writing (digitally) that they approve the student travelling back to their home country under these circumstances?

Does the student have a confirmed airline ticket for an outbound international flight?

  • This may be a commercial flight or a foreign government repatriation flight. Young students may need to be registered as Unaccompanied Minors.

Is there approved, safe transportation and supervision arranged for travel to the airport?

  • This transport must be agreed with the student’s parents, and meet the requirements of the Alert Level 4 lockdown

Is there a transfer of care plan in place for the student?

  • Students should not be left alone without supervision and support. The Transfer of Care plan must ensure that students have appropriate supervision at the airport (for example, airline staff if they’re travelling as an Unaccompanied Minor, or Embassy officials for repatriation flights), and that those supervisors understand their obligations.

Have clear communication protocols been established with the students, their parents, and the other parties involved with the flights and transport within New Zealand?

  • This includes the requirement to notify parents of any changes in the detail of flights, transit, etc., and emergency contact details should anything go wrong (eg student becomes unwell, misses a connection etc.).

 Stay up to date and get more information below:

For official Government information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), including health advice and travel restrictions visit the All-of-Government website 

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

For more advice for students, visit the Ministry of Education website

To keep updated on travel restrictions and visa information visit the Immigration NZ website

Update: 31 March 2020: Travel information for international tertiary students

We understand many things are uncertain at the moment and we want to reassure you that the Government is working to respond quickly to your needs.

This update provides advice around potential international flights and travelling to board a flight.

  • Under Alert Level 4, people need to stay home. No travel is allowed around the country, except for essential services.
  • Under Alert Level 4, you cannot take a domestic flight to connect with an international flight. If students are not in self-isolation, are well, and have a confirmed booking on a commercial international flight and can drive to the airport by car in 5 hours or less, they may travel by car to the airport.
  • Alert Level 4 restrictions on travel in New Zealand are important for us all to respect to protect the health of everyone in New Zealand and to save lives. If you are travelling within the country please respect the physical distancing requirements.
  • Some countries are looking to repatriate their citizens by making special flights and have been in contact with students directly via email.
  • At present, no repatriation flights have been approved by the New Zealand Government. We will update you if this situation changes.
  • With no repatriation flights approved, students who do not have a confirmed commercial flight booked (as above) should remain with their homestay or accommodation providers and not attempt any travel.
  • We have asked education providers and homestay families to keep in close contact with you to ensure that you have access to suitable accommodation and, have the care, support and information you need to deal with any issues including visas, insurance, and other support. 

Stay up to date and get more information below:

For official Government information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), including health advice and travel restrictions visit the All-of-Government website 

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

For more advice for students visit the Ministry of Education website

To keep updated on travel restrictions and visa information visit 

Update: 2 April 2020: Update for domestic tertiary students

Update for domestic tertiary students

We know some students are facing significant difficulties in continuing their studies, because of changes in their own situation arising from lockdown and/or changes in their providers’ ability to offer courses. Staying enrolled is the best way we can help you.

We will keep updating you with answers to your main questions, provide information on what support is available and tips for your wellbeing during these times. If your question is not answered here today, we will try to provide an answer as soon as possible.

Your physical and mental wellbeing is likely to be impacted during this time. As well as resources on the COVID19 website, there is lots of useful information online at the Mental Health Foundation and Health Promotion Agency. 

What is available to support me financially right now?

  • While other options might look better, stay enrolled because:
    • You will keep receiving your StudyLink payments
    • You will be eligible for any additional student support being worked on
  • The Ministry of Social Development may be able to help you with other costs while you’re self-isolating. This includes costs that are urgent, unexpected or harder to cover, such as food and accommodation. You can find out more at StudyLink- Urgent and unexpected costs
  • More information on student loans and/or allowances or tertiary education matters more generally can be found at StudyLink and Ministry of Education COVID-19 site
  • Your tertiary provider may also be offering extra help for students during this time, so it’s worth looking on their website / Facebook page, or even contacting them directly to ask.

If I withdraw from my courses, will this have an impact on my Fees Free entitlement?

  • Yes, this could have an impact on your Fees Free entitlement.
  • We are working urgently to figure out how we will be able to help Fees Free students who are disadvantaged because they had to withdraw. 
  • Stay enrolled in your courses if you can, and continue to engage with your provider about options available to you to continue your studies this year.

What if I can’t afford to pay my rent because I’ve lost my part-time job?

  • If you have been working part-time to help cover your tertiary education costs, you may be eligible for the wage subsidy scheme Government has put in place. You can find further information at COVID-19 Financial support and COVID-19 Wage subsidy
  • There is now a freeze on rental increases. This means your landlord cannot increase your rent unless the increase occurred before lockdown.  To find out more, visit rent freeze and tenancy terminations
  • You can ask your landlord to reduce your rent temporarily. The Residential Tenancies Act allows a tenant/s and landlord to agree that the tenant/s can pay a reduced rent temporarily. This reduced rent can be for a specific amount of time or until a specific event occurs. Once that time is up, the rent goes back up to its previous amount.

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

For answers to questions about Student Allowance and Living Cost payments, refer to StudyLink’s website.

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

For official Government information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), including health advice and travel restrictions visit the All-of-Government website 

For more advice for students, visit the Ministry of Education website

Update: 26 February 2020: Extension of existing travel restrictions

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus): Extension of the existing travel restrictions to 3 March

The Prime Minister confirmed in an announcement on Monday 24 February, the extension of existing travel restrictions which will now expire 11.59pm on Tuesday 3 March.

The Prime Minister also noted that government officials are investigating the possibility of exempting tertiary students coming here from China, from the current travel restrictions. We will continue to provide further information as it becomes available.

Update: 16 March 2020: Extension of existing travel restrictions

We have more information now available about how the virus works and is transmitted, and we’re learning lessons from how other countries have managed outbreaks.

The New Zealand government is stepping up protective measures to keep individuals, families and our communities safe and healthy in the current global environment through upgraded border control measures.

From 23:59 Sunday 15 March 2020:

  • Travel restrictions remain in place for people arriving from or who have been in mainland China and Iran over the prior 14 days. (Category 1A countries)
  • In addition, all travellers coming from all parts of the world, except parts of the Pacific, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in New Zealand. This also includes Australia and French Polynesia. (Category 1B countries)
  • All travellers coming from the following parts of the Pacific will be required to self-isolate if they show symptoms, within 14 days of arrival. This includes all Pacific Islands Forum members (except French Polynesia, category 1B), Associate Member Tokelau, and Observer Wallis and Futuna.’ (Category 2).

Review period is 16 days initially (Tues 24 March) then 14 days thereafter.

We advise students, their families and whānau, and providers to keep updated on education developments through the Ministry of Education’s website.

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

We will continue to work with you to support your students as the COVID-19 situation develops. If you have concerns or are aware of problems being raised by students, we encourage you to continue to raise these with the relevant agencies.

Useful links 

Update: 19 March 2020: Further advice on mass gatherings

Further advice on mass gatherings

The Government has announced today that there must not be mass gatherings of more than 100 people indoors. This does not apply to tertiary providers, schools, workplaces or public transport.  This exemption for tertiary providers relates to the services essential to educational delivery only (graduations as an example are not essential).

This is in addition to non-essential gatherings being cancelled if the gathering involves more than 500 people in an indoor or outdoor setting.

Tertiary providers should seek to implement the Ministry of Health’s recommendations on social distancing and hygiene (see links below) as far as possible, for both staff and students. You should give consideration to how to apply these in the context of classes, lectures, hostels and communal and social spaces. Our expectations are that you continue to use your discretion to manage the situation on the ground as best as possible.

We encourage providers to give calm, accurate and reassuring messages to your students. If they are well, students should attend class as usual. Students who are unwell should stay at home.

If you have a particular concern about a student or staff member, ask the student or staff member to call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (or +64 9 358 5453 for international callers). Healthline has translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages.

Education sector agencies are reviewing rules and guidelines on funding and quality assurance and what support you need in your continued engagement with staff and students. Agencies are working with TEOs now to provide direct information and please continue to use usual channels for any queries that you have.

Meanwhile, if you have concerns or are aware of problems being raised by students, we encourage you to continue to raise these with the relevant agencies.

Update: 23 March 2020: Change in COVID-19 alert level

The Prime Minister has announced that we are now at COVID-19 alert level 3, and will be moving to alert level 4 in 48 hours. Information about the four level alert system is here.

Our observation is that the sector has by and large implemented most changes required for alert level 3.  You should be directing all of your efforts to preparing for alert level 4.

The general guidelines on alert level 4 are as follows:

  • People are instructed to stay at home
  • All educational facilities are to close and provide distance learning where this can be reasonably managed by staff working from home
  • Businesses closed except for essential services (e.g. supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics) and lifeline utilities
  • Travel severely limited
  • Major reprioritisation of healthcare services

Under level 4, the following guidelines apply to all Tertiary Education Organisations:

  • Your number one priority should be the welfare of your students and staff, and ensuring that they can self-isolate in accordance with new MoH guidelines as per the PM’s announcement.
  • All education and research services requiring face to face contact should be suspended immediately. As much delivery as possible should be shifted online, so long as this can be managed by staff working at home.
  • Many students (including international students) are likely to have to remain in residential accommodation, either because this is their only available accommodation, or because they are unable to travel home. Providing services to these students so that they can self-isolate is an essential service.  This includes on-campus medical services, catering, pastoral care and other services.
  • Residential facilities must support remaining students to self-isolate and must strictly enforce personal distancing and hygiene requirements, in accordance with MOH guidelines.
  • Medical research required for combating COVID-19 is an essential service.
  • All staff not working in essential services should be sent home. This includes all senior executives.  Vulnerable staff who are providing essential services should be sent home and their roles filled by others.
  • All TEOs should comply with any instructions from authorised government officials including in relation to requisitions and rationing.
  • All TEOs should assume that they will continue to be funded at their 2020 Investment Plan and Fees Free levels until further notice.

Government education agencies are moving to remote working and will remain in operation.

Government agencies are working on a range of ways to support TEOs and students through this stage of COVID-19 and we will announce further guidance and measures as these are developed. 

In the first instance we are giving considerable thought to how we support distance delivery.  We will send out a separate bulletin with some advice on this. 

Useful links 

Update 30 March 2020: Update for domestic tertiary students

We understand everything is very uncertain for you at the moment and we want to reassure you that the government and tertiary education providers are working together to respond quickly to your needs.

We are making sure we hear your concerns and will regularly update you with answers to some of your main questions, what support is available and some tips for your wellbeing during these times. If your question is not answered here today, we will provide an answer as soon as possible in the coming days.

Wellbeing is a continuum and you are likely to find yourself at various points on the continuum during this time. As well as resources on the COVID19 website, there is lots of useful information online at the Mental Health Foundation (www.mentalhealth.org.nz) and the Health Promotion Agency (www.hpa.org.nz).

What is available to support me financially right now? (Domestic students only)

  • You will continue to receive your weekly StudyLink payments if you remain enrolled – so please stay enrolled. Staying enrolled also means you will be eligible for any additional support for students in the future.
  • StudyLink’s contact centres are experiencing very high demand, so we do ask that people only call for an immediate and essential need so we can make sure those who need it most can get through.
  • If students need extra help during this time they can find information about emergency assistance on the StudyLink website here
  • Answers to questions about Student Allowance and Living Cost payments can be found on StudyLink’s website www.studylink.govt.nz

What if my academic performance is affected? (Domestic students only)

  • If any of the actions taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand impact your ability to complete or pass your course, your provider and StudyLink will take this into account if you apply for a Student Allowance or Loan again in the future.

I am worried about rent increasing or being evicted from my flat

  • There is now a freeze on rental increases. Your landlord cannot increase your rent unless the increase came into effect before the lockdown period. 
  • Your tenancy cannot be terminated during the lock-down unless both you and your landlord agree. 

To find out more, see www.hud.govt.nz/residential-housing/covid-19-rent-freeze-and-tenancy-terminations.

Post-graduate students

  • If you received a scholarship, contact the organisation that gave you the scholarship to discuss your situation. You could ask if the scholarship can be changed to provide continuing support for your studies once you are able to start again. This might include whether the scholarship can be used over a longer period, or can be held for later use if you need to stop study for now. 
  • If you have a research deadline, contact your provider to work through the implications for your research. They may not have an answer immediately, and the answer will likely depend on your circumstances and the type of research you are doing.

Useful links 

TEC advice to Tertiary Education Organisations: 31 March 2020

TEC Chief Executive Tim Fowler has written to all TEC-funded Tertiary Education Organisations to explain the effect COVID-19 restrictions will have on funding and recovery processes.

You can read the letter here (PDF, 236 Kb)

Update: 15 February 2020: Extension of existing travel restrictions

The Minister of Health has extended the travel ban on people travelling from or through mainland China for a further eight day period.

The announcement today by the Minister of Health has been made based on the latest scientific and medical advice provided by relevant experts.  They have advised that the risk to public health in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands warrants an extension of the current border measures.  

The current temporary border measures will be retained for an additional eight day period expiring at 23:59 on Monday 24 Feb 2020.

The Ministry of Health has reiterated that these travel restrictions only apply to people travelling through mainland China in the last 14 days. There is no requirement for people travelling to New Zealand from places outside mainland China to have a ‘stay away’ period. 

Useful links

Update: 2 February 2020: Announcement of travel restrictions

The Ministry of Education, TEC, and NZQA are working together and all tertiary education organisations (TEOs) have been contacted with information about the coronavirus and additional border controls.

The Prime Minister made an announcement on February 2 that includes the following information concerning all foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through mainland China:

"The Government is placing temporary entry restrictions into New Zealand on all foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through mainland China to assist with the containment of the novel coronavirus and to protect New Zealand and the Pacific Islands from the disease.

"This will take effect from tomorrow and will be in place for up to 14 days. This position will be reviewed every 48 hours.

"Any foreign travellers who leave or transit through mainland China after 2 February 2020 (NZ time) will be refused entry to New Zealand.

"Any foreign travellers in transit to New Zealand on 2 February 2020 will be subject to enhanced screening on arrival but, pending clearance, will be granted entry to New Zealand.

"New Zealand citizens and permanent residents returning to New Zealand will still be able to enter, as will their immediate family members, but will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival back in the country.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has also raised its travel advice to New Zealanders for all of mainland China to 'Do not travel', the highest level.”

While there are no confirmed or suspected cases in New Zealand at the moment, the Ministry of Health continues to encourage a precautionary approach and a focus on good hygiene. Please err on the side of caution and be alert, not alarmed.

See the government announcement at https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/new-zealand-restrict-travel-china-protect-against-coronavirus

Please continue to refer to the Ministry of Health website for the latest health information.

The health of students and staff is a priority. As always, anyone who is unwell should not be at work or studying at a tertiary provider. If you have any concerns, please contact Healthline at 0800 611 116 or call your GP. Healthline has translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages and they do have Mandarin and Cantonese speaking staff available.

Useful links

Update: 28 February 2020: Extension of existing travel restrictions

Extension of existing travel restrictions

You will be aware that there continues to be a high degree of uncertainty around the development and spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Countries around the world are continually reviewing their response to the virus.

It is in this context that the Government has announced that it will not be implementing an exemption from travel restrictions for students in China who had intended to study in New Zealand.

The Government has also announced the addition of a second country to the restriction list – Iran. For further information on how this affects travellers, see the Ministry of Health’s website.

We appreciate that universities in particular have put some considerable effort into setting out a case for exempting their students from the current travel restrictions.

On balance the Government has decided that such an exemption should not be approved at this time because of the most recent increased international uncertainty.

We acknowledge your efforts to support solutions for your students who have to study outside the country, and we will continue to support you in this. We know that tertiary providers are working on a number of distance learning solutions and we can provide support.

We also know that some of your students need assistance with visa issues.

If students or parents have visa-related questions, they should check Immigration New Zealand, which provides updates on the visa situation through its website.

Collectively, these measures will support the welfare of these students and allow them to successfully enter, settle and study in New Zealand as soon as possible.

We are also aware that some students are having problems with accommodation. We will continue to advise students to raise concerns directly with their school or tertiary provider in the first instance.

If tertiary students believe their concerns have not been adequately addressed, they can contact the Tertiary Education Commission. Even if the TEC can’t resolve their issue, it can provide support and help direct concerns to the appropriate place. Students can contact the TEC by calling 0800 601 302 or emailing complaints@tec.govt.nz

We advise students, their families and whānau, and providers to keep updated on education developments through the Ministry of Education’s website.

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

We will continue to work with you to support your students as the COVID-19 situation develops. If you have concerns or are aware of problems being raised by students, we encourage you to continue to raise these with the relevant agencies.

Update: 17 March 2020: Advice on mass gatherings – Essential and non-essential

Advice on mass gatherings – Essential and non-essential

The Prime Minister announced on the 16th March, 2020 clear advice regarding mass gatherings. In summary, all essential gatherings such as tertiary institutions, parliament, schools, preschools, and work should continue.

Non-essential gatherings should be cancelled if the gathering involves more than 500 people in an indoor or outdoor setting.  A more detailed framework for gatherings will be released later in the week.

Examples of how this advice is relevant to tertiary institutions

  • We encourage you to develop blended and online learning options, e.g. videoing lectures.  Lectures and large classes can still go ahead, however providers should put due safeguards in place (e.g. ability to track and trace, social distancing where possible)
  • Tutorials and small classes involving smaller numbers of students could continue in person. The usual health precautions should be taken - remind students and staff that basic hygiene measures are the most important way to stop the spread of infections.
  • For those learners in workplaces, tertiary providers should contact employers to discuss guidelines and support arrangements.
  • Sports tournaments should be cancelled if they involve more than 500 competitors and/or spectators.
  • Providers could consider whether it is safe for student unions to remain fully open. It may be appropriate to suspend some services.
  • Shows and concerts with more than 500 attendees should be cancelled.
  • Other events such as open days and job fairs should be postponed.
  • Large public lectures and community events should be cancelled.
  • Some larger societies should consider postponing events or limiting attendee numbers.

Useful links 

Update: 26 March 2020: Students (domestic and international) unable to return home

  • Under Alert Level 4, no travel will be permitted for domestic students from midnight Friday 27th March and some international students will also be affected due to lack of flights home.
  • We are aware that a few countries might look to repatriate their citizens by making special flights.
  • We are seeking urgent advice on this and will provide an update as soon as possible.
  • Students (including international students) may have to remain in residential accommodation. Providing services to these students so that they can self-isolate is an essential service.  This includes on-campus medical services, catering, pastoral care and other services.
  • Residential facilities must support remaining students to self-isolate and must strictly enforce personal distancing and hygiene requirements, in accordance with MOH guidelines.
  • You should maintain close contact with international students to ensure that they have access to suitable accommodation and are supported to deal with visa issues, travel insurance, and other essential arrangements.
  • Students with expiring visas with an expiry date of 1st April 2020 or earlier and who are unable to leave New Zealand must apply on-line for a new visa. An interim visa will be issued.
  • Students with expiring visas with an expiry date of 2 April to 9 July 2020 inclusive who are in New Zealand on 2 April 2020 will have their visas extended to 25 September 2020. Confirmation of extensions will be emailed to all visa holders.

To keep updated on travel restrictions and visa information visit the Immigration website.

International Students under 18

  • Students under 18 must remain in suitable accommodation under the supervision of appropriate caregivers who have been subject to a full safety check including Police vetting.
  • If there is a need to urgently Police vet a new homestay provider, NZ Police are able to process vetting requests urgently to ensure that Police checking requirements for ‘safe accommodation’ are met. This service should only be used for genuinely urgent applications affected by the withdrawal of homestay families due to health concerns.
  • You can submit the request via the New Zealand Police as per the usual process, entering 'HOMESTAY URGENT' into the ‘Agency Reference’ field of the online vetting request form. These police vets are likely to be processed within 1-2 working days.

If you have specific questions about pastoral care, please call NZQA’s Code team on 0800 697 296 or code.enquiries@nzqa.govt.nz

How can we help?

For providers requiring pastoral care guidance for international students, you should contact the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (on 0800 697 296 or code.enquiries@nzqa.govt.nz) for advice.

Please keep the Ministry of Education informed of any issues with international students which you may not be able to manage, particularly where students are having issues with accommodation. 

What do I do if there is a confirmed case in a tertiary setting?

  • If a person is confirmed as a case of COVID-19 in shared accommodation the provider will need to take a leading role in supporting them to access support and to communicate with the whānau to keep them informed.
  • The person who has been identified as a confirmed case should self-isolate in accordance with MOH guidelines.  Reach out to them to enquire about their situation and supply information on how to access health services. Any support should be provided remotely where possible e.g. through online channels or phone calls.
  • These are some good things to ask:
    • Where is the person staying? Are there any concerns about preventing the spread of the virus?
    • Are they in contact with whānau and other support networks? Do they have someone who can care for them?
    • Do they have access to food or groceries (either online or if someone can get them)?
    • What support do they have in place and do they know about additional support that is available to them?
    • Who else are they staying with? Are they self-isolating (as close contacts)?
    • How will they continue to stay in touch with their provider? Who is the key contact person? How frequently will that person be checking in
  • Providers should immediately contact Gillian Dudgeon at the Tertiary Education Commission Gillian.Dudgeon@tec.govt.nz  or Sandra.Ramsay@tec.govt.nz or; Eve McMahon at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority Eve.McMahon@nzqa.govt.nz (0227 509 7980) to alert her to a confirmed case. The purpose of this initial communication is,  to find out what support the provider will need and advise them where they can go for this – the Ministries of Health or Education – and to advise a future point of contact regarding the confirmed case.
  • Providers should communicate with others in the shared accommodation about what is expected from them, and should offer wellbeing support.
  • Other students staying in the accommodation may be considered close or casual contacts and asked to isolate, or given information about what to do so if they become unwell. Providers should remain in regular contact with these students to ensure that they have access to food, supplies and support for their mental health and wellbeing.
  • The Regional Medical Officer of Health will advise whether additional steps may be needed – for example extra cleaning, additional Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for essential staff. They will also advise whether it is safe for students to continue to use communal areas. 

We recommend that providers issue a statement to their community to notify other staff and students of the confirmed case.  It is important to support the wellbeing of all students, staff, and members of the wider education community at this time.

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

For Cross-agency information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), including health advice and travel restrictions visit the All-of-Government website 

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

Useful links 

Update: 27 March 2020: Student repatriation

This update provides information on the repatriation of international students, including flights and domestic travel to the airport to get those flights.

  • Currently New Zealand is now at Alert Level 4 in its response to COVID-19.
  • Under Alert Level 4, no domestic flights will be permitted for students wanting to connect with flights after midnight, 27th March. Transport to the airport to get to an international flight and return home is permitted as long as you are driven by someone in your “bubble” before midnight, 27th March.
  • German students who have registered with the Embassy should not leave their accommodation “bubble” until they receive an email direct from the German Embassy with confirmation of seats and flight times. If they do not have this email they should not travel.
  • The Level 4 restrictions on travel in New Zealand are important for us all to protect the health of everyone in New Zealand and to save lives. If transport is being undertaken please respect the social distancing requirements.