Coronavirus: What schools need to know

State of Emergency declared

A nationwide message went out to all of New Zealand on 25 March. It is vital that all your community understand how crucial it is that they self-isolate within their group, minimise travel, practice physical distancing when outside their group and outside, and practice very good hygiene for the next 4 weeks.
 
There will be no tolerance for people who don’t self-isolate.

School closures

Early learning services, schools, kura and tertiary education providers closed at midnight on Wednesday 25 March for four weeks. Distance education will be provided where possible.

School holidays for state and state-integrated schools will start early, from 30 March to 14 April inclusive.

Please refer to the Ministry of Education for health information, and the Government's dedicated website for all other information and advice:

COVID-19 – Ministry of Health

Unite against COVID-19 - covid19.govt.nz

Prime Minister's announcement: NZ moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours

Education Act Amendments

Parliament has passed amendments to the Education Act that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19.

They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill.

The Bill amends the Education Act 1989 to give the Secretary for Education the power to issue binding directions to the governing authorities of education providers including schools, universities, and polytechnics. These powers will only be used when absolutely necessary.

Please note this applies to private schools.

The Secretary will be able to direct education providers to open and close, direct how they operate, are controlled, and managed, and direct them to provide education in specified ways, for example through distance or online learning. 

These powers will only be used when absolutely necessary for the purpose of avoiding, remedying or mitigating the actual or potential effects of the outbreak, and to facilitate co-ordinated processes and planning in response to the outbreak.

For the full release of this announcement please see:

http://www.education.govt.nz/news/secretary-for-education-given-power-to-direct-all-education-providers-as-part-of-covid-19-response/

 

Read on for further regularly updated information around COVID-19 response:

 

Update on access to school sites

Alert Level 4 means New Zealanders not working in essential services must stay at home and stop all physical interactions with others outside of their household. Schools and early learning services are not considered essential services under Alert Level 4.
 
We have responded to a number of requests for access to school property. Now that the Secretary for Education has established the appropriate boundaries for acceptable decisions, she has delegated this to the regional Directors of Education. If you need emergency access to school property, please fill out the request form  [Word Doc] and send to your local Director of Education who will make a decision and get back to you.
 
Because of the seriousness of Alert Level 4 it is essential that access to school property is very tightly managed. We are doing this both to encourage people to stay at home by placing school property off-limits, as well as ensure as much as possible that school property is secure.
 
A reminder that the only circumstances where the Directors will consider approving access are for:

  1. Securing the site
  2. Access to IT servers
  3. Essential contractors in the event of damage at a school
  4. Removing fire hazards
  5. Use of school’s site for health purposes relating to COVID-19

Such access must be essential and cannot be precautionary.  Requests for grounds and or pool maintenance, and school cleaning for example do not meet this criteria.
 

Other essential services
In addition to the specific approvals delegated to the Secretary for Education as noted above, there are already a number of essential services listed on the Covid19 website which may apply to those wanting to access school sites for other reasons (please read through the additional decisions and exemptions list which is updated regularly). For example under Public safety and national security, NZ Police and Fire and Emergency can access a school site without having to gain permission from the Secretary for Education. Further examples relevant to schools include:
 
Security - we have had questions about situations that need immediate attention. Security is considered an essential service, even if security services are being provided in relation to a premise for a non-essential service (i.e. a school). This includes night patrols or usually contracted security providers. An example of this would be an alarm that has been activated in the middle of the night.
We have clarified with MBIE the situation for schools which don’t have contracted security services to respond to alarms. If your alarm is activated, a principal or designated staff member can enter school grounds to shut off the alarm system. In doing so you must take the necessary health measures, comply with any region-specific travel measures and should not have to travel far to get to your school (i.e. travel locally).

Locksmiths - can undertake essential work on emergency call-outs and essential activity to maintain the security of premises/personal properties.
 
Travel to look after animals - is allowed, as long as you take the necessary health measures and comply with any region-specific travel measures.
 
Turf maintenance, on the other hand, is not considered an essential service and should not be undertaken at this time.
 
Only essential people to go on site
Remember in any situation only essential people should go onto the site. They must stick to the rules around physical distancing (ie 2m from anybody) and good hygiene and they must do so only when absolutely necessary.
 
For health and safety risks to do with construction that occur during the lockdown period, schools should contact their Property Advisor in the first instance for advice.

 

Key COVID-19 information in multiple languages
The Office of Ethnic Communities (OEC) has put together some short videos in a number of languages (currently Arabic, Cantonese, French, Hindi, Mandarin, Persian/Farsi, Spanish and Urdu) so that those in our ethnic communities whose English isn’t strong are able to access key COVID19 information in their own language.  Please forward this link to your relevant community members if you can -  
https://www.ethniccommunities.govt.nz/news/covid-19-growing-in-new-zealand/

 

Government announcement about children aged 0 – 14 of Essential Workers

You may wish to forward this to your community immediately.
 
Where possible, essential workers need to make their own arrangements for childcare from Thursday 26 March until the end of the lockdown, due to limited capacity.
 
Where this is not possible alternative arrangements have been made so essential workers can continue to work.
 
What essential workers need to know when making their own arrangements
Essential workers will need to use their existing networks for in home care, for example a neighboor, relative, friend or current carer/nanny who can come to their house, or provide childcare in their own home. There are Public Health rules that must be observed:

  • The person caring for your child becomes part of your self-isolating group
  • This group must remain the same for the whole period
  • The carer must not care for children from other households (other than their own) over the same period
  • If a child or carer becomes unwell, they must stay at home

 
If essential workers do not have access to childcare through their own networks

The Government has agreed that three large home-based providers (Barnardos, Edubase and PORSE) will provide additional support to essential service workers, where workers are not able to make their own arrangements. These providers have national coverage.
 
The level of demand from essential service workers is not yet clear and they are exploring all options to make sure that essential service workers can do the important work necessary. In particular they are working with the wider network of home based providers to identify additional carers in areas of high demand. 
 
Essential workers should still continue to contact one of the following three providers if they have been unable to make their own arrangements:

 

Self-isolating groups - circles of care

There are some very important messages that need to be understood by all in a circle of care group:

  • The intent of forming this group beyond an immediate household is to be able to provide necessary support for people who rely on support from others (eg, elderly people living alone, families who need support with caring for children).
  • In forming this group, everyone in it must understand how crucial it is to keep it tight and to an absolute minimum number of people.
  • Even in a small group people must take care of themselves and others through good hygiene including thorough handwashing and drying, good coughing and sneezing etiquette and physical distancing.

An example could be where an essential worker who is required to work, can have their child cared for by a trusted buddy, as long as they are not elderly or vulnerable. That buddy and the buddy’s own household will need to be included as part of that self-isolating group. However, it is critical that the buddy and their household cannot then have any other external contacts.  As soon as a member of that household has contact with another person (and therefore their household) they all need to be incorporated into the self-isolating group.

Another example could be helping a family with care for their disabled child to give the primary carers some time to rest. But again, you need to be identified as part of their self-isolated group and you cannot have any other contacts other than those in your own household.

 

System backups and security

There is an increased risk of cyber security attacks during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 state.  A successful attack could lead to permanent loss of your important information and prevent access to your school’s online services for an indefinite period of time.

To minimise the chance for any loss of this information it is strongly recommended that you take the following actions to ensure that this information can be readily accessed in case of a successful online attack.  Implementing these actions will greatly reduce the impact of any information loss and the subsequent impact on availability of your school’s online services:

  • Ensure recent backups of critical systems have been taken e.g. Student Management System if hosted by the school, people information, financial and health and safety operational data.
  • These backups should be up to date within the last two weeks.  This will minimise inconvenience/loss of data if a successful cyber-attack occurs.
  • Backup copies must be tested to ensure they can be restored and reused. It is too late to find out that these backups do not work when needed.
  • Backups must be stored securely and separately offsite, so that they can’t be accessed in a cyber-attack.
  • Shut down all unnecessary services and devices that are operating on the school’s network, such as desktops and other network connected devices not required to support remote access or building services.

For further information please go to our website - https://www.education.govt.nz/school/digital-technology/protect-your-school-from-cyber-attacks-and-cyber-security-breaches/

You may also wish to monitor CERT NZ, Netsafe and other similar sites for more information over the coming weeks.

Netsafe

In response to the Alert Level 4 requirements, Netsafe have changed their Helpline hours to 9am – 5pm seven days a week and for now they cannot take incident reports over the phone.  People can still report in three other ways and their team will respond with expert incident advice:  

1.            Email help@netsafe.org.nz

2.            Free text Netsafe to 4282

3.            Complete a form at netsafe.org.nz/report.

 

Repatriation of international students

We are aware that a few countries might look to repatriate their citizens by making special flights and have been in contact with students directly via email.
 
A government team is being set up to manage this situation and provide updates as soon as these are available. This would include agreeing on domestic transport for getting students to the airport if they were confirmed on a flight. There are a number of public health implications that are being looked at in terms of the ability to enforce social distancing at airports should these flights take place.
 
If repatriation flights do go ahead then there are likely to be a number of flights available in coming days and weeks so students should not feel panicked or pressured to make the first available flight. 

Travel restrictions
Under Alert Level 4, international students cannot take a domestic flight to connect with an international flight. If students have a confirmed booking on a commercial international flight and can be driven to the airport by car in five hours or less, they may travel by car to the airport, as long as their “bubble” is maintained. We are aware that a few countries might look 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 should remain with their homestay or accommodation providers and not attempt any travel.

 

Boards of Trustees role in supporting leadership

Trustees have a key role in leading a school’s response to an emergency. While most often day to day responsibility for this is delegated to the principal to manage, in times such as these, that responsibility can put a lot of pressure on the principal and other senior leaders.
 
Trustees will be considering how their Board can best support the senior leadership to manage their response to COVID-19 over the coming weeks and months.  Have you implemented an Incident Response Team to respond to COVID-19 (or a variation of that)? If your school does have a case or cases of COVID-19 confirmed, is there someone who can support the media responses and communications with whānau, parents and caregivers? Are there duties normally undertaken by the principal that can be managed by someone else?

 

Support for home learning 

Two online spaces have been produced by the Ministry of Education with other agencies and are available online at https://www.learningfromhome.govt.nz/ and https://www.kauwhatareo.govt.nz/ki-te-ao-marama/ with resources for parents and whānau, teachers and leaders spanning early learning through to senior secondary.
 
These are a one stop shop for teaching and learning at home. Current content is just the start of the guidance, tools and resources the Ministry will be uploading to support teachers and parents.

Ki te Ao Marama has been developed to support those students learning te reo Māori and for those in kōhanga reo, kura and Māori medium settings.  They have been purposefully packaged to support learning at home. 

  • Teachers can use both online spaces to point students to activities they think would help them learn at home.
  • Leaders and teachers can use the site to start their thinking and planning for learning from home.
  • Parents and whānau will find advice and activities they can use to support learning at home, without needing to become teachers themselves.

Specific planning tools will be added to support teachers to think about and plan distance learning online.
 
If you have any great ideas that would help others and requests for specific types of resources for the website please contact Curriculum.Design@education.govt.nz
For those who wish to support learning te reo Māori at home and for those learning in te reo Māori please contact TeReo.MaoriGroup@education.govt.nz with any great ideas you think will help others.


Learning Support Resources
There are many online resources already available. The Inclusive Education website has 28 guides to help recognise, plan for and meet the learning and wellbeing needs of diverse learners at https://www.inclusive.tki.org.nz/   
 
The following link will take you to resources that may be useful for your teachers supporting students and families with learning at home. Topics include supporting students with dyslexia and partnering with parents and whānau:https://conversation.education.govt.nz/learning-support-coordinators  

 

Online safety during lockdown
You may want to encourage your parents, caregivers and whānau to discuss internet safety with their children - of all ages. They should agree with their children what they can do online including sites they can visit and appropriate behaviours including:

  • reviewing and approving games and apps before they are downloaded
  • reviewing privacy settings of sites and applications
  • checking children’s profiles and what they are posting online
  • check the sites your child is accessing
  • reminding children that anything that is posted online will be permanently on the internet
  • taking the time to understand what sites they are visiting and who they are talking with and check in regularly
  • some social media sites have age restrictions to join, check these before letting your child use them or join them
  • monitoring a child’s use of the internet and consider having them use it in an open, common area of the house
  • making sure your children know to report any activity they don’t feel comfortable with to parents and caregivers straight away.

There is a unique opportunity during the lockdown of families going out together, albeit it close to home, but if your child is going out on their own it’s still important to check where they are going.

If we all work together to make sure children are safe online, we can make the internet a great tool for people of all ages.

  

Annual Reporting and School Audit Process

We know that schools may not be able to submit their annual financial statements to their auditors by 31 March 2020 or participate as they normally would do in the audit process.  We accept that this will mean some schools will be late with meeting their statutory obligations. Schools will not be penalised if they are unable to submit their annual financial statements, or complete their audits on time.
 
The Office of the Auditor General is talking to relevant agencies, including the Treasury, about what the current circumstances mean for everyone and how they affect the usual accountability obligations of public entities, including schools.
 
OAG will provide updates at the following address: https://oag.parliament.nz/media/2020/covid-and-auditing

 

 

Student insurance

  • Enrolment of international students remains at the discretion of the school. This includes where students may or may not have insurance that covers all eventualities. 
  • Where students have exclusions within their insurance policy, and the school decides to enrol the students on this basis, NZQA advice is that schools must still meet the standard requirements of the Code as for any international student, including all reasonable steps making it clear to the student and their parents or legal guardians that they must cover any costs arising from the excluded conditions.
  • Where an insurance provider will not cover COVID-19 related costs, the school should make this clear to families and get written agreement from them, that the family will cover any costs that may arise from COVID-19 related illness.
  • Schools will be placing themselves at risk of non-compliance where a student is enrolled with exclusions within their travel policy unless there is evidence of agreement to meet associated costs by the parents.
  • For information about exclusions from insurance providers, please visit the specific insurance provider’s website. 

Guidance for School Assessment

NZQA 

NZQA and the Ministry of Education will help schools and wharekura develop effective plans for NCEA assessment and qualifications for students affected by COVID-19, including supporting remote learning. NCEA’s flexibility is a huge strength in times like these, and means that we can adapt how we deliver and use NCEA to fit with our conditions – including remote learning. NZQA and the Ministry will be supporting schools to use this flexibility in how they manage internal assessment through remote learning, and to generate grades derived from learning programmes should attendance at external assessments be disrupted. Work is also underway to make sure that all qualifications, awards and pathways (including University Entrance and Vocational Pathways) will remain available through any disruptions.  
 
NZQA and the Ministry will keep using their usual communication channels to keep school and wharekura leadership up to date.
 
For students taking part in Trades Academies and Gateway Programmes, further information can be found at https://youthguarantee.education.govt.nz/

International Baccalaureate

The May 2020 examinations will no longer be held. Our students, their well-being and their progression in future stages of life have been at the forefront of our thinking as we respond to this extraordinary pandemic.

See full details here 

Cambridge Assessment International Education

Cambridge has taken the difficult decision not to run its international examinations in the May/June 2020 series in any country. This includes Cambridge IGCSE, Cambridge O Level, Cambridge International AS & A Level, Cambridge AICE Diploma and Cambridge Pre-U.

Read more

  

Privacy issues

When can you disclose information about someone who may be infected with the novel coronavirus (Covid-19)?

The Privacy Commission has released guidelines on disclosing information in relation to containing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. For full information please refer to:

https://privacy.org.nz/blog/faqs-on-privacy-and-covid-19/

  

School roll returns

  • Domestic students who have delayed starting at your school due to risk of exposure to COVID-19 can still be included in the March Roll Return student numbers, provided the school has enrolment information confirming enrolment prior to the March Roll Count date.
  • Schools need to consider whether to enrol international fee-paying students who have not been able to start at the school due to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) travel restrictions.
  • Where international students have paid fees and the school is providing curriculum-based distance learning, these students should be included in the March Roll Return
  • International-fee paying students who have not been able to start, and are not being provided with any curriculum-based distance learning opportunities, should not yet be enrolled in the school’s SMS.

Wellbeing for all

The Ministry has information focused on wellbeing and supporting a child’s learning at home for parents, caregivers and whānau. It may also be useful for teachers. This resource adds to the information they have previously provided supporting conversations with children about COVID-19 - http://education.govt.nz/school/health-safety-and-wellbeing/pastoral-care-and-wellbeing/talking-to-children-about-covid-19-coronavirus/.
 
Further information to support wellbeing
The Ministry of Health’s website includes Top ways to look after your mental wellbeing during the Covid-19 lockdown.
https://www.iamhope.org.nz/ - I AM HOPE is the youth and community focused support group run by The Key to Life Charitable Trust, started by Mike King.
https://www.facebook.com/nathanwallisxfactoreducation/ - Nathan Wallis has some helpful videos on his Facebook page for parents and whānau
https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/covid-19/ - tips on looking after mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19 from the Mental Health foundation
https://depression.org.nz/covid-19/ - a website by the Health Promotion Agency to help New Zealanders recognise and understand depression and anxiety. `
25 Mental Health Wellness Tips during Quarantine from Eileen M Feliciano, Psy.D. – although overseas-based this is a good list and highlights some things particularly important for children. Remember the rules of New Zealand’s level 4 lockdown still apply.
 
Remember, be kind to yourself and others.
 
This week the Ministry is developing tip sheets to support parents to navigate common challenges they may have with toddlers, children and young people through this time – for example, a tip sheet on getting a good night’s sleep. 
 
If you have any ideas for wellbeing and learning at home resources and tip sheets that would help others please contact learning.supportmailbox@education.govt.nz or phone the Learning Support Enquiries line at 0800 622 222.

 

Suspension process in a lockdown
There have been a number of queries about the suspension process and how you can manage this in an environment where face to face meetings cannot take place.
 
Because of the difficulty with face to face meetings and as students are currently unable to be enrolled elsewhere it would be best practice to allow the suspension to lift until after the lockdown.
 
If Boards do want to continue with the suspension process then they will need to ensure they can meet via tele/video conference and that the student, their parents/caregivers and advocates can dial in.  It should also be noted that even if a student is excluded from your school just prior to or during the lockdown, as the excluding school the student remains on your roll and you remain responsible for providing distance learning to that student during this period.
 

Learner access to assistive technology
When Ministry of Education funded assistive technology has been allocated to a student for use to access their learning curriculum, schools are able to decide if the technology is able to be used at home. During this unusual time, and where possible, you are encouraged to enable students to continue to use the assistive technology to access their learning. This equipment is already included in your insurance.
 
We are aware some students may not currently have their assistive technology at home with them. If this is the case please contact your local Assistive Technology Coordinator.

 
Essential Service providers for online and distance learning
Over the weekend the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment added to the definition of entities providing essential services:
 
At Alert Level 4 under Education this comprises:
“Any entity or individual determined by the Secretary for Education as required to provide distance or online learning (e.g. printers, devices, IT)”. This includes supply chains.
 
The Secretary for Education has made determinations that a number of providers fall into this category. For many this will be for a particular purpose only and will not mean that they operate the same way as they would outside of Alert Level Four. The letters from the Secretary for Education to these essential service providers remind them that if they need to access school property, permission will need to be requested through the request form [Word Doc] process.
 
What these decisions do mean is that those essential service providers will be there to support your school with preparing for and delivering online and distance learning.
 
If a provider is unclear whether they can operate during Alert Level Four they can find more information on the COVID-19 website. If they are still unclear after that they can email essential@mbie.govt.nz or call 0800 22 66 57 (9 am to 5 pm). MBIE will refer any questions to do with the education sector through to the Ministry.

 

Microsoft & Google technology support sessions for schools establishing distant learning

To assist schools who have any technology support questions (where you can ask anything,) Microsoft & Google are holding online meetings to support schools establishing distant learning to their students. 

Alternatively schools can get assistance from their IT Service Provider.

 

Microsoft meetings:

 

Date / Time

Teams Link

Thursday 2nd – 3:30pm-4:15pm

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

+64 4-280 7433   New Zealand, Wellington (Toll) 

Conference ID: 595 820 938#

Tuesday 7th – 10am-10:45am

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

+64 4-280 7433   New Zealand, Wellington (Toll) 

Conference ID: 595 820 938#

Thursday 9th – 3:30pm-4:15pm

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

+64 4-280 7433   New Zealand, Wellington (Toll) 

Conference ID: 595 820 938#

Other useful Microsoft links are:  Microsoft Remote-Learning  and   https://samuelmcneill.com/2020/03/16/the-ultimate-collection-of-resources-for-remote-learning-with-microsoft-365/ 

Google meetings
Schools can participate in Google Hangouts meeting drop in sessions at This location
 

Day Link
Thursday 26th March at 11am ( and next 3 weeks) https://meet.google.com/ugi-xfnz-qfn
Friday 27th March at 9:30am (and next 3 weeks) https://meet.google.com/bat-pkfx-tms
Monday at 11am (for next 3 weeks) https://meet.google.com/ugi-xfnz-qfn
Wednesday at 9.30am (for next 3 weeks) https://meet.google.com/bat-pkfx-tms

 
These times will continue each week for the next 4 weeks.  Other useful Google links are:Teach from Home and  the Learning Hub

Removing data caps for internet

In addition to Spark, Vodafone, Vocus/Slingshot, and 2Degrees, Trustpower has now also advised they have removed their data caps and the possibility of any extra charges based on usage - Ask.Trustpower.co.nz – “we've removed data limits for all fixed-line broadband customers to make sure everyone can stay connected. You'll be able to keep in touch with family and friends, work or study from home, and receive vital updates without having to worry about exceeding your data limit”.
 
SPARK - https://www.spark.co.nz/help/covid-19/
“Removing overage charges for customers who are on data-capped broadband plans, so they won’t have to worry about paying extra to stay connected. This applies to both small and medium business and consumer customers;”
 
VODAFONE - https://news.vodafone.co.nz/covid-19-care
“The removal of data caps from data-capped Broadband plans for consumers and small to medium sized businesses until at least the end of June 2020”
 
VOCUS/SLINGSHOT - https://help.slingshot.co.nz/hc/en-us/articles/900000386943-Our-action-against-COVID-19?_ga=2.224375707.1878754814.1585097493-87562686.1585097493
“We removed all the data caps from our plans to better enable you to work from home during this time of social distancing and self-isolation.”
 
2DEGREES - https://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/help-and-support/mobile/your-account/covid-19/
“Any customer who was on a limited data plan on or before Friday, March 20 will now receive unlimited data through until June 2020.”

 

Letter template for parents, caregivers, whānau and family

 
Kia ora koutou
 
We have started into a new phase of New Zealand’s response to COVID-19 and it is very different than anything most of us have ever experienced.  I wanted to reassure you that our school staff and Board of Trustees will continue to be available to support your child’s learning and wellbeing in the next weeks. 
 
You will understand the importance of routine for your family. If your routine has been shaken up, like you’re now working from home, it’s good to structure your time. Routines are reassuring, and promote health and physical wellbeing. The below timetable (targeted at children) could be something your household adapts to use over the next weeks. A school holiday version will likely look a little different, but some form of routine will still be important as we go through the lockdown period.
 
Daily Schedule

Before 9:00am Wake up Eat breakfast, make your bed, get dressed, put any dirty clothes in the laundry
9:00-10:00 Morning walk Family walk with the dog, bike ride,
Yoga if it’s raining
10:00-11:00 Learning at home School-led learning or Sudoku, books, flash cards, study guide, journal etc
11:00-12:00 Creative time Legos, magnatiles, drawing, crafting, play music, cook or bake etc.
12:00 pm Lunch :)
12:30 Helping at home # wipe all kitchen tables and chairs
# wipe all door handles, light switches and desk tops
# wipe both bathrooms - sinks and toilets
1:00-2:30 Quiet time Reading, puzzles, nap, radio NZ stories
2:30-4:00 Learning at home School-led learning or iPad games, Prodigy, Educational show
4:00-5:00 Afternoon fresh air Bikes, walk the dog, play outside
5:00-6:00 Dinner :)
6:00-8:00 Free TV time Kids shower time
8:00 Bedtime All kids
9:00pm Bedtime All kids who follow the daily schedule & don’t fight

*Adapted from a resource developed by Jessica McHale Photography
 
There are links below to more wellbeing information to support your family during the lockdown.
 
Some good news to support you either working at home and/or studying at home - Spark, Vodafone, Vocus/Slingshot, 2Degrees and Trustpower have all advised they have removed their data caps and the possibility of any extra charges based on usage.
 
For our Pacific families, if you are not aware the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ has been working to ensure useful information is available to Pacific peoples. A one-hour special will be aired on Tagata Pasifika’s segment on Saturday at 9am; and on Sunday at 7.35am, Tagata Pasifika will share messages from community leaders. The Ministry is asking you to reach out to all your family members, community groups, friends and group chats to ensure our Pacific community groups are watching the programming on both days.
 
A big thank you to all of you for taking the lockdown so seriously. As the Prime Minister has noted staying at home will break the chain and save lives; breaking the rules could risk someone close to you and if the rules are not complied with, this could risk the lock down period being extended or could risk the virus being spread to thousands
 
Add here how parents can get support from the school if needed, during the school holidays and plans for 15 April onwards.
 
Ngā mihi
 
 

 

Key contacts

Healthline has a dedicated line for COVID-19 enquiries with translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages:

  • Free call 0800 358 5453
  • +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMS

 

Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health are the lead Government agency providing health advice in New Zealand in response to COVID-19:

COVID-19 – Ministry of Health

 

Public health units/district health boards

If you need to contact your public health officer: 

Public Health Unit Contacts – Ministry of Health

 

Immigration New Zealand

Keep updated on travel restrictions through the New Zealand Immigration website:

COVID-19 response – Immigration New Zealand

 

SafeTravel

Advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas:

Travel advice – SafeTravel

 

New Zealand Human Rights Commission

If you know someone who has experienced racial discrimination related to COVID-19, the Human Rights Commission offers a free and confidential enquires and complaints service:

 

Pastoral care for students

If you have specific questions about pastoral care for domestic or international students, contact the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) Code team:

 

This information has been collated from different sources as a guideline only - ISNZ is not a regulatory body. However, we hope this summary may offer some assistance. 

 

Where to go for more information?

From the Ministry of Education

Visit this page for the latest information on COVID-19 for the education sector from the Ministry of Education.

If you would like to review your pandemic plan, the Ministry of Education guidance will assist you through that process.

The Emergency Management Plan template also includes provision for pandemics. 

 

From the Ministry of Health

See the latest COVID-19 update from the Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health also has useful guidance on helping children who are experiencing stress.

 

From Immigration New Zealand

See the latest news on COVID-19 from Immigration New Zealand.

 

From MFAT

Please see MFAT's Safe Travel Advisory.

 

From the World Health Organisation

WHO Advice for the public on COVID-19

 

From SIEBA

The Schools International Education Business Association (SIEBA) has a comprehensive update on COVID-19 response on their website.