Fri 5 Mar 2021

WITT Covid-19 Coronavirus update

The COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) situation continues to evolve both globally and here in New Zealand, and we aim to provide updates as often as possible. The health and wellbeing of our learners and staff are our top priority. 
Get the most up-to-date information here: Unite Against COVID-19

5.3.21 - Covid-19 update

Kia ora koutou,

The Prime Minister has just announced that we’ll move to Alert Level 1 from 6am this Sunday. Great news! That means we can go ahead with O-Week activities as planned, including our welcome pōwhiri on Tuesday.

What can students expect on Tuesday?

Students - check your emails to find out specifically what time your pōwhiri is scheduled for Tuesday. Your pōwhiri time is specific for your School, so you may be asked to meet us at a different time to someone else you know. 

  • 9am – Trades Training, Primary and Creative (meet at 8:45am)
  • 10am – Nursing, Health and Wellness (excl Nursing & HCA) (meet at 9:45am)
  • 11am – Māori Enterprise, Business and Technology + NZIHT (meet at 10:45am)
  • 1:30pm – Hāwera (meet at 40a Union Street at 1:15pm)

We'll be waiting for you outside Te Piere (map here) if you’re coming to New Plymouth, or Union Street if you’re studying in Hāwera.

After your official welcome and a little kai, we'll help you find your way to your first class if you have one scheduled for Tuesday. Even if you don’t have classes on a Tuesday, we encourage you to come along to the pōwhiri, and stay for the free food! 

Get your timetable

It's important to know the days and times of your classes. Check out your timetable here. If for any reason you can't find your programme, just give us a call on 0800 WITT NZ and we can talk you through it. 

Alert Level 1 takes everyone

At Alert Level 1 we all need to be ready in case COVID-19 reappears in our community. These simple steps can slow the spread of the virus, protecting yourself and others.

  • Stay home if you're sick
  • Practice good hygiene (wash your hands, cough or sneeze into your elbow, regularly clean surfaces)
  • If you have cold or flu symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline 0800 358 5453 and make sure you get tested
  • Keep track of where you've been - keep using the NZ COVID Tracer app and switch on Bluetooth
  • Wear a face covering on public transport including flights
  • Keep your distance while you're out and about
  • Stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. WITT will be prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if we have to.
  • Find out more about staying safe at Alert Level 1 at covid.govt.nz

He pātai? Any questions?

If there’s anything you’re not sure about, please get in touch with us. Don’t forget, Monday 8 March is Taranaki Anniversary Day, but we’ll be available from 8am on Tuesday morning if you need anything.  Drop in to see us, call 0800 WITT NZ or email info@witt.ac.nz.

Kia māia,

The WITT team


1.3.21 - Covid-19 update

Tēnā koutou,

We are now at Alert Level 2 until Sunday 7 March, so I want to update you on what that means for WITT.

We have been here before, so we have good plans in place to guide us through Alert Level changes. We are monitoring the situation closely and decisions on WITT activities will be based on Government guidelines. Our Covid Response Team met at 12 today to go over public health guidance and review our approach to Alert Level 2. We’ll meet again in the next 24-48 hours and publish any updates here.

If there are any changes which directly affect learners, we will also contact you directly by email and text message. 

Tertiary education facilities remain open
At Alert Level 2 WITT remains open. Current advice from the government states that tertiary education is a safe environment for students and staff at Alert Level 2.  We have implemented public health requirements and physical distancing as appropriate so that students can continue their learning in a safe environment. Where physical distancing is not possible, face coverings must be worn. Please bring your own if you have one, otherwise WITT can supply these.

At this stage, students should expect to start their classes as planned next week. If you are enrolled in a class or registered to attend an event that is affected by changing Alert Levels, we will contact you directly.

Events at WITT
To comply with Alert Level 2 guidelines around large gatherings, we have cancelled the Get Study Ready workshop and School of Nursing Health and Wellness Whānau Evening that were scheduled for today, Monday 1 March. Everyone registered for these events has been contacted.

Campus Tours scheduled for this week will go ahead with Alert Level 2 protocols in place. Hand sanitiser and masks will be available and we ask you to sign and scan in on arrival.  

It’s too early to tell yet whether there will be any changes to O-Week events scheduled for next week, including welcome pōwhiri on Tuesday and lunchtime events. Rest assured that whatever happens next week, we’re committed to making sure all our learners have the opportunity to feel properly welcomed to WITT in their first few weeks.

What you need to know
You can still come to work and study but you should:
• Stay home if you are sick. If you have symptoms of cold or flu call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and get advice about being tested.
• Wash your hands. Sanitiser is also available around campus. Sneeze and cough into your elbow.
• Keep a track of where you've been and who you've seen (download NZ COVID Tracer app)
• Practice physical distancing – 2 metres in public (supermarkets, retail shops, and 1 metre in most other places like classrooms, workplaces, cafes and gyms.)
• Wear a face covering if it is not possible to physically distance or contact trace. It is mandatory to wear a face covering on public transport.
• If you have been told to self-isolate you must do so immediately. If you have had a Covid test, please stay home until you get a negative result. If you are meant to be in class, you should let your tutor know.

Face coverings on campus
The government recommends that we wear face coverings in situations where physical distancing is not possible. If this is required in your programme, your tutor will let you know. Read more on the Covid website about wearing a face covering.

Download the NZ COVID Tracer app
Keep track of where you've been and who you've seen. You'll see QR codes around all WITT campuses to sign in and keep on top of contact tracing. Download the app here https://tracing.covid19.govt.nz/ and turn on Bluetooth tracing.

Support is available
Remember, Te Puna Manaaki (our Student Success team) is available to you on campus in New Plymouth or by phone or Zoom.  It’s also important that you know where to go for financial support, or for help if you’re feeling stressed or anxious. Check out this Ministry of Education web page for lots of useful information. As always, we are here if you need anything – call the team on 0800 WITT NZ or email info@witt.ac.nz.

For more information
Stay up to date with information on the Government’s Covid-19 website 

The health and safety of our learners, staff and community is our top priority. We'll continue to keep you updated as the situation changes - it's a good idea to follow WITT on Facebook and check witt.ac.nz for the most up to date information.

Please look after yourselves and each other.

Ngā mihi nui,

John Snook
Chief Executive

15.2.21 - Covid-19 update

Tēnā koutou,

In response to recent COVID-19 cases identified in the community, Auckland moved to Alert Level 3 from 11.59 pm last night and the rest of New Zealand, including Taranaki, moved to Level 2. These Alert Levels are in place for three days, until midnight Wednesday 17 February. This will be reviewed on a 24 hour basis.

We are monitoring the situation closely and decisions on WITT activities this week will be based on Government guidelines.

Locations of interest in Taranaki

There are several locations of interest in Taranaki where the two COVID-19 cases visited. These are being updated on the Ministry of Health website as new information becomes available – please keep checking the MOH Contact Tracing Locations of Interest page.  

Tertiary education facilities remain open

WITT remains open. Current advice from the government states that tertiary education is a safe environment for students and staff at Alert Level 2.  We have implemented public health requirements and physical distancing as appropriate so that students can continue their learning in a safe environment. If you are enrolled in a class or registered to attend an event that is affected by the Alert Level changes, we will contact you directly.

What you need to know

You can still come to work and study but you should:

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Wash your hands. Sanitiser is also available around campus. Sneeze and cough into your elbow.
  • Keep a track of where you've been and who you've seen (download NZ COVID Tracer app)
  • Practice physical distancing – 2 metres in public (supermarkets, retail shops, and 1 metre in most other places like classrooms, workplaces, cafes and gyms.
  • Wear a face covering if it is not possible to physically distance or contact trace. It is mandatory to wear a face covering on public transport.

If you're unwell

  • If you're sick, stay home. Don't come to WITT. 
  • If you have symptoms of cold or flu call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and get advice about being tested.
  • If you have been told to self-isolate you must do so immediately.
  • If you have had a Covid test, please stay home until you get a negative result. If you are meant to be in class, you should let your tutor know.

Face coverings on campus

The government recommends that we wear face coverings in situations where physical distancing is not possible. If this is required in your programme, your tutor will let you know. Read more on the Covid website about wearing a face covering.

Download the NZ COVID Tracer app

Keep a track of where you've been and who you've seen. You'll see QR codes around all WITT campuses to sign in and keep on top of contact tracing. Download the app here https://tracing.covid19.govt.nz/ and turn on Bluetooth tracing.

Graduation and Māori Pacific Celebration

Our Māori Pacific Student Celebration is scheduled for this Thursday 18 February, and Graduation is scheduled for Friday 19 February. At this stage, there is no change to these events. If we move back to Alert Level 1 on Wednesday, it will be possible to go ahead as planned. If Alert Level 2 is extended in Taranaki, we will look at an alternative plan. We will communicate that plan to graduands and whānau as early as we can.

Support is available

Remember, Te Puna Manaaki (our Student Success team) is available to you on campus in New Plymouth or by phone or Zoom.  It’s also important that you know where to go for financial support, or for help if you’re feeling stressed or anxious. Check out this Ministry of Education web page for lots of useful information. As always, we are here if you need anything – call the team on 0800 WITT NZ or email info@witt.ac.nz.

For more information

Stay up to date with information on the Government’s Covid-19 website https://covid19.govt.nz/covid-19/restrictions/alert-level-2/

I want to reassure you that the decisions we make are in line with the New Zealand Government’s guidance, and with your safety and wellbeing as our top priority. We'll continue to keep you updated as the situation changes - it's a good idea to follow WITT on Facebook and check witt.ac.nz for the most up to date information.

We all have a part to play in keeping our community healthy in what is an evolving situation. Please look after yourselves and each other.

Ngā mihi nui,

John Snook
Chief Executive

 


16.11.20 - Covid-19 update

Kia ora koutou,

At Alert Level 1 we all need to be ready in case COVID-19 reappears in our community. These simple steps can slow the spread of the virus, protecting yourself and others.

  • Stay home if you're sick
  • Practice good hygiene (wash your hands, cough or sneeze into your elbow, regularly clean surfaces)
  • If you have cold or flu symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline 0800 358 5453 and make sure you get tested
  • Wear a face covering on public transport including flights
  • Keep your distance while you're out and about
  • Stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. WITT will be prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if we have to.

If you're in need of financial support help is available.

Find out more about staying safe at Alert Level 1 here: covid19.govt.nz


19.10.20 - Updated information from Taranaki DHB

The Taranaki DHB has released information that includes advice for Covid-19 testing in New Plymouth.

The DHB’s Public Health Unit is supporting a national health response associated with a positive COVID-19 case identified in Auckland who spent time in New Plymouth last week. The man tested positive for COVID-19 after travelling to New Plymouth for work at Port Taranaki on 13 and 14 October. The risk to the wider Taranaki community contracting COVID-19 is very low as the case had minimal interaction with others whilst in New Plymouth.

At this stage, priority testing is for people who are considered close contacts, port workers and anyone in New Plymouth who is showing symptoms.

  • Everyone in New Plymouth should remain vigilant for any symptoms of COVID-19, and get a test as soon as you can if you become unwell.
  • Testing quickly means we can reduce the risk of the virus spreading.
  • Use the NZ COVID Tracer App as part of your daily routine, continue with hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette. 
  • Remember, Alert Level one is not Alert Level none.

Please check the TDHB website for updated testing information - https://tdhb.org.nz/covid19/public.shtml#testing and use the WITT Guideline for Assessment and Testing (on iwitt for WITT staff and students) if you are unsure if you should be assessed for a test or whether you need to stay home.


22.9.20 - WITT Student update

Tēnā koutou,

As of midnight last night, our Alert Levels have changed. All of New Zealand (outside of Auckland) is now at Alert Level 1.

Auckland is still at Alert Level 2, with extra restrictions on social gatherings, funerals and tangihanga. Auckland will move to Alert Level 2 with no extra restrictions at 11:59pm on Wednesday 23 September.

Life at Alert Level 1

It is still important that we keep up our basic hygiene measures, including washing our hands, remember the Golden Rules:

  1. If you're sick, stay home.  Don't come to work or study.  Don't socialise.
  2. If you have cold or flu symptoms call your doctor or Healthline 0800 358 5453 and make sure you get tested.
  3. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
  4. Physical distancing is still encouraged.
  5. Sneeze and cough into your elbow, and regularly disinfect shared surfaces.
  6. Keep track of where you've been and who you've seen. Download the NZ COVID Tracer app.
  7. WITT will continue to display the QR codes for contact tracing.
  8. Face coverings help keep you and others safe even when it's no longer compulsory.
  9. If you are told by health authorities to self-isolate you must do so immediately.

  10. If you're concerned about your wellbeing, or have underlying health conditions, work with your GP to understand how best to stay healthy.

  11. Stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. WITT will be prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if we have to.

  12. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself. Remember Student Support Services are here to support students and staff.


25.8.20 - WITT Student update

Kia ora koutou,

The Prime Minister announced yesterday that Auckland will remain at Alert Level 3 until Sunday 30 August, and the rest of New Zealand will remain at Alert Level 2 until Sunday 6 September.

I want to assure you that we will continue to prioritise the health and wellbeing of our learners, staff and community. Our plan for Alert Level 2 will remain in place, so there is no significant change for you as a student following yesterday’s announcement.

Please continue to be vigilant with your own personal health and hygiene and stay home if you are not well. Here are simple things you can do to keep yourself and others safe:

  • practise good hand and face hygiene
  • physical distancing (2m in public, 1m in workplace or class)
  • keep track of we're you've been (download NZ COVID Tracer app)
  • stay at home if you are sick
  • take a test if you're offered one – they’re free
  • wear a face covering on public transport (including bus, taxi, Uber, planes)

We have a plan for Alert Level 3 in place, just in case we need to respond quickly to a Government announcement in the future. It’s important you make sure your contact details are up to date so that we can get in touch with you if we need to – contact 0800 WITT NZ or info@witt.ac.nz to do this.

Remember, Te Puna Manaaki (Student Support) is available to you on campus in New Plymouth or by phone or Zoom. International students can also access support through the International Office, or by calling 0274660412 (this is 24/7 support for you). If you are an international student experiencing hardship because of Covid-19, please speak to Robyn Harvey so that we can talk through your options for help with funds.

As always, you can discuss any programme-related questions with your tutors.

Please continue to look after yourselves and each other.

Ngā manaakitanga,

John Snook

Chief Executive


14.8.20 - WITT Student update - A message from CE John Snook

Tēnā koutou,

The Prime Minister made an announcement this evening that New Zealand will remain at current Alert Levels for 12 more days, which means we remain at Alert Level 2.

We're really happy to receive this news and look forward to seeing you on campus for classes as scheduled next week. Now it's more important than ever to make sure we're all doing our bit to keep ourselves and each other safe.

Tertiary education facilities remain open:

WITT remains open. Current advice from the government states that tertiary education is a safe environment for students and staff at Alert Level 2.  We have implemented public health requirements and physical distancing as appropriate so that students can continue their learning in a safe environment. 

What you need to know

You can still come to work and study but you should:

  • Keep your distance from other people
  • Wash your hands. Sanitiser is also available around campus and in classrooms and offices
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Keep a track of where you've been and who you've seen
  • Wear a mask if you can

Physical distancing

Keep your distance when out and about. If you are on campus, keep 1 metre away from people you know (such as those in your classroom) and 2 metres apart in public and shared spaces.

If you're unwell

  • If you're sick, stay home. Don't come to WITT. 
  • If you have symptoms of cold or flu call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and get advice about being tested.
  • If you have been told to self-isolate you must do so immediately.
  • If you have had a Covid test, please stay home until you get a negative result.

Masks

The government recommends that we wear masks in situations where physical distancing is not possible. If this is required in your programme, your tutor will let you know. Read more on the Covid website about wearing a face covering.

Download the NZ COVID Tracker app

Keep a track of where you've been and who you've seen. You'll see QR codes around all WITT campuses to sign in and keep on top of contact tracing. Download the app here https://tracing.covid19.govt.nz/

More information is available

Stay up to date with information on the Government’s Covid-19 website https://covid19.govt.nz/covid-19/restrictions/alert-level-2/

I want to reassure you that the decisions we make are in line with the New Zealand Government’s guidance, and with your safety and wellbeing as our top priority. We'll continue to keep you updated as the situation changes - it's a good idea to follow WITT on Facebook and check witt.ac.nz for the most up to date information.

We all have a part to play in keeping our community healthy in what is an evolving situation. Please look after yourselves and each other.

Ngā mihi nui,

John Snook
Chief Executive


12.8.20 - WITT Student update

At 12 noon today, Wednesday 12 August, Auckland moved to Alert Level 3. The rest of New Zealand moved to Alert Level 2.

Tertiary education facilities are open:

Tertiary education is a safe environment for students and staff to return to at Alert Level 2.  We have implemented public health requirements and physical distancing as appropriate, and will work closely to ensure a safe environment where students can continue their learning. 

What you need to know:

Alert Level 2 is not life as normal. You can still come to work and study but you should:

  • keep your distance from other people
  • wash your hands – sanitiser is also available around campus and in classrooms and offices
  • sneeze and cough into your elbow
  • stay home if you are sick
  • keep a track of where you've been and who you've seen
  • wear a mask if you can

If you're unwell:

  • If you're sick, stay home. Don't come to work or study.
  • If you have symptoms of cold or flu call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and get advice about being tested.
  • If you have been told to self-isolate you must do so immediately.

Physical distancing:

Keep your distance when out and about:

  • 1 metre from people on campus that you know and 2 metres in public and from people you do not know.

Masks:

At Alert Level 2 the risk of COVID-19 being present in the community is higher. You should wear masks in situations where physical distancing is not possible.  

Download the NZ COVID Tracker app:

Keep a track of where you've been and who you've seen. You'll see QR codes around all WITT campuses to sign in and keep on top of contact tracing. Download the app here https://tracing.covid19.govt.nz/

More information is available:

On the Government’s Covid-19 website https://covid19.govt.nz/covid-19/restrictions/alert-level-2/


13.5.20 - WITT Student update

Kia ora koutou,

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this week announced that New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2 from tomorrow, Thursday 14 May.

Most WITT programmes will be back in the classroom from Monday 18 May, with extra health and safety measures in place to keep us all safe. We will be phasing our return to campus, so some will continue with remote learning for a little while longer.

You may have already heard from your tutor about when you should come back to campus. If not, they’ll be in touch with you before Friday 15 May.

We've put together some FAQs around studying at Alert Level 2. Check out the link below to find out more about what's going to be open on campus next week, what extra measures are in place to protect staff and students, and what you can do to keep yourself safe.

View FAQs here


8.5.20 - WITT Student update

Kia ora koutou,

We hope studying from home is going well for you, and you’re keeping safe and well in your bubbles while we remain at Alert Level 3.  Thank you for being flexible and working with us to adapt to new methods of teaching and learning in the short term.

Yesterday the Prime Minister outlined what Alert Level 2 will look like in New Zealand.  On Monday 11 May, the government will make an announcement about when we can expect to move to Alert Level 2. We’ll be able to give you more information next week about what that means for you as a WITT student.

It’s important that you do not come back to campus until you have received further notification from WITT about when that can happen.

We have been busy planning and preparing our learning spaces. We will resume face-to-face classes in phases – this means that not all students will come back to learning on campus on the same day. So it is important that you wait to hear from your tutor or school administrator about what is planned for your programme.

In preparation for the next phase we have:

  • Deep cleaned and sanitised our campuses.
  • Put contact tracing measures in place, ready to identify people in each ‘controlled learning space’.
  • Placed sanitiser at the entrance to all learning spaces, receptions, kitchenettes, common spaces and computer labs.
  • Placed signage around campuses and distancing tape at receptions and other common areas, and installed acrylic screens where required.
  • Increased campus cleaning to include day time rotational cleaning focusing on high touch points, as well as status signs in bathrooms. 
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gloves and masks are not required or recommended by the Public Health Service as necessary in any educational facility, so you don’t need PPE if you didn’t use it before Covid-19. There are some exceptions, where PPE is specified as a public health control measure (such as for some close-contact work/training). If the exception applies to you, we will let you know.

Students who are at greater risk of getting a severe illness from Covid-19 due to an underlying medical condition are encouraged to continue to learn remotely and ensure they stay in contact with their tutor. We will maintain the ability to deliver distance learning for those learners who need it.

The Ministry of Education published a bulletin for tertiary students last night, which you can view here.

Again, please wait for an announcement from your tutor or school administrator before returning to your usual learning space. We’ll be in touch with more information next week. Until then, noho ora mai – take care.

If you have any questions, please call 0800 WITT NZ or email info@witt.ac.nz


21.4.20 - WITT Student update

The Prime Minister announced yesterday that New Zealand will transition back to Covid-19 Alert Level 3 from Tuesday 28th April, which as you know is our first day back after term break.

We’ll be returning to study as planned, following the Government’s instruction that all tertiary study to continue to take place remotely, wherever it is possible. The Ministry of Education released information about Alert Level 3 for all tertiary providers and students last night, which is available here.

So, what will the transition to Alert Level 3 look like for WITT?

  • When we return to study for Term 2 on 28 April, we will be delivering most WITT programmes remotely.
  • Our campus sites and all general student areas, such as the Learning Resource Centre, Library, computer labs and Te Puna Manaaki (Health Centre), will remain closed. The opening of these facilities will depend on Government advice; we will keep you updated.
  • A small number of students may be asked to come on site for classes. We’re working out the logistics of how this will happen in small groups so we can keep everyone safe. If your programme is likely to be returning to include some learning on campus, your tutor will be talking about this with you directly. Otherwise assume you will be learning remotely until further notice.
  • Work placements can go ahead at Alert Level 3 if the workplace can make sure the students personal health and safety is managed appropriately. Again, your tutor will be in touch if this applies to you.

We understand that not all students will be able to participate in remote learning due to family responsibilities, access to technology or other matters. If there are barriers to you being able to study from home, please let us know.

It’s important that you know where to go for financial support, or for help if you’re feeling stressed or anxious. Check out this Ministry of Education web page for lots of useful information. As always, we are here if you need anything – call the team on 0800 WITT NZ or email info@witt.ac.nz.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read our Covid-19 FAQ to help you answer any questions you may have about returning to stud. Please get in touch with your tutor if you have any specific questions about your course.

Ngā mihi,

John Snook, Chief Executive


17.4.20 - WITT Student update

I hope you are keeping safe and well in your bubbles. I wanted to provide an update to all students in addition to the contact you’ve recently had with your tutors and School administrators.

Teaching resumes on 28 April

On Monday 20 April we will hear from the Prime Minister about whether New Zealand remains at Alert Level 4 (lockdown) or moves to Alert Level 3. Regardless of the Alert Level, we will return to study on Tuesday 28 April and this will be predominantly remote learning. Trimester 1 has been extended until 17 July to allow for the longer break that we are currently on, and Trimester 2 will begin a week later than originally planned, on 27 July.

Your tutor will be in touch next week to give you a clear idea of what your learning will look like when the new term starts. We are also expecting guidance from the Ministry of Education in the next few days which will allow us to give an update to those enrolled in programmes that cannot be taught remotely.

We understand that not all students will be able to participate in remote learning due to family responsibilities, access to technology or other matters. If there are barriers to you being able to study from home, please talk to us and we will work with you to find a solution.

Tertiary student support package

Education Minister Chris Hipkins this week announced a support package to financially assist tertiary students whose study has been affected by Covid-19. The short-term package was made available to domestic students from 15 April. Further details on the package are available on the Ministry of Education website.

Support is available

It has been a challenging time over the past few weeks and you may be feeling like you need some extra support. Remember, our student support team are still here for you and you can call 0800 WITT NZ to be put in touch with the right person. For help with feelings of isolation or stress you may also find www.mentalhealth.org.nz helpful, as well as a new resource launched last week called Getting Through Together.

Have you got questions?

Last week we emailed you a link to the Frequently Asked Questions on our website. These FAQs provide detail around coming back to study after the break, remote learning, and the support that is available to students. I encourage you to read through the FAQs and contact us if you have questions that aren’t covered.

If you have queries about your course, your tutor or your School administrator are available to help. If you don’t know how to get in touch with them or need other student support, contact info@witt.ac.nz or phone 0800 WITT NZ.

Please continue to take care of yourselves and those around you. We are looking forward to the new term starting on 28 April and ready to support our learners to continue their study during this unprecedented time.

Ngā mihi,

John Snook, Chief Executive


15.4.20 - Government announces support package for tertiary students

Education Minister Chris Hipkins yesterday announced a support package to financially assist tertiary students whose study has been affected by Covid-19. The short-term package is available to domestic students from today, 15 April.

  • full-time domestic students will be able to borrow up to $2000, up from the current $1000, for course related costs.
  • continued support payments for students unable to study online for up to 8 weeks
  • a change in the rules that means no one will be disadvantaged if they have to discontinue their study this year because of Covid-19, for example under the fees free scheme.

For more:  http://education.govt.nz/news/support-package-for-tertiary-students/


9.4.20 - WITT Student Update and FAQs

On Tuesday 28 April, we’ll return from the mid-semester break and resume teaching for most programmes. As we can’t be certain of New Zealand’s lockdown period for Covid-19, we will be aiming to deliver the majority of our courses and programmes remotely.

Your tutor will contact you at least a week before your course is due to restart, so you know and can get ready.

Most full-time programmes will restart on 28 April. Unfortunately, some courses will not be able to be completed until we’re back on campus – if this affects you, your tutor will talk you through it.

We understand that not all students will be able to participate due to family responsibilities, access to technology or other matters. If there are barriers to you being able to study from home, please talk to us and we will work with you to find a solution.

If you have queries about your course, your tutor or your School administrator are available to help. If you don’t know how to get in touch with them or need other student support, contact info@witt.ac.nz or phone 0800 WITT NZ.

If you have a question that isn't answered in the FAQ, please get in touch and we will get an answer for you. Contact info@witt.ac.nz or 0800 WITT NZ.


Information for students - Covid-19: What you need to know

With so many updates over the past couple of weeks, it can be easy to lose track of the facts. We’ve put together some of the key information for our students all in one place. If you have any questions that aren’t answered here, please email them to info@witt.ac.nz.

It’s really important for you to look after yourself and support each other as we adjust to all these changes. Remember the best place to get your Covid-19 information, updates and health advice is covid19.govt.nz

Teaching and learning

  • WITT is closed and there are no classes happening in any format until after Easter. We plan to resume teaching on 28 April.
  • Students are now on break, so you do not have to submit any assignments that were due before 28 April. We do however encourage you to use some of this time at home to revise and undertake self-directed learning. Where possible, tutors will share exercises and revision material with their students.
  • Schools and tutors are working hard to prepare for teaching to start again on 28 April, with blended learning options in development.
  • We’ll be adjusting the academic calendar to accommodate the current shutdown and help everyone catch up. We will communicate this with you in more detail once it’s confirmed.
  • Someone from your School will be in touch with you regularly over the next few weeks to keep you updated.

Services

  • We are still here for you. Our contact centre is fully operational on weekdays from 8am-5pm. Contact 0800 WITT NZ or info@witt.ac.nz and you’ll be put in touch with the right person.
  • Our IT service desk remains open for you, so if you need help accessing Moodle, iQualify or any other WITT services online, email itservicedesk@witt.ac.nz
  • Te Puna Manaaki (Health and Wellbeing Centre) is physically closed but health advice and support is still available to students, just in a different way. Contact 0800 WITT NZ or info@witt.ac.nz and you can speak to our nurse, counsellor, youth guarantee team, chaplain or disability support team.
  • Te Whare Mātauranga – our Learning Resource Centre – is still providing learning support, until 3 April. You can also access ebooks. Check out https://libraryhome.witt.ac.nz/home
  • Our International Centre is physically closed but pastoral care, advice and all the usual support services are still available to students, just in a different way. Contact international@witt.ac.nz or 0800 WITT NZ if you're an international student needing support.

StudyLink

  • All StudyLink living costs and student allowance payments will continue while WITT is closed, if you stay enrolled. Check out the StudyLink website for more information.

Looking after yourself

  • Now that New Zealand’s at Alert Level 4, it’s important to stay home. Only make physical contact with those that you live with.
  • Don’t worry, during this time, you will be able to access all the essentials you need, including medicine, food and other home supplies.
  • You can still go for a walk, run or bike ride. In fact, we encourage it. Exercise is good for your mental health. Keep in mind, it must be solo exercise or just with the people you live with. Check out covid.govt.nz for all the guidelines.
  • If you’re feeling anxious or lonely, our counsellor is available to have a chat. Call 0800 WITT NZ to be put in touch.
  • There are also a number of free counselling services you can access, like 1737 (text or call anytime) or The Lowdown. There’s also some good advice for international students on the NauMai NZ website.

Keeping in touch

  • We will continue to communicate via through our website and social media. Please feel free to send us direct messages if there’s something you want to know.
  • We’ll email you with any critical information, so please make sure your contact details are up to date and keep an eye on your inbox.
  • Your tutors will continue to keep in touch with you while we are closed under Alert Level 4. Please feel free to contact them directly if you have any questions relating to your course.

Remember, if you need anything – call us on 0800 WITT NZ or email info@witt.ac.nz

Kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui.


6.4.20 - Information for Students 

The Ministry of Education released information for students, covering the following:

1. Why stay enrolled?  2. What if my tertiary provider cannot continue delivering my programme?  3. What processes must providers follow to make major changes to their course structure?  4. What should I do if I'm feeling low or anxious?

6 April - MOE Bulletin for Tertiary Students


2.4.20 - Information for International Students 

The government yesterday released its plan to safely repatriate foreign nationals including international students while the country is in lockdown.

The update (linked below) provides advice for international students who want to depart New Zealand on scheduled commercial or foreign-government assisted charter flights. 

2 April - MOE Bulletin for International Students


2.4.20 - Information for Tertiary Students (Domestic)

2nd April, 2020 | COVID-19 Update

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 (www.mentalhealth.org.nz) and Health Promotion Agency (www.hpa.org.nz). 

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 students 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 https://www.studylink.govt.nz/.

For health advice, refer to the Ministry of Health’s website
https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

For official Government information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), including health advice and travel restrictions visit the All-of-Government website
https://www.govt.nz/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/

For more advice for students, visit the Ministry of Education website
http://www.education.govt.nz/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-3/


31.3.20 - Information for Tertiary Providers and International Students

Ministry of Education Bulletin: Tertiary Providers and International Students

31st March, 2020 | COVID-19 Update

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
https://www.govt.nz/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/

For health advice, please refer to the Ministry of Health’s website
https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

For more advice for students visit the Ministry of Education website
http://www.education.govt.nz/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-3/

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