To: All TIASA Members

Kia ora whanau

As you will all be aware, the country has moved to Alert Level 3 for the Auckland region and Alert Level 2 for the rest of New Zealand. Announcements will be made by the Prime Minister later today (5.30 p.m.) with regard to any change to Alert Levels.

As the specialist voice for allied staff, TIASA has a presence at the highest levels of decisionmaking including Government, Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), Ministry of Education (MoE), NZIST and the NZ Council of Trade Unions. This ensures that we are not only receiving up to date information as it occurs, but we are also being involved in consultation, primarily via Zoom meetings, on a daily basis. The most recent of these was yesterday with a meeting hosted by the TEC for the Peak Bodies – Education Agencies Emergency Management Committee, of which TIASA is a part. This dealt with questions from right across the sector.

We believe that it is important that the information that is circulated regarding the current Alert levels and what it means for the tertiary sector is consistent, therefore we are reproducing below the most recent Tertiary Provider Bulletin distributed by the TEC FYI.

Bulletin – Tertiary Provider and International Bulletin
12th August, 2020

Last night the government announced that from midday, Wednesday 12 August 2020 the Auckland Region will be at Alert Level 3 and the remainder of New Zealand will be at Alert Level 2, until midnight on Friday 14 August. This is to ensure that we prevent the virus from spreading in our community.

You will be familiar with the alert level guidance for tertiary education organisations, however for quick reference on how to operate under different Alert Levels, click here.
The number one priority remains the welfare of staff and students, and ensuring that they remain safe and well during this time. The Ministry of Health website contains a useful range of mental health and wellbeing resources your staff might need for themselves or to assist students, they can be found here.

The guiding principles at Alert Level 2 for tertiary education organisations for all of New Zealand,

excluding the Auckland region, can be found here, with the following additions:

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

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

• All teaching and other activities should be done remotely wherever possible.
• Where it is not possible to deliver teaching online, some facilities may remain open (e.g. for research, post-graduate teaching, lab/workshops, or noho-based delivery).
• Any class, workshops, etc., that open, must be limited to 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 other students.
• Social distancing and contact tracing requirements must be met in all situations.
• Wearing face masks (or other face coverings) is advised if out and about, for example on public transport or visiting the supermarket. Student accommodation should remain open and in a position to provide appropriate support to allow students to self-isolate, as required.
• Large classes or gatherings (of more than 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.

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, for example onsite at 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.

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).
• 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.
• Students are encouraged to wear masks or face coverings when out and about.
• Student services, such as counselling and health services should continue to operate, with consultations delivered online or over the phone, where possible. Other supports available are;
o GP or local community health centre
o Youthline 0800 376 633
o Need To Talk by calling or texting 1737
o In an emergency always call 111
• Student financial support can be provided through the student hardship fund, to support learners facing financial hardship. In addition:
o Student support package remains available. Claims can 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.
o Answers to questions about Student Allowance and Living Cost payments can be found on StudyLink’s website
• Students can attend a class or lab or workshop with a group of other students (of up to 10 students and staff), but not then move on to multiple other classes with different groups.
• Any class, workshop, laboratory etc., that opens, must be limited to 10 people or less. Each such group is considered a ‘bubble’ and should not interact with any other student/staff bubbles of 10

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

For health advice, please refer to the Ministry of Health’s website.
For Cross-agency information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), including health advice and travel restrictions visit the All-of-Government website
To keep updated on travel restrictions and visa information visit

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

Further TIASA Advice

We will update you again following the Prime Minister’s announcement at 5.30 p.m. today. TIASA’s Apiha Whakahaere (National Executive) will be meeting over the weekend via Zoom to discuss what further impacts there may be for our sector as a result of the decisions of government.

As you may be aware, a Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) student has tested positive to COVID-19. The student was studying in Tech Park’s General Engineering area at MIT’s South campus in Otara. Gus Gilmore, MIT Chief Executive, has issued a public health update to all MIT staff and advises that the health service has carried out a full scoping exercise in relation to the case and has determined that the person was not sick or infectious while they were at MIT and that there is a very low risk they passed on illness to anyone while at the Institute. The student will remain in isolation. All MIT campuses are currently closed due to Auckland’s Level 3 Alert


If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact us
at any of the following:


Stay safe, stay strong and take care of yourselves and those around you.

Peter Joseph,
Chief Executive

On behalf of Apiha Whakahaere o Te Hononga/National Executive

“Big enough to matter – small enough to care”