COVID-19 Updates

Vaccination Policy details

After thorough consideration, Toi Ohomai will be adopting a policy of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for all ākonga, kaimahi and others who access any of our campuses or Toi Ohomai managed events from Monday, 17 January 2022. (Read full details below)

See also: 

Update - 23 January 2022

Please see below our latest update regarding the current COVID-19 situation, which also summarises the Prime Minister’s announcement at 11.00am today.     

  • New Zealand is moving to the RED setting of the Traffic Light System from 11:59 tonight 
  • Omicron cases have been confirmed in Nelson/Marlborough and is likely circulating in Auckland and elsewhere 

Toi Ohomai Pandemic Response Team has met this afternoon to discuss the impacts of this change in settings for our kaimahi and ākonga. While the extent of the current outbreak is yet to be known, our approach is to proceed cautiously. However, we remain focused on ensuring that we continue to teach, work, and learn as normally and safely as possible.

We have thoroughly reviewed the Ministry of Health and Government settings under the RED setting. This isn’t the first time we’ve operated under these restrictions, and our approach also considers that we might be in this setting for quite some time.  

Please ensure you read the following guidelines closely so we can continue to keep each other safe and limit the transmission of the virus.

Settings for Toi Ohomai under RED setting:

  • Toi Ohomai will remain open for staff and students; however, you must have a My Vaccine Pass to access campus. This means you must be fully vaccinated.

    Please ensure you have provided us with your My Vaccine Pass prior to coming to campus tomorrow. You can upload a copy or photo of your ‘My Vaccine Pass’ to the ‘My Documents’ section of your ‘My Enrolments’ page. Please ensure you select the Document Type of ‘Copy of My Vaccine Pass’. Alternatively, you can email it to the Data Centre. If you have any questions about how to load your vaccination pass please contact us on 0800 86 46 46 or email [email protected]
     

  • Staff and students must wear a face-covering indoors and when accessing services such as student health, student support services, libraries, cafes and other onsite services
     
  • You will be contacted by your tutor or Academic Leader for any programme-specific situations 

Please keep up the following healthy habits:

  • If you do come on campus, please ensure you scan at all locations as you move about 
  • Regularly wash and thoroughly dry your hands and use hand sanitiser
  • Keep your distance from people you do not know
  • Clean or disinfect shared surfaces often
  • If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and get a test. If you do undertake a test, please register your details with [email protected]  

While this isn’t the first time we have faced COVID restrictions, we also know that these changes might cause stress or concern. Everyone copes with change differently, and we understand that COVID fatigue is real. However, we really are all in this together.

If you need to chat, or need support, we encourage to you reach out to someone you trust. Information, resources and FAQs are available in this COVID-19 Information page of the website.

If you have further questions, please email [email protected] in the first instance – we have a dedicated team to respond, and where required, redirect any questions.


Update - 14 January 2022

As detailed in communication last year, Toi Ohomai has adopted a policy of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for all ākonga (students), kaimahi (staff) and others who access any of our campuses, sites or Toi Ohomai managed events from Monday, 17 January 2022. This means that staff and students will need to have their first vaccine by Monday, 17 January 2022, and have received their second dose by Tuesday, 8 February 2022.
 
You can read the full Toi Ohomai Vaccination policy further down this page.
 
Please ensure that you provide Toi Ohomai with verification of your vaccination status to continue with your enrolment and attend classes or access any of our campuses.  
 
You can upload a copy or photo of your ‘My Vaccine Pass’ to the ‘My Documents’ section of your ‘My Enrolments’ page. Please ensure you select the Document Type of ‘Copy of My Vaccine Pass’. Alternatively, you can email it to the Data Centre or provide it in person to our reception or information centre staff at your campus.
 
If you do not wish to get fully vaccinated, you will be able to study any of our online courses. However, if you intend to access any on-campus facilities, events or services, you will also need to provide proof of vaccination.
 
If there are no suitable online courses, please request to withdraw your enrolment via your ‘My Enrolments’ portal. On your homepage, under ‘My Active Enrolments’, please click ‘Request Change’ to get the process started.
 
If you have any questions about how to load your vaccination pass please contact us on 0800 86 46 46 or email [email protected].You can also liaise with your tutor or faculty contact or email [email protected] if you have any other questions about the policy.

Information, resources and FAQs are available here on the Toi Ohomai website.


Update - 16 December 2021

Last week, we shared a proposal to adopt a mandatory vaccination policy at Toi Ohomai, based on a risk assessment around the factors that influence infection and transmission of COVID-19.

Firmly at the centre of this kaupapa is the aim to ensure the health and wellbeing of our Toi Ohomai ākonga/students, kaimahi/staff, their whānau and our communities. 

Consultation feedback summary

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on the proposed policies. All submissions have been reviewed and considered to ensure an informed and comprehensive decision is reached. 

Many of you expressed relief and comfort in knowing that we're taking all practicable steps to ensure the health and wellbeing of all, with COVID-19 now established in our communities. 

To recap some of the feedback: 

  • We understand that for some ākonga, there is concern about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. International evidence and government advice show that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the very small risk of adverse side effects. Toi Ohomai establishes the balance of risk to be in favour of vaccination. A vaccination provides you, your whānau and your communities better protection against the virus. 
     
  • Some of the feedback requested that rapid antigen testing be considered in place of the vaccine. Toi Ohomai is committed to introducing a range of controls to reduce the risk of COVID-19 on our campuses. Rapid antigen testing is being investigated as a screening tool where there is a high level of vulnerability, but will not REPLACE vaccination as a control. According to the Ministry of Health, rapid antigen testing requires a high quantity of virus to be present before producing a positive result, and may be less sensitive in detecting asymptomatic persons or those early in the infectious period, and therefore is not a suitable substitute for vaccination.

Vaccination Policy details

After thorough consideration, Toi Ohomai will be adopting a policy of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for all ākonga, kaimahi and others who access any of our campuses or Toi Ohomai managed events from Monday, 17 January 2022

This decision was not reached lightly, and our position has been reviewed, approved and supported by Te Pūkenga and the Toi Ohomai Board.   

Key details of this policy include: 

  • All ākonga, kaimahi and others who wish to access Toi Ohomai campuses, delivery sites and events will be required to be vaccinated. This means that all kaimahi and ākonga will need to have their first vaccination by Monday, 17 January 2022, and their second vaccination by Tuesday, 8 February 2022.
  • Toi Ohomai will consider on a case by case basis ākonga and kaimahi who have a medical exemption to vaccination from the Ministry of Health. Toi Ohomai will approach the consideration from a risk-based perspective.
  • The policy will be reviewed as and when required, but no later than November 2022 to account for any change in context and guidance from the New Zealand Government and Te Pūkenga

You can read the Toi Ohomai Vaccination Policy for more in-depth information on the policy and its implications.
 

Please note that this policy supersedes any vaccination requirements under the Government’s Traffic Light System. This means that for all campuses, whether operating in red or orange, you'll need to be vaccinated to be on site. 

We're aware of the timing of this announcement, two weeks before Christmas, during what is an already challenging year. We did want to ensure that you were notified as soon as practicable so that you have enough time to understand the policy and implications to make an informed decision. 

Next steps

Verification of vaccination status must be provided to our enrollment team when you enrol, or re-enrol, for classes next year. More information will be provided during the enrolment process. 

If anything is unclear or you have any further questions, please liaise with your tutor or faculty contact in the first instance, or please send any questions to [email protected]

Information, resources and FAQs are available on this website.  . 

Continued Wellness

We understand that for some, this proposed policy may cause stress or concern. If you’re feeling anxious or need support, please get in touch with your tutor or engagement facilitator to discuss these details. 

In addition to the student services we’re offering, it’s important to reach out to family or friends who may be able to support you. Further help and information is available from: 

  • your tutor 
  • your GP or local community health centre 
  • Youthline at 0800 376 633 or youthline.co.nz  
  • Need to Talk, by calling or texting 1737 

If it’s an emergency, call 111. 

He waka eke noa. We are all in this together.  


Update - 30 November 2021

Yesterday, the Government announced that New Zealand would move into the new COVID- 19 Traffic Light Protection Framework on December 2 at 11:59 pm. This means that we will be moving away from the current Alert Level System. With the confirmation of which colour each of our regions will enter in this new system, we are now in a unique position where we have different restrictions and guidelines across our campuses.

For Toi Ohomai campuses, this means that:

For staff and students at our Kawerau, Mokoia, Taupō, Waipa, Whakatāne campuses, including all delivery sites in these areas, there will be significant changes to operations and delivery.

For staff and students at our Tokoroa and Windermere/Poike campuses and all delivery sites in these areas, there will be minimal changes to operations and delivery.

Please read the below information carefully to understand the differences and what this means for you.


The following Toi Ohomai campuses and delivery sites will enter at RED

  • Kawerau
  • Mokoia
  • Taupō
  • Waipā
  • Whakatāne

To comply with the traffic light protection framework in RED:

  • All students must be fully vaccinated to attend campuses in these areas from Friday, 3 December
  • Due to semester timing, we understand that a minimal number of students are required to be on campus at this time. Your tutor will work with you to determine if you need to be on campus to finish your studies. If possible, we will support you to study remotely if you're unable to come onto campus under these restrictions
  • Our public spaces remain open with relevant control measures in place.

The following Toi Ohomai campuses and delivery sites will enter at ORANGE

  • Tokoroa
  • Truman Lane
  • Windermere/Poike

There will be minimal changes to current teaching, delivery, and support services to comply with the ORANGE traffic light protection framework, as there is no government vaccine certificate required when operating in this framework.


Health Measures and Wellness for ALL Students

  • Please bring a face covering when you come on campus. In areas where it has been identified through signage that masks are required to be worn, ALL people entering or working in this area need to wear masks - including the public, students and staff.  Staff working in those areas have the right to refuse entry to those who refuse to wear a mask.
  • Inter-regional travel  between campuses is permitted so long as measures of that region can be adhered to.
  • Use the NZ COVID Tracer app to scan in with Bluetooth turned on, or fill out the hard copy registers.
  • Please wash your hands regularly and use the sanitation stations provided through our campuses.
  • Please check locations of interest as these are updated regularly. If you have been in a location of interest, and need to self-isolate, please contact your tutor and email our Health and Safety team. We will work with you to support you during this time.

Toi Ohomai Vaccine Policy

Please note that this new Traffic Light System is separate from the development of our Toi Ohomai vaccination policy. A vital element of the development of this policy is to ensure the health and wellbeing of all our staff and students. We will provide more information about this policy shortly, and we will undergo consultation with all staff and students in relation to this proposal.

Additionally, with COVID-19 present in our regions, and to ensure our staff and students' health and safety, we encourage you to get vaccinated. There are many easy and accessible locations to get your vaccine. Local DHBs have many easily accessible vaccination centres – please see below to find your nearest location.

Wellbeing Support

It's natural to feel concerned about these changes. No one expects you to cope with this situation on your own. In addition to the student services we’re offering, it’s important to reach out to family or friends who may be able to support you.

Further help and information is available from:

  • your tutor
  • your GP or local community health centre
  • Youthline at 0800 376 633 or youthline.co.nz
  • Need to Talk, by calling or texting 1737

If it’s an emergency, call 111.

Any Questions?

If you have questions, please direct these to your tutor in the first instance. You can also email [email protected] We have a dedicated team to respond and, where required, redirect any questions.

Stay safe and kia kaha.


Update - 21 November 2021

Over the weekend, we have been made aware that a staff member of Allied Security, our security provider, has tested positive to COVID-19 after attending a training day at our Windermere campus on Wednesday, 17 November from (approximately) 9:30am – 4:30 pm.

We are in the process of working with Allied Security and the Ministry of Health (MoH) to gather all facts. However, at this stage, we do know that this person had little to no interaction with our staff and students; therefore, the exposure risk is considered low

Therefore, be assured due to the low level of risk, no further action is required, but does serve as a reminder for all of us to remain vigilant with COVID-19 in our communities. 

Key Information

This person was part of a group of 14 Allied Security staff, who took part in training at W2, using the facilities (toilets, etc.) near the security office. At this stage, only one person of this group has tested positive on Friday, 19 November. These staff remained in the vicinity of the security offices; however, they did purchase food from Breaktime in the Atea. We’ve been informed that during this visit, the group wore face masks and adhered to social distancing requirements.  
 
Allied Security has instructed the staff that attended this training to isolate and get tested immediately. Our cleaning teams have completed a deep clean of any areas of potential contact. 
 
With COVID-19 now established in our communities, it increases the likelihood of exposure events at our campuses. We understand this can be concerning, and we all have an essential role in helping keep each other safe. Vaccination is the most important tool we have to keep ourselves safe. Physical distancing, scanning your locations using the COVID tracer app, mask-wearing, and washing your hands regularly, will also decrease the risk of the virus spreading should we again see COVID-19 on our campuses.  

Vaccine Information

We do encourage you to get vaccinated. There are many easy and accessible locations to get your vaccine, including by own Te Whare Hauora Kaitiaki Nurses. Local DHBs have many easily accessible vaccination centres – please see below to find your nearest location. 

•    Bay of Plenty 
•    Lakes DHB 
•    South Waikato 

Please keep up to date with locations of interest in your area. These are updated regularly and there are now multiple locations of interest across our rohe. If you have been in a location of interest, and need to self-isolate, please contact your tutor and our Health and Safety team. We will work with you to support you during this time.   

Wellbeing Support

It's natural to feel concerned about the rise in cases in our communities. No one expects you to cope with this situation on your own. In addition to the student services we’re offering, it’s important to reach out to family or friends who may be able to support you. Further help and information is available from: 

•    your tutor 
•    your GP or local community health centre 
•    Youthline at 0800 376 633 or youthline.co.nz  
•    Need to Talk, by calling or texting 1737 

If it’s an emergency, call 111. 

Any questions?

If you have questions, in the first instance please speak with your tutor. You can also email [email protected] – we have a dedicated team to respond, and where required, redirect any questions.  


Update - 4 October 2021

We wanted to provide you with an update following the Prime Minister’s impromptu address given at 1pm yesterday. 

  • Two community cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed outside of Auckland, one in Hamilton East and one in Raglan. 
  • Auckland remains at Alert Level 3
  • Overnight, Hamilton City, Raglan, Te Kauwhata, Ngāruwahia and Huntly also moved to Alert Level 3 in response to the community cases. These are the boundaries.  

The rest of New Zealand, including the Bay of Plenty and South Waikato remain at Alert Level 2.  

What this means for students and staff

We continue to operate under Alert Level 2 guidelines. There are no changes for Toi Ohomai staff and students except for those who have been in the Waikato - see below. 

I have been in the Waikato – what do I do? *

  • Check the locations of interest - if you have been at any of these locations during the times outlined you should immediately self-isolate and get tested.  
  • If you show any symptoms, you should immediately self-isolate and get tested. 
  • Please do not return to campus until you have received a negative test result. 
  • If you live within the Waikato boundary and are now unable to attend class, please notify your line manager. 
  • If you are tested, please notify your line manager and Matt Hammond.  

* This applies to all staff and students who have been in the Waikato boundary since Monday, 27 September. 

Questions? 

If you have questions please email [email protected]. He waka eke noa. We're all in this together. 


Update - 20 September 2021

Last Friday, 17 September, we were made aware that three of our students had been attending their quantity surveying classes at our Windermere campus after travelling from Auckland on Monday, 13 September.

As a precautionary measure, the students were stood down immediately and the class suspended until we could gather all relevant information and guidance from the Ministry of Health.
 
We have since ascertained the following facts, which we wanted to ensure were correct before providing you all with an update.
 
Before leaving Auckland, the three students contacted the Ministry of Health for travel advice, produced negative COVID tests, presented relevant documents to border staff, and were permitted to travel down to Tauranga.
 
The students attended four classes over the week. As soon as we were made aware of the student’s travel history on Friday, we stood them down and instructed them to self-isolate and get another COVID test. All three students have since returned a second negative test on Saturday. We believe the students acted honestly and followed the guidance and information provided to them at the time.
 
From here, as an additional precaution, the students will not be returning to campus until 14 days since they arrived in Tauranga. After speaking with health officials, there is no perceived risk to staff and students, and those who attended those classes are not required to isolate. In line with Ministry of Health guidelines, anyone with cold and flu symptoms should not attend campus and contact Healthline for testing information. All classes are continuing as timetabled.
 
Toi Ohomai has consistently taken a cautious approach to these situations, reflected by our slow, measured return to campus. Should we receive any further information about this matter, we will provide you with an update as soon as we can. We understand and appreciate this matter may have caused worry and concern amongst our whānau. The health and wellbeing of our students and staff remains our primary focus.
 
If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with your tutor or email [email protected]


Update of Status - 7 September 2021

Recap of current announcements

  • All of New Zealand (excluding Auckland) will move to Alert Level 2 at 11.59pm Tuesday, 7 September
  • Auckland remains at Alert Level 4 until 11.59pm Tuesday, 14 September

Key details of Alert Level 2 changes

  • All Toi Ohomai campuses will remain operating under Alert Level 3 guidelines until Monday, 13 September. 
  • Most classes will begin to resume on-campus from Monday, but return will be staggered. Your tutor will be in touch to confirm if and when you need to attend campus.
  • Until you've received confirmation from your tutor you are not to return to campus. Our aim is to limit the number of people on campus at any given time.
  • We will be following strict public health requirements when opening our campuses. We’ve outlined all these measures so please familiarise yourself with and adhere to these rules. 

Health and wellbeing

  • If you feel unwell, please stay home. If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline 0800 358 5453 and seek advice about being tested.  
  • If you undergo a COVID test, please notify your tutor and our Senior Health and Safety Advisor Matt Hammond, and self-isolate immediately.  
  • We understand these are difficult times, and it might be stressful as you navigate through your new normal. If you’re experiencing additional pressure, you can access free mental health counselling through Puāwaitanga.
  • Students who are at greater risk of getting a severe illness from COVID-19 due to an underlying medical condition, pregnant, and who are over 70 are encouraged to continue to study remotely. Please speak with your tutor to make these arrangements.
  • Find out about the Government-led approach to vaccines.  

Need help?

All our student support services are available to provide you with any support you may need during this time. If you’re experiencing hardship or need more information about where to get financial, academic or health and wellbeing assistance, please get in touch with us or contact your tutor. 

Domestic students can email our Learning Success Team and international students can email our International Team. Alternatively, you can contact our engagement facilitators via Moodle.

Need more information?

If you have further questions, please email [email protected] – we have a dedicated team to respond and, if required, to redirect any questions.


    Archived Updates

    Archived COVID-19 information and updates