Frequently asked questions

Our COVID-19 response

Last updated Friday 29 May, 2020


Where can I find out more information about COVID-19?

The Ministry of Health have information on their website about COVID-19 that is updated regularly. Please refer to The Ministry of Health website for any specific COVID-19 questions.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa will also be updating our website with important information and emailing our tauira and kaimahi with any developments related to the learning journey of our tauira.

I’m feeling overwhelmed and anxious about COVID-19, what mental health support is available for me?

There are some great tips available about managing your mental wellbeing on the Ministry of Health website. If you would like to talk to anyone about how you are feeling, you can free call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor.

We also have our Student Support team that can put you in touch with other trained counsellors. Please call us on 0800 355 553 from Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, so we can pass you on to the right people to help you.

What support can Te Wānanga o Aotearoa offer me?

We are here to help you succeed with your education. If you would like to discuss any impacts that the current COVID-19 situation may have on your programme of study, please feel welcome to contact us so we can kōrero with you, or point you in the right direction. You can contact us on 0800 355 553, 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

If you have a particular study or personal need to discuss, please contact your local Student Support Advisor through Te Matakā.

Classroom-based programme delivery

What will Te Wānanga o Aotearoa classroom-based programmes look like during the COVID-19 rāhui*?

At Level 2, most classes will stay online for Semester A.

  • Classes will continue to be delivered online and remotely until the end of Semester A – you will be notified if your class has been granted special permission to access sites where required
  • All noho and one-day wānanga activities remain suspended for now
  • Off-site delivery in community facilities, marae and kura also remains suspended for now
  • All tauira aged 70 and over – as well as tauira who are immune compromised – should discuss their learning arrangements with their kaiako before returning to face-to-face classes (when appropriate) as additional precautions need to be considered.

Can I as a tauira or member of the public come to a Te Wānanga o Aotearoa site?

Tauira are not required on site, for now, unless they are:

  • Participating in programmes with special requirements
  • Requiring access to printers/resources including library services
  • Requiring face-to-face kōrero with kaimahi, getting assistance with class mahi and/or retrieving documentation with prior arrangement
  • Attending an information/enrolment session for Semester B.

Classes will remain as per the plan set out by kaiako in Level 3.

What does return to sites look like in Level 2?

  • Te Wānanga o Aotearoa sites will begin to reopen to tauira from Thursday 21 May, with important rules to follow when coming on to our sites
  • There will only be one entry and exit at each site and you will need to sign in and out each time you are entering and leaving the whare – we'll communicate instructions closer to the time tauira are expected to start coming back
  • Generally speaking, our sites can be open from 8:30am to 9pm each day. Specific opening hours for sites may vary to this – and as changes are made will be updated on here including how to gain access where walk-ins are not suitable
  • Please do not come in to our sites if you are unwell
  • Please continue the practice of regular hand washing and using hand sanitisers while onsite
  • Only tauira and kaimahi can enter sites, no children or whānau and members of the wider public are permitted to do so until further notice.

What can we expect with physical distancing and health and safety on Te Wānanga o Aotearoa sites?

  • Our sites and whare will be operating as ‘controlled environments’ meaning that contact tracing and hygiene protocols are mandatory
  • The physical distancing rule is that when people are on a Te Wānanga o Aotearoa site they should stay one metre apart from anyone else
  • All tauira and kaimahi on sites are required to regularly wash and dry hands and take personal responsibility to use cleaning equipment provided for all hard surfaces including computer labs, before and after use
  • Keep using te reo rotarota (sign language) for greetings rather than hariru, hugs and handshakes.

Will I be partially refunded for my tuition fees due to the change in delivery of teaching?

No, partial refunds of tuition fees will not be provided to tauira (due to the change in the mode of delivery).

Tuition fees are set for the entire programme (irrespective of the delivery mode). Unlike some other institutions, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa does not apportion tuition fees by programme components, which might be charged separately as course related costs. It is for this reason that Te Wānanga o Aotearoa does not charge course related costs. Measures have been taken (including the extension of Early Withdrawal Period) to provide the opportunity for tauira to meaningfully engage and determine whether online delivery meets their needs, and if not, to early withdraw without cost to the tauira.

Why the move to online teaching and learning?

The move to online teaching and learning has now become a necessary requirement for education providers and schools throughout Aotearoa to minimise risks to the health of whānau and communities. It also means that you will be able to get back on your learning journey as quickly as possible and will ensure you can stay engaged in your programme should the COVID-19 status levels change again in the future.

What support is available for me if I’m not confident with online learning?

We’re here to help. Online learning is a new experience for many, which is why we’ve also emailed our tauira instructional videos on how to log on to their online learning platform.

If you’d like support at any time of your learning journey, we have student support advisors and our Tatau Pounamu contact centre team available to help you too.

We can walk you through any questions you have, or put you in touch with the right person that can help you. This is new territory for many of us, don’t be afraid to ask for help!

If you have a question or require support with online learning, you can ask a question or phone 0800 355 553 from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

We’re working through detailed plans for every programme, including how we will provide extra support to all tauira who need it. Check your emails overs the coming weeks for helpful hints and support options.

What happens if I have limited or no access to internet or an appropriate learning device?

If you need help with this, we have some options available. Please contact us on 0800 355 553 between 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, so we can understand what your situation is and whether you would be suitable for a loan device or connection package to assist you with your studies with us.

What will happen with noho and one-day wānanga?

While our country is observing the COVID-19 rāhui*, noho and one-day wānanga will not be held. Decisions will be made about where to next for these, and we will communicate any updates to our tauira when the time is right.

What do I do if I feel like I cannot complete my programme at the moment?

We understand that with the current COVID-19 situation, it can be an uncertain time for people. We encourage you to contact your kaiako or tutor to discuss any concerns you have about your programme workload. We’d like to support you to be able to complete your programme wherever possible. If you’re unsure how to contact your kaiako or tutor you can ask our student support team a question or call them on 0800 355 553 so we can put you in touch.

Home-based learning programmes

What changes are there to home-based learning programmes during the COVID-19 rāhui*?

If you’re enrolled on one of our home-based learning programmes, remote learning will continue as currently planned; kete are still being delivered. Your kaitiaki will still be available for support, however they will not be able to physically visit during the COVID-19 rāhui.*


I’m uncertain about staying enrolled. Why should I stay enrolled?

We’d love to support you through your education journey, to see you succeed. The Ministry of Education also encourages tauira to remain enrolled so they can continue to receive student allowance or living costs (if these are already being received).

For answers to questions about Student Allowance and Living Cost payments please refer to the StudyLink website.

With my current commitments, I’d like to withdraw. How can I withdraw?

We’d love to support you to complete your programme, however if you are considering withdrawing we encourage you to talk to your kaiako or tutor in the first instance. If you wish to withdraw after that, they will advise you on how to do this.

If I withdraw, how will this affect my student loan?

If you withdraw before the ‘early withdrawal period’ which is 10% of the course duration, you are eligible for a refund of any fees you have paid; you will not have academic results entered from a programmer that you withdraw from. Download our Terms and Conditions of Enrolment document for more information.

For answers to questions about Student Allowance and Living Cost payments please refer to the StudyLink website.


How will COVID-19 impact my student allowance, living costs or student loan?

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and the Ministry of Education encourages tauira to remain enrolled so they can continue to receive student allowance or living costs (if these are already being received).

For answers to questions about Student Allowance and Living Cost payments please refer to the StudyLink website.


Will graduations still be going ahead as planned?

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has made the very difficult decision to cancel all graduation ceremonies planned for April and May 2020. It is with considerable regret this decision has been made but it reflects the importance Te Wānanga o Aotearoa places on the health and safety of our kaimahi, tauira, their whānau and the wider community. Twenty-two graduation ceremonies had been planned to go ahead around the motu - from April 15 in Dunedin to May 29 in Hastings. The cancellation is very disappointing for our tauira, their whānau and our kaimahi but it’s the right decision to make in the current climate.

Why were graduations cancelled, rather than postponed?

As the COVID-19 situation is a fluid one, with frequent updates, we could not book venues with any certainty.

I was due to graduate in 2020, how do I get my tohu (certificate)?

All tauira qualifications will still be officially conferred and you will have the option to collect your tohu from the campus you studied at, or have it mailed out. More details on this will follow.

If I’ve moved from the location I attended the programme, can I go to my nearest campus to pick up my tohu?

For those that cannot pick up their tohu from the campus they studied at, we can arrange to send this to you, once we finalise the details of when we will have the tohu ready. We will communicate more details to our tauira at a later stage.

Will there be an opportunity to attend a graduation ceremony at a later point?

Over the coming months, we will assess what options there are for our tauira who were due to graduate this year, but couldn’t due to COVID-19 precautions. We will communicate to affected tauira once a decision has been made.

* What is a ‘Rāhui’?

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa have adopted the kupu (word) ‘rāhui’ instead of ‘lockdown’. A community gives power to a rāhui by upholding it and being a part of it. Rāhui is a tikanga used by our tūpuna to look after us, both physically and spiritually. Rāhui is empowering, it unifies us, it encourages us all to take responsibility for our collective wellbeing.

Contact us

Phone 0800 355 553 from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Ask a question online

Provide feedback on this page

We want your feedback

Let us know about your experience with our website. We'll take your feedback into consideration as we develop the site.

Close feedback