COVID-19 update from Ara - 24 June

News News & events
Ministry of Education updates:
24 June 2020

Kia ora Ara students

It’s been a couple of weeks now since New Zealand moved to Alert Level 1, and now that June’s nearly over, the end of Semester 1 will soon be with us.

While New Zealand as a country moved relatively quickly from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1 we (Ara) decided it was important to provide some certainty and consistency amongst the change; to this end while we have brought a number of courses back on campus, we have continued with remote delivery where this has been possible.

While in many ways, everything may appear to be ‘back to normal’, I know this will not be the situation for all of you. You might well be experiencing ongoing challenges – personal or learning-related - and may be thinking about how things were during lock-down and the impact this had on you and possibly on your studies.

There are real ways by which we can help you if need support. The main thing is to talk about your situation, and how it may be affecting you. This way, we can work with you to figure out the best way forward.

Your tutors are always ready to discuss your situation with you, and if you let them know what’s going on, you will be pleasantly surprised at the support that could be made available to you, plus, there’s a whole team of my colleagues in student support roles who are ready and able to provide you with assistance.

Enjoy the remainder of the semester and all the best with your studies – and don’t forget, if you’re concerned about aspects of your study or how your are feeling following ‘lockdown’ please let your tutor know. You can also contact the Ara Contact Centre at any time on info@ara.ac.nz with any questions you may have.

Naku, me nga manaakitanga

Tony Gray
Chief Executive

8 June 2020

Kia ora Ara students

Many of you will be aware of the Government announcement this afternoon that New Zealand is moving back to Alert Level 1 overnight. This means Ara can transition back to full access at all campus sites, with our regular services available.

Your tutors will be letting you know about the plans for your particular course for the remainder of the first semester. Even with the shift to Alert Level 1, the class plans we had in place will not change for the remainder of the semester. Many courses will continue to be delivered via a combination of onsite and distance delivery.

From tomorrow, you’re no longer required to let us know you are onsite via the Contact Tracer app, but you should try to keep a note of your movements and interactions. Keep an eye out for the Government QR code posters at many Ara site entrances - they’re there to help you with this.

Have a great week,

Tony Gray
Chief Executive

5 June 2020

Kia ora students

We hope you’re keeping warm and well – the weather has certainly turned cooler this week. We’re looking forward to welcoming more students back to campus next week as a number of courses return to learning on campus.

Most areas on our campus sites are open with controlled access and limited hours. Find out what’s available across Ara sites from Monday 8 June.

We’d like to remind you that you do need to follow our instructions as we continue to operate under Alert Level 2 - this video clip explains what you need to know when coming on site:

The team at Ara

29 May 2020

Kia ora students

As Ara continues to operate in Alert Level 2 there have been some questions about what’s open and how to access to Ara sites and services.

Starting from today, we’re going to release a list each week that confirms all of these details for each different space.  In general, most areas are open and remain under controlled access and with limited hours. Find out what’s available across Ara sites from Tuesday 2 June.

This video clip explains what you need to know and do when coming to an Ara site under Alert Level 2.

Enjoy the upcoming long weekend and we hope you’re able to do something enjoyable on Monday (don’t come to class!),

The team at Ara

22 May 2020

Kia ora Ara students

I hope all is well with each of you as we come to the end of the first full week of life at Alert Level 2.

While we have a number of you continuing to learn at distance, a number of students are now returning to Ara campus sites for classes, in many cases you will be experiencing a mix of virtual and face to face classes.

We really appreciate the changing class situation can be challenging and I know my colleagues at Ara are committed to and will be doing everything they can to support both your transition and your learning.

We’ve had a number of questions about what has been going on this week, while at the same time we have been finalising details for teaching and support activity for classes next week. More and more activity is becoming available on campuses and we are continuing to offer the distance support activity you’ve told us has been really useful, to you.

Please find our latest questions and answers here.

If there are things you would like to know please continue to talk with your tutors or email info@ara.ac.nz.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Nga manaakitanga

Tony Gray
Chief Executive

15 May 2020

Kia ora Ara students

On Wednesday we shared a number of questions and answers related to our Operational Procedures at Alert Level 2 – these remain available here.

We’ve had a number of great questions through from many colleagues and students in the last few days - many thanks for sending these through. The latest set of questions and answers is available here.

We know that more questions may emerge as we begin to have more people on our sites from next Monday. We will share further questions next week as these come up and are confirmed. If you have questions please get in touch with your tutors or connect with our Student Voice team at studentvoice@ara.ac.nz

Have an enjoyable weekend and take care of yourselves

Nga manaakitanga

Tony Gray, Chief Executive

13 May 2020

Kia ora Ara students

As an Ara student we know you probably have a few questions about how things will operate on campus now we’re moving to Alert Level 2.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of some of the most important questions in a document, along with the answers for each. This will give you the basic information you need about how we’re operating at Alert Level 2.

No courses will be back on any Ara sites this week.  If your course is coming back to being delivered on campus your tutor will be letting you know about this, and when it will happen. It’s critical that if you’re coming back to a campus we can keep you safe and well, and reassured about your return.

There will be more details coming your way before the end of the week but if you have a question that hasn’t been answered here, please send it through to info@ara.ac.nz.

I hope you all enjoy the move to Alert Level 2 and the new opportunities it allows us all to connect in person with family and friends.

Tony Gray, Chief Executive

11 May 2020

Kia ora Ara students

Almost 350 students are being welcomed back to Ara sites this week, all in carefully-planned bubbles, to continue the practical learning that is necessary in order to finish some qualifications.

I know that many of you are looking forward to a return to campus, so I think we’re all glad that to hear that New Zealand will transition to Alert Level 2 from this Thursday. As part of this, tertiary organisations can begin to re-open from next week.

There’s been a lot of work done towards making this transition, which includes planning exactly where a number of activities will be located while we remain at Alert Level 2. The health, safety and wellbeing of you and your tutors is the main thing, so all of the changes we make will be approached in a series of stages.

We’ve already carried out a great deal of deep cleaning across all of our sites, and this will be continued.  We’re also asking anyone who feels unwell not to come to campus and there will be processes in place to help everyone to maintain appropriate physical distancing while on our sites.

A full set of questions and answers containing more detail will be shared with students later this week.

Please continue to look out for each other,

Tony

24 April 2020

Kia ora students,

As we near the end of our final week in Alert Level 4 I hope all is going well for each of you.

During the week, my colleagues and I have made additional decisions about how Ara will operate as we move from Alert Level 4 and into and (hopefully) through Level 3. We remain focused on the safety, health and wellbeing of everyone connected with Ara. Please be patient as we implement the changes required.

For now, what the Alert Level 3 changes will mean for all of us, including each of you studying with Ara:

  • Alert Level 3 still essentially requires everyone to ‘stay at home and stay in our bubbles’.
  • Your learning will still be achieved by remote delivery.
  • No tutors or students will be allowed unauthorised access to any Ara campuses under Alert Level 3. We are looking at very limited and controlled access for students who are at risk of not being able to graduate mid-2020.
  • On-site or face-to-face workplace-based learning will only be able to go ahead in very limited cases (for example if you’re working in essential services, such as a hospital, or are engaged in a ‘Managed Apprenticeship’).
  • Access to all student and support services including the library, remains by distance.
  • Students can have contact with our counsellors, nurses or doctor, request advice and support on any health and wellbeing concern and request repeat prescriptions from our GP. Please do this by emailing susan.woods@ara.ac.nz.
  • Otautahi House remains closed under Alert Level 3.

Because we made the decision to bring forward the mid-term break, please remember you’ve effectively only missed one week of your course delivery. My colleagues have been working hard to ensure that you’ll be able to complete everything needed in your course, initially through remote learning, and then well-planned delivery once we can return to Ara campuses.

We have also been in touch to identify the challenges some of you are experiencing around accessing distance delivery. Thank you for your responses as they are helping us to identify where Ara may be able to help. If connection to the internet is an issue for you, Skinny Jump is one option that might help. Skinny Jump is flexible prepaid broadband: $5 for 30GB of data, no contracts or credit checks, and the modem comes free of charge. Just top up as you go. You can renew the plan up to five times every month to a maximum of 150GB every month (which would cost $25). For more detail see: https://www.skinny.co.nz/jump/home/

Transitioning between Alert Levels brings with it some complexity in operations for Ara including the fact that there are and will be changes as Government decisions are made and more information shared. We will continue to provide updates and additional detail as quickly as we can, so you know what will happen with your studies and activity on Ara campuses.

Please continue to connect with your tutors and ask them for more information if there is anything further you need to know – I know my colleagues will be doing all they can to support you.

I hope you enjoy the long ANZAC weekend, please stay safe in your bubbles.

Tony Gray, Chief Executive

21 April 2020

Kia ora Ara students,

I hope the first week of learning by distance (for most students) was successful last week, following the mid-term break prior to Easter. It’s certainly a new experience for most of us and if it’s taking a little time to get familiar with, be assured that you’re not alone.

We heard yesterday that New Zealand will transition back to Alert Level 3 from next Tuesday. The Health, Safety and Wellbeing of our team and students remains our priority as we plan for this at Ara. The Government has said that tertiary study must continue to happen by distance, wherever it is possible. The Ministry of Education information about Alert Level 3 for all tertiary providers and students is available here.

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

  • We will still be delivering most Ara courses by distance, following Government instructions. If your learning is happening in this way right now, this will continue.
  • Our campus sites and all general student areas, such as the library and Health Centre, will remain closed. The opening of these facilities will depend on coming Government decisions and changes to the Alert Level.
  • A very small number of students may be asked to come on site for classes from Tuesday 5 May. We’re working out the logistics of how this will happen in small group so we can keep everyone safe. If you, and your course, are likely to be returning to some activity on campus your tutor will be talking about this with you directly.
  • 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.

There was an issue with myAra not working last weekend. This technical problem has been fixed and myAra should be working as normal now. It can be frustrating when technology and applications don’t work as expected. Please try and be patient and know that our ICT workers are working as quick as they can while experiencing high demand right now.

Some of our team has put together a great little ‘A to Z’ explaining COVID-19 – take a moment to check it out here and feel free to share it.

Please get in touch with your tutor if you have any questions about your studies moving forward. You can also contact info@ara.ac.nz if you have a question that your tutor is not able to answer.

Ngā manaakitanga – take care of yourselves

Tony Gray, Chief Executive

15 April 2020

Welcome back everyone

We hope the Easter weekend gave you time to relax and get ready for your next period of study. To help with this, the Government has announced a support package for students who've been affected by COVID-19.

The aim of this package is to make sure that all students can continue with their education and get the financial support they need while their schools continue to move towards alternative teaching and learning modes.

For the full detail please visit the Ministry of Education website. In summary, the key benefits include:

  • continuing support payments for students unable to study online for up to 8 weeks
  • temporary help towards extra course-related costs with student loan access rising from $1,000 to $2,000
  • technical changes to ensure that discontinued study in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 does not affect loan life-time limits and 'Fees Free' entitlement.

We know a number of you are beginning to have class sessions on Zoom from this week. We’re aware of the public commentary around the software recently. Zoom has made significant updates in the last week to enhance security. Our ICT team has implemented these changes and has also verified our platform configured securely and continues for follow the NZ GCSB advice on the matter. We remain committed to ensuring the system is secure and meeting our needs for student interactions.

Our ICT team at Ara have also put together this handy 'how-to' guide for Zoom, the popular online conferencing platform. Zoom has become the go-to way for groups to connect, so it's a good idea to become familiar with how it works. If you need any support with Zoom you can contact the ICT Service Desk from 8.30am – 4.30pm weekdays on (03) 940 8800.

Have a great week,

The team at Ara

9 April 2020

Kia ora Ara students

We hope you’ve found plenty of ways to enjoy yourself during the last few weeks, particularly given the challenge we’ve all been facing to remain close to home.

Our team at Ara has been working hard to make sure that as many courses as possible can be delivered remotely from next week. Due to the highly practical nature of the training within some of our courses, distance learning is not always possible. For these programmes we have made the decision to continue to delay resumption until we have the ability to resume teaching on campus.

Someone from Ara should have been in touch with you with information about remote delivery and what will happen with your course. If you haven’t heard us, please get in touch with our Contact Centre on 0800 242 476 or email info@ara.ac.nz with your name, student number and course details.

Here are a few extra things to note:

  • Classes on Zoom: Many courses will use Zoom at some point. When you sign into your Zoom class, please use your full name so tutors can manage attendance. Other students will be able to see your name. Please note that the session may be recorded and may be posted on Moodle, so it is available to others in your class.
  • Creating a space to study: Where you can, we recommend you create a dedicated study space. Think about somewhere away from other people and distractions, with a strong wifi connection. Don't forget about your posture when you’re planning to sit at a desk or laptop computer for a long period of time, and what chair you use. You might find it helps to set up a standing desk with a few boxes to lift your screen off a desk (or possibly an ironing board!).
  • Getting support: Our support teams remain available and are really keen to support your learning. If you would like to talk to anyone, please mention this to your tutor. Our ICT Service Desk is available between 9am – 4.30pm weekdays on (03) 940 8800. If you’re not sure where to go for help, email info@ara.ac.nz any time with your contact details and query.

Like you, we are waiting for any Government announcements regarding hardship funds and other forms of support to help students continue learning.

Enjoy your Easter weekend, and we look forward helping you with the next stage of your learning here at Ara from next Wednesday (15 April) onwards.

Take care and stay safe,

The team at Ara

6 April 2020

Kia ora tātou,

As we head towards the Easter break, and into the second full week of lockdown, I hope each of you is finding your own way of staying connected with each other, that you are keeping well and as active as possible, in your bubbles.

I’m pleased to let you know that we will begin providing a number of Ara courses through distance learning from Wednesday, 15 April (immediately after Easter). This transition will be different for each course, and your tutors will be in touch with you to provide guidance on how this is going to work. There are bound to be some teething problems to begin with, so please work with us and we will make sure we do all we can so that your study at Ara to continues as seamlessly as possible.

For the next few weeks, there will be many different ways that you’ll be interacting with course material – it won’t all be about watching slides on a computer screen - live-streaming and live chats will also be part of your learning. We’re also making sure there will be opportunities to still get ‘hands-on’ with your study, in the future.  More course-specific information will be sent to you via your tutors during this week.

We know that there may be some programmes that can’t be delivered effectively via distance, and that for some of you it might not be possible for you to easily access this mode of learning. Many tutors would have been in touch with you already regarding the technology and the access you have to study at distance.  If not, you’ll hear from one of my colleagues at Ara in the next few days. If you haven’t heard from us by late Wednesday please make contact with your tutor. If you’re unable to do this please call our Contact Centre on 0800 242 476 or email info@ara.ac.nz with your name, student number and course detail.

A few final reminders and updates from Ara:

  • The Ara Easter break includes Tuesday, 14 April. This means our Ara team (Contact Centre, ICT Service Desk etc) will be available from next Wednesday, 15 April
  • Follow Ara on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see our updates, and watch out for posts about the other activities you can connect with remotely
  • Keep an eye on myAra for updates and make sure your tutors have your current contact details
  • Our Health Centre team remains contactable via email, including our counsellors. Our Doctor is also able to assist Health Centre patients with repeat prescriptions – just email susan.woods@ara.ac.nz

Ngā manaakitanga – take care of yourselves

Tony Gray

COVID-19 update 1 April 2020

Kia ora tātou,

We hope the week is finding you - and those you are with - safe and well in your bubbles. Please continue to keep connecting and looking after each other as you enjoy a slightly early mid-semester break.

We are progressing with our plans for how online and distance delivery will resume after the Easter period. This will vary across our different programmes and we will share the details in an update, and through your tutors, early next week. We know that there may be some programmes that are unable to deliver via distance and that some students may not have access to devices or have capacity to engage in this learning.

Please don’t be concerned about what distance delivery might look like or mean for you, as we are working hard to come up with options for as many learners as possible with plenty of support in place.

Here are a few useful reminders and updates for this week:

  • The Ministry of Education released a useful update with information for tertiary students on Monday. You can read it here.
  • Our team has been regularly sharing tips and useful information via our social media channels. Make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see these updates. We’re also using social media to inform you about activities you can connect with remotely, such as online sessions anyone can join beginning on Thursday at The Zone (our gym).
  • Our Health Centre team remains contactable via email, including a counsellor in Christchurch and one in Timaru. Our Doctor is also able to assist Health Centre patients with repeat prescriptions. Email susan.woods@ara.ac.nz if you would like to connect with the Health Centre team or if you require a repeat. Please send your full name, DOB and medication information in the email to Susan.
  • For any students who are completing distance learning through TANZ eCampus, this learning has continued. Your tutors would have been in touch directly about your programmes.

We will provide another update on our main website and on myAra early next week.

Ngā manaakitanga – take care of yourselves

Tony Gray
Chief Executive

COVID-19 update 26 March 2020

Kia ora tātou,

As you will be aware New Zealand has now moved to COVID Alert Level 4.

We hope each of you, your families and friends are safe and well. It’s really important to look after yourself and support each other as we adjust to the changes we are all facing.  While we all begin to get familiar with connecting in a different way, please remember to keep in touch with your tutors and others in your course as best you can.

As previously communicated, teaching in any format won't be happening until after Easter, but my colleagues will still be in touch with you to ensure everything is ok.

Our team is planning how online and remote delivery to you will work as it will be different for various courses, so look out for more information about this.  If you had assignments or assessments due now, your tutors will let you know about changes to dates and how we will be working with you on this.

Our tutors are very aware that technology and access availability is different for everyone. For example, some of you may be in homes with several users needing to use a single device. You’re likely to hear from someone at Ara who will talk to you about your specific technology and access to online/remote learning.

We advised previously that internship or placement activity is currently suspended. Where courses relate to an essential service (medical and broadcasting), there are some activities which will continue, but decisions on this will be ongoing.  If this applies to you, your tutor will be in touch with you directly.

It’s easy to keep in contact with Ara if you need support:

  • Our Contact Centre is fully operational Mon-Thur 8am – 5pm  Fri 9am - 4.30pm. If you have any general questions please email info@ara.ac.nz or call them on 0800 242 476
  • Our ICT Service Desk remains available from 8.30am – 4.30pm weekdays. The Service Desk can be contacted on (03) 940 8800.
  • Our Health Centre located in the Madras St campus is closed. Care for our registered/enrolled patients will be provided by Moorhouse Medical Centre. Please ring ahead if you need to see a doctor – call (03) 365 7900). Please advise the reception staff you are an Ara student.
  • The Health Centre team is available via email for general health queries and counselling support:

We will continue to provide regular updates on our main website and on myAra.

Ngā manaakitanga – take care of yourselves.

Tony Gray
Chief Executive

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24 March 2020

Kia ora Ara students, friends and supporters

We’re well into the process of getting Ara ready for the move to Alert Level 4 by 11.59pm tomorrow, Wednesday 25 March. This is in compliance with the Government instructions issued yesterday New Zealand-wide. All Ara sites are now closed for students.

The health, safety and wellbeing of all students and their family and friends remains a priority, and it’s really important for you to look after yourself and support each other as we adjust to all these changes.

I'd like to share with you today that:

  • We have moved the term break forward to begin today. This means there is no teaching happening in any format from today until after Easter.
  • Tutors are working on revising assessment and assignment due dates that fall within the changed break time and will be in touch with students around these,
  • Your tutors are currently working together to find the best ways to deliver your courses from Wednesday 15 April onwards. Information about how classes will resume at this time will be communicated when plans are finalised.
  • If you’re on or about to start an internship or placement, this will be suspended. For more specific details, please contact your individual tutors.
  • All StudyLink living costs and student allowance payments will continue while Ara is closed.
  • Our ICT Service Desk remains available for you from 8.30am – 4.30pm weekdays. The Service Desk can be contacted on (03) 940 8800 during these hours.
  • Our Ara Contact Centre is fully operational weekdays 8.30am – 5pm. If you have any general questions please email info@ara.ac.nz or call them on 0800 242 476.
  • O-House (student accommodation) will be closed by end of this week. Students are now being assisted with their travel arrangements and local accommodation options

The Incident Management Team continues to meet on a daily basis to coordinate our ongoing response to this rapidly-changing situation. We will continue to communicate via updates on our main website and on MyAra.

Ngā manaakitanga – take care of yourselves.

Tony Gray

Chief Executive

23 March 2020

Kia ora Ara students

Following the Government announcement today the Ara Incident Management Team has determined that the following will happen:

All face-to-face teaching will finish at the end of today, 23 March 2020, and all campus locations will be closed to students and the public from tomorrow, 24 March 2020.

·     The mid-term break will be brought forward and begin tomorrow (Tuesday 24 March 2020) and run until Easter – 14 April 2020 inclusive. We are intending to begin remote delivery of Ara courses, wherever possible, immediately after Easter. We will communicate more detail around this with you as this is confirmed.

We’re encouraging all of you to make sure that family and personal arrangements are in place over the next few days.

Personal health needs to remain a priority for all of you. Anyone who has health concerns should contact their GP or Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

We recognise that this is a challenging and constantly changing scenario, so please continue to look after yourselves and those around you. We will communicate updated messages and any changes to you via myAra and our website.

Ngā manaakitanga – take care of yourselves

Tony Gray

Chief Executive

COVID-19 update 21 March 2020

Kia ora students and Ara supporters

As you will be aware, earlier today the Government announced that New Zealand is at Alert Level 2 for COVID-19.

Education is operating at Level 2, which means Ara remains open and our courses are continuing to be delivered in the same way they have been. At this time, tutors will continue to be teaching classes and support for students remains available.

Employers are being asked to adopt flexible work practices where this is practicable.  Ara team members are being encouraged to adopt the recommendation from Government and work from home, where it is practical outside teaching activity and support for students. This is likely to reduce the number of staff on most Ara sites.

Please do not come to Ara classes or campus sites if you are unwell, and let your tutor know if you are not going to be in class. We will continue to communicate updated messages and any changes with you.

Ngā manaakitanga

Tony

18 March 2020

We have released a series of FAQs around COVID-19 – they are available here.

You will appreciate this is a regularly changing landscape; we will continue to share updates with Ara staff and students as often as possible. Please check myAra regularly for latest updates.

16 March 2020

We have confirmed a decision to postpone the upcoming Ara graduation ceremonies read more

9 March 2020

COVID-19 continues to be something on everyone’s minds and the situation worldwide is changing on a daily basis. We’ve updated our frequently asked questions.

Our latest update for colleagues reminded people to be vigilant about personal hygiene, as this is the best way to protect yourself. If you need to contact a health professional please do this by phone first – don’t just drop into a health centre. We’re also reminding colleagues and students who are unwell to stay at home.

Ara is focused on supporting colleagues and students and we’re looking ahead to make sure the right plans are in place. Let’s all make sure we are looking out for each other.

We will continue to provide updates regularly.

2 March 2020

Over the weekend it was announced that there is one confirmed case where an individual who has travelled to New Zealand has COVID-19. This person is in isolation and is reported to be recovering well.

We are aware that the level of concern which some people may be feeling may be increasing. The country remains ready and well prepared, and the situation is the same at Ara.

Our Coronavirus management group continues to meet every second day and will continue to provide updates related to COVID-19 as required. The most important thing to remember, and focus on, is personal hygiene and diligent hand washing.

We are currently reviewing protocols around travel so we can ensure business continuity and provide care for colleagues.

Ministry of Health continues to provide information for travellers which is updated regularly. All colleagues with travel plans should remain aware of, and follow, this advice.

If you have any questions about COVID-19 please get in touch with Healthline (0800 358 5453) or contact our Health Centre (03 940 7566).

10 February – Frequently Asked Questions

We have continued working hard to make sure Ara has the right plans in place to support colleagues and our students as required, particularly those who have been in China over the summer break. Our Coronavirus Management Group continues to meet every 48 hours.

The most important thing to remember is to be vigilant about personal hygiene, as this is the best way to protect yourself. A full set of FAQs, including many of the questions that colleagues and students have been asking, is available here:

Update  - 3/02/2020

Our Coronavirus Management Group (CMG) met this morning and reviewed our approach and actions, following activity over the weekend, including the Government announcement around travel restrictions.

There are currently no instances of coronavirus in New Zealand and the risk remains low. We will continue to review the situation and will continue to provide regular updates.

We continue to remind everyone to look after yourselves and ensure other colleagues and students are safe and well, and to be vigilant about personal hygiene. Anyone with concerns should contact our Ara Health Centre on 03 940 7566 or call Healthline on 0800 611 116.

Our International Student Advisor Team are making personal contact with learners who are impacted by the travel restrictions. Our Academic Departments are currently exploring a range of options for these students to continue to study with Ara and to minimise any impact for them.

Ara has suitable arrangements in place for a small number of colleagues who have travelled from China most recently.

Anyone who has visited mainland China (not Hong Kong) and returned in the last 14 days should make this known to Ara as soon as possible:

30/1/2020

At the time of writing this update no cases of the coronavirus have been detected in New Zealand, and the New Zealand authorities still consider the risk from the virus as low. The Ministry of Health (MoH) is monitoring the situation closely.

Ara is following advice from the Ministry of Health (MoH), the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). The health of our students and staff is a priority and we will continue to provide public updates on this page.

Establishing our Coronavirus Management Group (CMG)

A CMG has been convened at Ara and has a number of colleagues involved to coordinate our activity related to Coronavirus. This group is being led by Chief Executive Tony Gray. The CMG is monitoring the situation closely and meeting regularly.

What do students and colleagues need to know or do?

Ara has asked colleagues or students who have specifically visited China over the summer break to make this known to Ara as soon as possible.  This applies to anyone who has spent any time in China, and has returned to New Zealand within the last 14 days. Please note that this does not include anyone who transitioned through China on a connecting flight and remained at the transit airport.

What is Ara doing to reduce the risk of anything spreading?

We are providing alternative accommodation for two weeks for a small number of students who have been residing in China and are coming to live in Ara accommodation (Otautahi House) while they study with us. This is to reduce the potential risk from the close proximity for all students who will be living alongside each other and sharing communal lounges, kitchens and bathroom areas.

We are working alongside our homestay agency to ensure appropriate plans are in place for international students with these living arrangements.

Taking care of self and others

We are asking colleagues and students who are unsure about any signs and or symptoms to seek advice from their GP or medical professional in the first instance.

Anyone who makes contact with the Ara Health Centre should do this initially by phone, rather than make a physical visit. Any Ara colleague or student can call the Ara Health Centre on (03) 940 7566. Anyone can call Healthline on 0800 611 116 any time.

Regular updates are also being shared on the NZ Ministry of Health website and WHO website.