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Information for learners

Updated 12 March 2021

> Our campuses are at Alert Level 1

The safety and wellbeing of all of our learners remains our top priority and support is available so please reach out if you need to. 

Student Success Dunedin and Central: 0800 762 786  |   

Student Success Auckland: 0800 111 212 |   

Te Punaka Ōwheo (Māori support): 0800 762 786  |  

Student Health (Dunedin): 0800 762 786  |

After-hours support: (+64) 21 735 421 

Level 1 info

On campus

> Keep checking into campus with the NZ Covid Tracer App and turn Bluetooth on (you can find QR code posters at all OP entrances on the Dunedin and Cromwell campuses).

> Keep a personal record of who you’ve been in contact with.

> Take part in class roll call for every class – we need to be able to contact trace at the request of the Government.

> Stay vigilant.

> Be kind to others and yourself.

Personal hygiene guidelines

> Wash your hands regularly and dry them thoroughly.

> Sneeze or cough into your elbow.

> Keep cleaning hard surfaces that get touched often.

Know the symptoms to look out for

It's really important to understand the most up-to-date list of Covid symptoms so that you know when to seek advice. 

Common symptoms include:

> a new or worsening cough 

> a fever of at least 38c

> shortness of breath 

> sore throat

> sneezing and runny nose 

> temporary loss of smell or taste. 

Less common symptoms include: 

> fever

> diarrhoea 

> headache 

> muscle pain

> nausea and vomiting 

> confusion and irritability. 


If you feel unwell

If you feel unwell or are flatting with someone who is unwell…

1. Stay home until you are/they are well. 

2. Monitor symptoms and seek further advice from health professionals if you are unsure. 

> Student Health: 0800 762 786 /

> Healthline: 0800 358 5454 

3. Continue stringent hygiene practices - regularly wash and thoroughly dry your hands; sneeze and cough into your elbow; clean or disinfect shared surfaces regularly and wear a face covering on public transport. 


Want to chat to someone?


If you need support or want to talk to someone, please reach out to:

Student Success Dunedin and Central: 0800 762 786 |   

Te Punaka Owheo: 0800 762 786 |    

Student Health Dunedin: 03 479 6082 |  

After-hours pastoral care: (+64) 21 735 421  


Online resources 

Mental Health support

The Mental Health Foundation have launched a nationwide mental health and wellbeing campaign called Getting through together Whāia E Tātou Te Pae Tawhiti specifically aimed at providing support and resources to New Zealanders while we deal with self-isolation struggles and uncertainty about the future.

They have three core messages:

  • Distance, not distant. 
  • Isolation, not isolated. 
  • Aroha from afar. 

Support and resources are available on their website and cover everything from daily wellbeing to workplace wellbeing, identity and culture, parenting and whānau. 

Online self-help tools

There are also three new online self-help tools:

  • Melon - a programme that empowers you to take control of your health and provides self-care support through resources, modules, coaching and an online community 
  • Mentemia - an app that coaches mental wellbeing which is free to all New Zealanders (co-funded by John Kirwan)
  • Staying on Track - a free course that introduces easy-to-use, practical strategies to cope with the stress and disruption of day-to-day life as a result of COVID 19

These provide different levels of support and practical strategies to cope with the stress and disruption of day-to-day life. 

For kids 

The Government have also launched a new tool for parents called Sparklers at Home to support children's wellbeing. This website offers fun wellbeing activities and ideas to support whānau to look after their wellbeing and feel good. Everything from how to talk to kids about COVID 19 to ideas about juggling work and learning.  


Student Hardship Fund

There's a new Government Fund called the Hardship Fund for Learners (HAFL).

The purpose of this Fund is to help tertiary education organisations like ours provide temporary financial assistance for their learners who are facing hardship due to Covid-19.  

For further information, please contact Lesley Scoullar from OPSA by emailing

If you need extra help during this time, answers to questions about Student Allowance and Living Cost payments can be found on StudyLink’s website:  


Technology Fund

Trying to overcome technological barriers? 

Funding is now available to help you access your studies online – including devices, internet connections or software – subject to conditions. Visit the Student Hub to find out how to apply (under heading Tech fund info).

If you need help with your application, please don’t hesitate to contact: 

  1. Your lecturer
  2. Te Punaka Ōwheo –
  3.  Student Success (Dunedin) –
Cheap broadband deal

Don’t have broadband at home because cost is a barrier?

Skinny Jump might be your answer. 

What’s Skinny Jump?

Skinny Jump is a new, low-cost prepaid broadband package available from Skinny Mobile. At Skinny, they believe that every New Zealander deserves to have the opportunities to learn and thrive in the modern digital world – a belief shared by Otago Polytechnic. So, we’ve partnered with Skinny so you can have the chance to access this package.    

Read more -

What’s the deal?

  • $5 for 30GB data
  • First 30GB free
  • Free modem delivered directly to you
  • Top up as you go – can renew the plan five times a month (maximum 150GB every month at a cost of $25)
  • No credit checks

X  Activity like online gaming and streaming vidoes can burn through data and Skinny Jump wasn’t created for lots of these kinds of activities (if you feel that you’d use more than 150GB a month, Skinny Jump might not be right for you).

Is it for me?

Skinny Jump is for those who don’t have a broadband connection at home because cost is a barrier. Skinny specifically support those most at risk of digital exclusion (as identified in the Government’s digital inclusion blueprint). 

If one or more of the following sounds like you, then you are probably eligible: 

  • Families with children
  • Job seekers
  • Seniors
  • People with disabilities
  • Refugees and migrant communities
  • Those in social housing  
  • People suffering financial hardship

Is it available everywhere?

You’ll need to live in an area that is covered by the Skinny network. Check whether Skinny Jump is available at your home address here >

How do I get this package?

As well as the above criteria, there may be other circumstances that make you eligible. 

The best way to find out whether you meet the joining criteria and can get Skinny Jump is to talk to our Otago Polytechnic Student Success team. They work as a Skinny Jump Assessment Centre and will work with you on whether you are eligible and help you to sign up for the deal. 

Contact details 

  • Dunedin, Central and distance students: Student Success (Dunedin) 0800 762 786  |
  • Our Te Punaka Ōwheo team are also able to assess Skinny Jump applications: 0800 762 786  |
Student Loan support package

On Tuesday 14 April, the Government announced that they will spend more than $130 million on a student support package which aims to help financially embattled students dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. This will:

  • help cover extra costs, by increasing the student loan amount available for course-related costs for full-time domestic students from $1,000 to $2,000 (on a temporary basis); 
  • continue support payments for students unable to study online for up to 8 weeks; 
  • make technical changes to ensure that: 
    • where students receive partial tuition fee refunds in 2020 because their course has been discontinued due to COVID-19, this will not affect their future entitlement to student loans 
    • where students are unable to complete a course of study in 2020 due to COVID-19, this will not affect their entitlement to Fees Free tertiary study.

This package means students who cannot access their courses online will continue to receive their student loan payments as normal throughout the four-week lockdown period, and for up to four weeks afterwards. This flexibility is already available for student living allowances. 

Who is this package for?
  • This package applies to full-time, domestic students studying at a Polytechnic, a University or a Private Training Establishment this year whether you are enrolled already or are planning to enrol. 
  • Where students were full-time but will be reduced to part-time (as a result of Otago Polytechnic's change to a later end date), StudyLink can update your allowance/loan to make sure you remain entitled.
  • This will only apply to students who were already full-time or approved Limited full-time status. Anyone already ineligible due to being part-time won't now become eligible.  
When is it available? 

Domestic students who are enrolled in full-time tertiary study can access this support from Wednesday 15 April

What do students have to do to apply for support? 

Claims can now be made via your MyStudyLink account. You should receive the payment into your nominated bank account within 24-72 hours of the claim being received.  

Do students have to extend their allowance or loan? 

No. You will be able to opt out if you do not want to increase your loan. 

How do I seek urgent assistance? 


If you need assistance with urgent or unexpected costs, you can phone the StudyLink Contact Centre on 0800 889 900 between 8.00am-5.00pm or visit this webpage.

In addition, you can also get in touch with StudyLink by submitting an email here.

What if I have a question?

Answers to questions about Student Allowances and Living Costs payments can be found on the StudyLink website.  


IT Service Desk

As you adjust to a new way of learning, you may require support - please contact your lecturer first if you are having problems with online learning.

For further technical support, our IT Service Desk is available and will be happy to help you. 

Dunedin, Central and distance students 


Phone 0800 765 948

Auckland Campus students


Phone 0800 111 212

> Find a list of computer specifications per programme and suggested laptops and devices to meet these recommendations here.  

Health Centres
Dunedin Campus

Student Health Centre
Harbour Terrace, M Block, Dunedin campus
Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5.00pm
Freephone 0800 762 786 (and ask for Student Health) or call direct +64 3 479 6082

The Student Health Centre is located on our Dunedin Campus. For students who have paid the Student Health Levy as part of their fees, the cost for a consultation is $15, or is free if you have a current Community Services card.

If you have not been charged the Student Health Levy (for example distance students), the service is still available but at a higher rate - please enquire for further details.

Student Health appointments

We are available for appointments Monday-Friday, 9.00am-4.30pm and are providing our full range of primary health care services. We are operating with the same restrictions we had in place during Alert Level 3. 

This means our doors will remain locked and all appointments will continue to be triaged over the phone first. 


  • All patients must phone for an appointment - please do not arrive at Student Health without phoning first. 
  • All patients will be triaged over the phone first. Your appointment will then either be in-person or via telehealth (phone or video). 
  • All appointments will incur the usual charges (including telehealth). 
  • If you are having a telehealth consult, please make sure you are available at the agreed time for your consultation. If the doctor is unable to get hold of you at that time, you will need to ring back and arrange another time. Missed appointments will still incur a fee.
  • If you are asked to present for a face-to-face consultation, please arrive on time and phone Student Health to let us know you are here. If you are late, you will need to rebook.  


  • Student Health doors are locked. Staff will give you access at your arranged appointment time. Please phone to let reception know you are waiting. 
  • Please maintain physical distancing while waiting to access Student Health. 
  • The number of patients within the facility will be based on the 2m distancing rule. 
  • Student Health is split into two different areas. You will be notified of what entrance you need to present to for your face-to-face appointment when you make your appointment time. 
  • Hand sanitiser is available and we ask that you use it when entering and exiting Student Health. 
  • Unless organised with the doctor beforehand, we are unable to accommodate friends presenting with you to wait for you. 

Central Otago Campus

You may be entitled to a subsidy at these medical centres (please check at the time you make the appointment). Please make sure you call ahead to these medical centres during Alert Level 2 as well. 



Cromwell Family Practice
Phone +64 3 445 4666
2 McNulty Rd, Cromwell 9310

Aspiring Medical Centre 
Phone +64 3 443 0725
23 Cardrona Valley Road, 9305

Cromwell Medical Centre 
Phone +64 3 445 1119
190 Waenga Drive, Cromwell

Wanaka Medical Centre
Phone +64 3 443 0710
23 Cardrona Valley Rd, 9305

Junction Health 
Phone +64 3 445 4588
1A Traders Lane, Cromwell


Auckland International Campus

Please contact our Student Success team for advice regarding recommended medical centres in Auckland. 

Phone +64 21 0282 8711


Lost a part-time job due to Covid?

If you've lost a part-time job due to Covid-19, our Career Services team are here to help you. They're available to discuss job seeking options or how to improve your CV and cover letters in a competitive job market. 

Email if you would like support. 



Computer specifications for learners

Some advice for students for purchasing their device


COVID-19 Learner Toolbox

Support your online learning journey and your wellbeing.


Wellbeing Toolbox - Kia Kaha

Tools, strategies and tips to help you support your wellbeing





Student Success is available online for Learning and Pastoral Support

Online hours: 8.30am - 5.00pm, Monday - Friday 

Dunedin and Central Otago

Phone 0800 762 786 (freephone within NZ)

Phone +64 3 477 3014 (from overseas)



Phone 0800 111 212 (freephone within NZ)

Phone + 64 21 02828711 (from overseas or within NZ)


Te Punaka Ōwheo support staff are available for our tauira. Get in touch - we're here to help. 

Phone 0800 762 786 (freephone within NZ)



After-hours pastoral care: 021 735 421



What if I need to go to Auckland?

If you need to travel to Auckland during the Alert Level 2 period, please let your lecturer know.