Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for NZEI Te Riu Roa members

[Last updated: 23 September 2020]

Please note, we can only give general advice online. If you need help, please contact our member support centre on nzei@nzei.org.nz or 0800 693 443. 

Auckland is currently in Alert Level 2, and the rest of New Zealand is currently in Alert Level 1.

Key Points to remember:

  • Stay home if you feel unwell
  • You can and should stay home if you're vulnerable
  • Get tested right away if you have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Stay vigilant, and continue physical distancing and basic COVID-19 hygiene measures
  • Contact us as your union if you need employment support.

For the latest COVID-19 guidance, please check covid19.govt.nz

All advice on this page is based on current information from Government agencies. For the most up to date information about COVID-19 and its impacts on your work, please visit the Ministry of Education website directly here.

Now more than ever is a time to pull together and support one another. Stamping out COVID-19 requires all our effort! Some of this is basic – remembering to wash our hands thoroughly and regularly – and some of it has been more challenging, like self-isolation. Ultimately, we can get through this together – but we need to be careful, intentional, and remember to look after one another. 

You can find the Ministry of Education's advice for different alert levels for schools and kura here and for early learning services here.

Quick links:

Important links and key contacts

Click here to see Ministry of Education leave provisions for staff in Alert Level 3

Click here to see Ministry of Education leave provisions for staff in Alert Level 2

NZEI Te Riu Roa events and hui

All NZEI Te Riu Roa events and hui during the lockdown period have been cancelled, postponed, or will take place remotely. If you’re uncertain about the status of the event you were intending to attend, please contact the organiser directly. 

We will give as much notice as possible wherewe've had to cancel or postpone. For events and hui that we've had to cancel we've done our best to contact those affected directly. Refunds will be offered for any paid events that have been cancelled.   

We are actively reviewing all of our later upcoming events and hui in light of COVID-19 and will make decisions on future events based on the Government’s guidelines for gatherings of people. Here are the decisions about some key events - this will be updated as new information is available:

Annual Meeting
Our Annual Meeting will still be held virtually on Sunday 27 September. You can find more information about this year's Annual Meeting here. 

Mental health support

With a return to higher alert levels, each of us will be responding differently. It's important that we each take care of one another and ourselves, including our mental health. Here are some options for mental health support:

EAPs (Employee Assistance Programmes)

Employers often sign up to employee assistance programmes as part of meeting their health and safety in employment obligations.  EAP is confidential counselling and support, delivered via counsellors nationwide – sometimes in person, but also via phone or video chat. You should check to see if your employer is signed up to a provider.  The main provider used by schools is EAP Services Limited - www.eapservices.co.nz 0800 327 669.

Community based support (phone based)

  • Anxious/depressed: text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor 24/7
  • Depression Line: 0800 111 757
  • Alcohol and Drug Helpline: 0800 787 797
  • Family Violence info line: 0800 456 450
  • Health line: 0800 611 116
  • Lifeline Aotearoa nationwide: 0800 543 354
  • Warmline (Mental Health Peer Support): 0800 200 207
  • Victim Support: 0800 842 846
  • Outline: LGBTIQ- affirming support line and face to face counselling- 0800 688 5463
  • Suicide crisis helpline: 0508 828 865
  • Anxiety phone line: 0800 269 4389

Useful websites/ online support

COVID-19 Basics

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to a range of other illnesses such as influenza. Having any of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have COVID-19.

Covid-19 symptoms

I’m concerned I may have contracted the virus. What should I do?

If you have the symptoms and have recently been to a country or area of concern, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19, please call Healthline's COVID-19 line, with translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages:

If you intend to visit your GP or after-hours medical centre, phone ahead to let them know.

More health advice and virus prevention information is available on the Ministry of Health website here: COVID-19 health advice for the public – Ministry of Health.

What should I do to minimise the risk?

Everyone in Auckland, except for those working in essential services, are being asked to stay home at this time. Across the rest of the country you should practice physical distancing. 

  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap and dry them thoroughly:
    • before eating or handling food
    • after using the toilet
    • after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses
    • after caring for sick people.

You should take particular care if you are over 70 years old or have underlying medical conditions, such as:

  • a compromised immune system
  • liver disease
  • cancer
  • kidney disease
  • heart disease
  • diabetes mellitus
  • respiratory conditions, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Go to the Ministry of Health website for more information about preventing the risk:

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) guidance – Ministry of Health