Covid-19

Student Support and welfare

We know this is an unsettling time. If you have any questions or are feeling scared or anxious, please reach out to us - it's what we're here for.

Covid 19 Header v4

We're here for you

You'll find all our student support contact details in the first section below.

The other sections hold information and contact details about things like accessing food or essential items, what to do if you need some help with money, and how to get IT help if you're struggling with learning from home.

No question is silly - no concern is too small. Our focus is on ensuring you are safe, supported and informed so your focus can be on settling into study and student life.

Student Support contact details

Key contacts

We know this is a stressful time. If you feel scared or anxious, have questions or need support in any way, please reach out to our Student Support teams – it’s what they’re here for.   

Support area

Phone details

Email contact

Bookings

General student support

(Dunedin Campus)


Located in The Hub
(open Mon-Fri, 8.30am-5.00pm)  
 

(Freephone from NZ) 
0800 762 786

(Intl.) 
+64 3 477 3014

 studentsuccessdn@op.ac.nz

Book appointments 
online here

General student support

(Central Otago Campus)


Located at our Central Otago Campus 

(Freephone from NZ)

0800 765 9276

 

(Intl.)

+ 64 3 445 9900

COTAdvisors@op.ac.nz

Book appointments 
online here

General student support

(Auckland International Campus)


Located at our Auckland campus

(Freephone from NZ)

0800 111 212

 

(Intl.)

+ 64 9 309 0301

studentsuccessaic@op.ac.nz

 

General student support

(Distance/online)

 

(Freephone from NZ) 
0800 762 786

(Intl.) 
+64 3 477 3014

studentsuccessdn@op.ac.nz

Book appointments 
online here

Te Punaka Ōwheo
(Māori student support)

 

Located in The Hub
(open Mon-Fri, 8.30am-5.00pm)  

(Freephone from NZ) 
0800 762 786

TePunakaOwheo@op.ac.nz

 

Pasifika student support

 

Located in The Hub
(open Mon-Fri, 8.30am-5.00pm)   

(Freephone from NZ) 
0800 762 786

Pasifika@op.ac.nz

Book appointments 
online here

Student Health

(Dunedin Campus only)

 

(Freephone from NZ) 
0800 762 786

 

(NZ direct)
03 479 6082 

studenthealth@op.ac.nz

 

After hours support

Phone

+ 64 21 735 421

 

 

Academic support

(Freephone from NZ)

0800 762 786

studentsuccessdn@op.ac.nz

Book appointments 
online here

Accessibility support

(Freephone from NZ)

0800 762 786

 accessibility@op.ac.nz Book appointments 
online here

Careers support 

(Freephone from NZ)

0800 762 786

 careers@op.ac.nz Book appointments 
online here 

Chaplain

(Freephone from NZ)

0800 762 786

 chaplain@op.ac.nz Book appointments 
online here 

Counselling support

(Freephone from NZ)

0800 762 786

studentsuccessdn@op.ac.nz Book appointments 
online here 

International student support

(Freephone from NZ)

0800 762 786

studentsuccessdn@op.ac.nz  

Refugee background student support

(Freephone from NZ)

0800 762 786

studentsuccessdn@op.ac.nz  

Wellbeing support 

(Freephone from NZ) 
0800 762 786

wellbeing@op.ac.nz

Book appointments 
online here

A-Z list of support organisations

One of our second year nursing students, Nika Wood, has developed this handy A-Z list of support contacts including things like the Plunket Helpline and Foodbank details. 

Download the PDF


Otago Polytechnic Students' Association (OPSA)

OPSA is run by students, for students. It provides access to facilities and services such as: 

Check out their website for more info. 

How do I get tested for Covid?

You should only get a Covid-19 test if: 

  • you have symptoms, or 
  • you're a Household Contact.

Check out more info here about when you should get a test.

Getting a test in person

Dunedin

  • Covid-19 testing is free and available at the Covid-19 Community Based Testing Centre, 5 Malcolm Street, Dunedin. This walk-in and drive-thru centre is open every day from 11am to 7pm. No appointment required.  See more info and map here.  

    This testing centre is currently experiencing a lot of demand/pressure. Please ONLY request to get tested if: 

    • you have COVID-19 symptoms (cough, runny nose, sore throat)
    • you have been asked to by the hospital team
    • you have been asked to by Public Health or another health official. 
  • For other testing locations in Dunedin, visit this webpage

Other testing locations around New Zealand

  • You can call 0800-VIRUS-19 (0800 847 8719) between 8.30am - 4.30pm, seven days a week, for help accessing Covid-19 testing in other locations.   
  • Or visit this webpage to find a range of other testing locations around New Zealand.

COVID-19 testing at Dunedin Student Health 

We are currently also offering Covid-19 tests at Student Health. 

Please ONLY request to get tested if: 

  • you have COVID-19 symptoms (cough, runny nose, sore throat)
  • you have been asked to by Public Health or another health official. 

Please ring us to advise that you need a test (0800 762 786 / 03 479 6082). Do not just arrive in person as we need to ensure everyone's safety. Once we've confirmed that you do need to be tested, we'll let you know what you need to do. 


Getting Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs)

If you have Covid symptoms or are an asymptomatic Household Contact of a positive Covid case, you can order Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) through this website: https://requestrats.covid19.health.nz/ 

Ordering your RATs

  • The tests are completely free.
  • You need to order these tests online.
  • You will then be given an order number and can collect your RATs from a collection site (quoting this order number).

 

Collecting your RATs

  • You can collect these in person if you feel well enough OR someone can collect them on your behalf (friends, flatmates, family).
  • And, if you can’t collect them and have no-one who can collect them on your behalf, tests can be delivered to you.
  • There are lots of collection sites available throughout New Zealand. You can find all the collection sites listed here (and search by region/city): https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19/?covidTesting=rats
  • Please remember to check the collection times that the tests are available at the collection site.

 

Dunedin/South Otago/West Otago collection sites

Dunedin

  • Antidote (Gardens) or (Meridian) or (MacAndrew) or (North) or (Octagon)
  • Dunedin Community Testing Centre (Malcolm Street)
  • Unichem Taieri Pharmacy – Mosgiel

Balclutha

  • Bates Pharmacy
  • Unichem Greys Pharmacy

Tapanui

  • West Otago Health

Accessing other testing

  • You can also still access testing (RAT and PCR) at community testing centres and general practices – remember, you need to meet the testing criteria (i.e. you’re symptomatic or are a Household Contact of a Covid positive case).
  • If you don’t meet the testing criteria, and want to get tested (for example, before visiting an elderly relative) you can buy tests at some pharmacies.   

Reporting your test result

  • Whether you test positive or negative when using a RAT, it’s important that you register this result through My Covid Record.
  • You can either head to https://mycovidrecord.health.nz/ and log into your My Covid Record account OR call 0800 222 478 and press option 3.
  • You can find a step-by-step guide for how to report your result in your My Covid Record here

Telling Otago Polytechnic if you test positive

  • If you test positive for Covid when using a RAT, you also need to tell us by by filling in this form.    
  • This form will ask for a few details and will ask if you need any kind of support (i.e. welfare checks, food/medicine).  
  • You can also visit our Covid-19 support webpage to see what resources are available at OP and in the community/online.  
these coHelp with money

Student Hardship Fund form (help with money)

Domestic students

If you're struggling a little with money during this time, don't panic. Help is available through our Student Hardship Fund!

Please don't be too shy to ask - the money is there to help you at times like this.

  • If you need help with money, please fill in this form
  • You can fill this application form in from your mobile phone or from your desktop computer.  
  • Please ensure you complete the form and then click SUBMIT - otherwise we won't receive it. 
  • Keep an eye on your student email account - we'll send the outcome of your application to that. 

Important! You are allowed to apply for this fund more than once.  

International students 

If you're an international student and are struggling with money or technology, please contact our Student Support team.

Studylink urgent or unexpected costs

You will continue to get your regular Student Allowance and Student Loan living costs payments if you’re still enrolled and studying.

Answers to questions about Student Allowance and living cost payments can be found on StudyLink’s website.

StudyLink can also help over the phone and through MyStudyLink in most cases.


If you need extra help during this time you can find information about emergency assistance here.

StudyLink details 

Phone: 0800 88 99 00 

Hours: Monday - Friday, 7.00am-6.00pm 

Email: http://faqs.studylink.govt.nz/app/ask

 

And of course, you can always talk to us about your programme, and any questions or concerns you have about StudyLink.

Phone: 0800 762 786 

Email: Amanda.McAra@op.ac.nz

 

Work and Income urgent financial support

If you and your whānau need extra support while you are self-isolating because of COVID-19, Work and Income may be able to help. 

Anyone can request help you do not need to be getting a benefit OR getting Studylink payments.

Apply online here: https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/covid-19/help-while-self-isolating.html

If you prefer, you can call Work and Income for free:

  • Phone 0800 512 337 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week)

 

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 - https://www.skinny.co.nz/jump/home/


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
 

Help with food and essential items

Food Care Package Delivery 

Our Student Support team can help you with food care packages if you are isolating. Please don't be shy - reach out to us if you need something. 

Student Volunteer Army groceries services 

This group delivers to those who are vulnerable during the pandemic, including older people, essential workers, those who are self-isolating and those that require extra assistance. 

Foodbanks

If you are in need of a food parcel, please contact your local foodbank directly or contact Work and Income. 

Dunedin-based foodbank phone contacts: 

  • Salvation Army Dunedin (03) 477 9852
  • Family Works Otago (03) 477 7116
  • Mosgiel foodbank 022 546 2610 (for residents of Mosgiel and surrounding areas)
Health and wellbeing support

Student Health (Dunedin)

Harbour Terrace, M Block, Dunedin campus

  • Email: studenthealth@op.ac.nz
  • 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.

COVID-19 testing at Dunedin Student Health 

We are currently offering Covid-19 tests at Student Health. 

Please ONLY request to get tested if: 

  • you have COVID-19 symptoms (cough, runny nose, sore throat)
  • you have been asked to by Public Health or another health official. 

Please ring us to advise that you need a test. Do not just arrive in person as we need to ensure everyone's safety. Once we've confirmed that you do need to be tested, we'll let you know what you need to do. 

Student Health appointments

We are available for medical appointments Monday-Friday, 9.00am-4.30pm. However you will need to book in for a phone consultation first before being seen. 

This means our doors will remain locked and all appointments will be triaged over the phone.  Please be aware there may be a delay in answering your call but please be patient and we will answer as soon as we can.

Appointments 

  • All patients must phone for an appointment - please do not arrive at Student Health in person. 
  • All patients will be triaged over the phone and depending on your symptoms and vaccination status a decision will be made about how your appointment will take place. This might 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.

Student Health (Central Otago)

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 as well. 

Cromwell

Wanaka

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

 

Covid-19 health advice

For information and advice about Covid-19:

  • Phone: 0800 358 5453 

This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

 

Telehealth Counselling Puāwaitanga (after hours)

This service is available after hours and at weekends. 

 

Otago Polytechnic Wellbeing Toolbox

The Wellbeing Toolbox - Kia Kaha is full of tools, strategies and tips to help you support your wellbeing. Start by completing your individual wellbeing plan and check in with your toolbox regularly for upcoming wellbeing workshops, new resources and topics.
 

Find our more

 

Mental health helplines 

Youthline 

Need to talk? 

  • Freecall or freetext 1737 anytime

Healthline 

  • Phone: 0800 611 116

Lifeline

  • Phone: 0800 543 354 

Samaritans 

  • Phone: 0800 726 666

Alcohol Drug Helpline 

  • Phone: 0800 787 797  

The Depression Helpline 

  • Phone: 0800 111 757

What's up? (helpline for children and young people) 

  • Phone: 0800 942 8787 

 

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 wellbeing tools

There are three online self-help tools which you may find useful:

  • 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.  

IT and learning support

Student Hardship Fund form (help with technology)

Domestic students

If you're struggling a little with money during this time, don't panic. Help is available through our Student Hardship Fund!

Please don't be too shy to ask - there is money available for our learners who are struggling with getting a device due to hardship or being in isolation. 

  • If you need help with accessing technology or the internet, please fill in this form
  • You can fill this application form in from your mobile phone or from your desktop computer.  
  • Please ensure you complete the form and then click SUBMIT - otherwise we won't receive it. 
  • Keep an eye on your student email account - we'll send the outcome of your application to that. 

Important! You are allowed to apply for this fund more than once.  

 

International students 

If you're an international student and are struggling with money or technology, please contact our Student Support team.

 

Need general IT support?

If you’re having trouble with your computer or having issue with it connecting, our IT Service Desk is available and will be happy to help you.

For Dunedin, Central Otago and distance/work-based learning students

 

For Auckland International Campus students

 

Studiosity

Free 24/7 online learning support with writing feedback and a connect live service - available for all students. 

To access Studiosity in Moodle, follow the link under 'My Moodle Courses'. 

 

COVID-19 Learner Toolbox

Support your online learning journey and your wellbeing.
 

Find out more

Contact us

If you’re not sure what to study and would like some guidance, we’re here to help. Feel free to chat to us directly about any questions you may have.