Student Support and welfare

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 below.

There's also heaps of info about things like accessing food or essential items or what to do if you need some help with money.

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 study and student life.

And remember, you can call the Government Covid-19 health helpline for advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 0800 358 5453. 

Student Support contact details


Support area

Phone details

Email contact


Dunedin Campus student support
Located in The Hub
(open Mon-Fri, 8.30am-5.00pm)  

0800 762 786

+64 3 477 3014

Book online

Central Otago campus student support
Located at our Central Otago Campus 

0800 765 9276

+ 64 3 445 9900

Book online

Auckland Campus student support
Located at our Auckland campus

0800 111 212 

+ 64 9 309 0301


Distance/online student support 

0800 762 786

+ 64 3 477 3014

Book online

Te Punaka Ōwheo
(Māori student support)
Located in The Hub
(open Mon-Fri, 8.30am-5.00pm)  

0800 762 786

Book online

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

0800 762 786

Book online 

Student Health

(Dunedin Campus only) 

0800 762 786 
03 479 6082


After hours support

+ 64 21 735 421



Counselling support

0800 762 786 Book online 


How do I get a test in-person for Covid-19?
Getting a test in person

Call 0800-VIRUS-19 (0800 847 8719) between 8.30am - 4.30pm, seven days a week, for help accessing Covid-19 testing locations.   

Or visit this webpage to find a range of 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. 

How do I get RATs?

You are allowed to leave your home to get a Covid-19 test while you are self-isolating.

Access free RAT home testing kits

You can pick up free RATs for yourself and household members from Covid-19 testing centres and collection sites including some pharmacies. Find a collection centre near you:

COVID-19 testing | Healthpoint(external link)

You can also pre-order and pick up your RATs from a collection site.

Get a test from your doctor

Your doctor may offer Covid-19 tests. Call them to find out and follow their advice.

Other ways to get a test

1. If you cannot leave home 

Community providers can supply RATs to people who are unable to leave their homes. 

To find out if you are eligible, call 0800 222 478.

2. If there is no RAT collection site near you 

If you live more than 20 minutes' drive from a collection site, you may be able to get rapid antigen tests (RATs) through the Targeted Rural Service. 

To find out if you are eligible, call 0800 222 478.

A local provider will work with you to find a suitable access or delivery option.

3. From work 

You can get free RATs if your organisation is part of the healthcare and emergency service workforce. This includes DHBs, doctors, pharmacies, aged residential care facilities, Police, Corrections, FENZ and managed isolation and quarantine facilities.

You may also be able to get free RATs if your work has private supplies for surveillance testing.

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 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, please let us know. Please tell your lecturer or school administrator as you'll need to isolate at home for seven days, even if you feel okay.
Student health centres
Student Health (Dunedin)

Harbour Terrace, M Block, Dunedin campus

  • Email or phone 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.

  • 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, 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.
  • You will need to wear a mask if attending our Student Health Centre in-person. 
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 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



Mental health support
Telehealth Counselling Puāwaitanga (after hours)

This service is available after hours and at weekends. Visit: 

Mental health helplines 


Need to talk? 

  • Free-call or free-text 1737 anytime


  • Phone: 0800 611 116


  • Phone: 0800 543 354 


  • 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. 

Wellbeing support
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 out more 

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.  

Help with money
Student Assistant Fund

OPSA (Otago Polytechnic Students' Association) in partnership with Otago Polytechnic, operates a Student Assistant Fund which can help you if you find yourself in a bit of a tight situation. Find out more here.

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:

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:

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:

If you prefer, you can call Work and Income for free - Phone 0800 512 337 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week).

Help with food and essential items
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. 


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)
Learning support

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'. Find out more here.

Covid-19 Learner Toolbox

Support your online learning journey and your wellbeing. Find out more.

IT support


Need general IT support?

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

  • For Dunedin, Central Otago and distance/work-based students, email: / Phone: 0800 765 948 
  • For Auckland International Campus students, Email: / Phone: 0800 111 212 
Cheap broadband deal

Don’t have broadband at home because cost is a barrier? Skinny Jump might be your answer. Skinny Jump is a new, low-cost prepaid broadband package available from Skinny Mobile. 

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. 

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.