Covid-19 update page banner

COVID-19 information and updates

Wintec is operating at Alert Level 1. At Alert Level 1 it is considered COVID-19 is contained in New Zealand but we need to be ready in case it reappears in our community. 

Below you can find our latest COVID-19 news and communications, frequently asked questions and additional resources to support you and your whānau during these unprecedented times.

We are here for you and the wider Wintec community and will continue to update you with information during this time through the Wintec website, student emails and on our Facebook pages. Additionally, you can contact us by email and phone during business hours, from Monday to Friday.

Check in to Wintec

To help keep everyone safe, all students, staff and visitors must check in using the NZ COVID Tracer App when you are on any of the Wintec campuses. Find more information and instructions here.

label

Financial help for students

Students experiencing unexpected financial hardship affecting their study can apply for the Manaaki Financial Support Grant. Find information on this plus StudyLink, scholarships and free courses here.

label

Wintec Updates

You can access all Wintec COVID-19 updates here for students and our community, including past and present communications.

label

Frequently asked questions

Do you have a question? Check out our frequently asked questions and answers here.

label

Unite against COVID-19

For government updates, resources and guidance, check out the New Zealand's dedicated COVID-19 site.

label

StudyLink

Financial support is available for eligible students. Please check with StudyLink for information on this and your student loan or allowance.

label

Looking after your health and wellbeing

You can find the full range of Wintec Support Services here and on our frequently asked questions page. We understand this may be a stressful time, and below are some additional tools and resources you may like to access.

External help

If you need help dealing with feelings of isolation or stress, please check out the Mental Health Foundation website. Here you will find a large range of information and resources to support you.

label

Wintec Health Services

Find out what Wintec Health Services are available throughout this time and how to access them. In addition to counselling services, our wellbeing support provider, Benestar, is also available at this time.

label

‘Need to Talk’

If at any time you wish to speak to someone you can free call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor for free.

label

Healthline

Healthline has set up a dedicated number specifically for COVID-19 related calls. Phone 0800 358 5453 or international +64 9 358 5453.

label

Do you need help?

If you have additional questions or need help, please contact us by email or phone 0800 2 Wintec (0800 294 6832).

You can also read the Wintec Temporary Policy Amendments for information on our academic response to critical incidents.

News

How Norman Tofilau is going from Samoa to Broadway

Norman Tofilau revs up the crowd and the performers in Pasifika by Nature at Fraser High School
Norman Tofilau revs up the crowd and the performers in Pasifika by Nature at Fraser High School.  

Norman Tofilau, Head Student at Fraser High School, Hamilton, has his sights set on Broadway. To help him get there, he’s studying a Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts at Wintec next year.  

If you had met Norman in 2017, you might not have believed him if he told you he would be Head Student in a few years, and that he wanted to be a performer. 

Coming to New Zealand as a teenager from Savai'i, Sāmoa, and going straight into high school, Norman knew nobody except his uncle, and spoke very little English. He struggled to adjust during that initial time in New Zealand. 

“I came here by myself, then went to live with an uncle in Hamilton. It was really hard leaving my family back in the islands. The transition was hard. I didn’t know anyone, and I found it difficult to fit into a new environment.” 

Although softly spoken, Norman is not shy and not afraid to make a mistake. Determined to learn English and participate in his high school activities, Norman put himself out there and got involved in drama and the school production.  

“I had to learn lines and rehearse – that really helped my English.” 

He enjoyed drama so much that he found his lifelong passion and went from speaking zero English to being the lead character in the school production for two years in a row. 

After realising that he wanted to pursue a career on stage, Norman applied for several different drama schools throughout the country and was accepted into all of them. 

Junior Siilata, Pasifika Dean at Fraser High School, says that Norman chose Wintec because he could “see the pathway, see success. There are Fraser students who have come before him and have gone on to do awesome things. There’s a community to go into and community is very important to Norman.” 

Norman’s long-term goal is not only to be a performer, but to provide a platform for other Pacific Island students to get into music and performing arts. He wants to provide that space to make it easier for other Pasifika youth to see that it can be a viable career.  

“I would love to do that, even to open up my own performing arts academy one day. I know that at Wintec I’ll be able to take marketing and business papers alongside my degree to help with that.” 

Norman Tofilau wows the crowd as Elvis
Norman wows the crowd as The King of Rock’n’Roll, Elvis Presley, in A Night at the Fraseum, Fraser High School’s 2019 production.  

Norman is a shining star on stage, but his humility is what shines in person. Rather than talk about his own achievements, he insists on saying that “he’s so lucky and grateful that he has amazing teachers and new friends that have helped him achieve throughout his schooling journey.” 

This year hasn’t been all about the limelight either, as Norman struggled to keep his spirits high during the lockdown. 

“It was a difficult year. I didn’t have a device and that was a major problem as I couldn’t do any work at home.  

“At one point I said to myself ‘This is it.’ I was gonna give up. One day my teachers called me, and we had a good conversation. They encouraged me to keep going and to finish this year strong. I’m so grateful for them.” 

Despite struggling to keep motivated himself, Norman took it upon himself as Head Student to encourage his fellow classmates to keep going throughout that time as well. 

“There were so many barriers for me and many of my classmates. Along with other students in Aiga Tasi, our Pacific Council group at Fraser, we connected through Zoom together every week, to keep our Pacific students connected and motivated.” 

Each day through lockdown Norman made motivational videos on his phone. He would read inspiring quotes and send messages of hope and positivity to keep everyone going.  

According to Siilata, “the videos had a lot of positive feedback. Norman tried to lift everyone else’s morale. He put his own feelings aside to build and strengthen his community. 

“He has a big heart and goes out of his way to help those are struggling and he forms close relationships with them. They listen to him because they know it’s genuine.” 

Now that his school year has coming to an end, Norman has been reflecting on his exams and planning for his summer break. His final exam was for Scholarship Sāmoan where he hopes to do well. Over the summer he will be working at his part time job at Wendy’s to save money and to contribute to his family.  

It’s this spirit of generosity and service that makes Norman the standout leader that he is.  

“If there’s one word that defines Norman in my eyes, is a Sāmoan word – tautua. It means to serve from the back,” says Siilata. 

“Norman is in a position of leadership because he has shown he is a leader through his service and actions. Don’t get me wrong, he has a strong voice, but he gets the respect ‘cos he shows respect.” 

Even with his eyes set on Broadway, Norman’s focus is still on strengthening young Pacific voices and he always has his community in mind. 

“I want to be a professional performer; I want to be on Broadway! But I want to be able to use these skills and help within our Pasifika community and help other tamaiti [children].” 

Interested in studying a Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts at Wintec? 

Read more: