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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.

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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.

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Wintec Updates

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

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Frequently asked questions

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

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Unite against COVID-19

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

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StudyLink

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

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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.

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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.

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‘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.

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Healthline

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

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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

This student is working to help Māori and Pasifika learners succeed

Resilience has become a strength for Wintec Business student Cherish McMillan-Knapp

Resilience has become a strength for Cherish McMillan-Knapp, pictured here with Wintec academic and mentor, Prue Jefferis.

Struggling with self-doubt after being told she wasn’t smart enough for tertiary study, third year Wintec business student, Cherish McMillan-Knapp is now working to generate success for Māori and Pasifika students.

Te Kuiti-born Cherish is 22 years-old and she has learnt resilience the hard way.

Secondary school didn’t end well when she failed University Entrance and her dream to study business at Otago University was shattered.

“I had a rough year in Year 13 and self-doubt was starting to brew, it got worse when I failed UE and had to rethink my options. When a careers advisor said I wasn’t smart enough to go to university, it really stunted me.”

Cherish was advised to do a Level 3 Business course at Wintec to enter tertiary study. At the time it felt like an insult. She wonders how many other students feel the same way.

“I didn’t know that bridging courses were a thing and I didn’t like the sound of business study but I did well. I got A’s. At high school I didn’t achieve, so to come to tertiary education and thrive was unexpected.”

Then she failed two accounting papers.

“I was made to feel like it wasn’t the end of the world. Prue Jefferis at Wintec helped me accept that accounting just wasn’t my thing. I weighed up my options and signed up for HR [Human Resources] as people-type roles appealed to me.

“At the time, my careers advisor said, “do something that makes the world go around” and that resonated.”

She “felt respected” and carried on to diploma level.

Of Ngāti Maniapoto descent, Cherish who is in her third year of a Bachelor of Applied Management had to choose a research topic. Being Māori and a student, she understands the need to improve equity for Māori and Pasifika learners.

“My topic was how best to support Māori and Pasifika students into tertiary study. As a Māori student, I have really appreciated the support at Wintec, particularly the Tuakana / Teina programme where mature learners are partnered with younger learners to help and guide them.”

Her research has four themes: Tikanga (protocol), Whanaungatanga (connection between people), Cultural Responsiveness and Student Retention.

Cherish was awarded top academic oral presentation for her project.

She struggled to find work placement after being made redundant this year when COVID-19 travel restrictions ended her job in foreign exchange, but it proved to be a blessing in disguise.

Cherish was offered work placement at Wintec Centre for Business and Enterprise  to continue her research to identify best ways to support Māori and Pasifika students in the Bachelor of Applied Management and Graduate Diploma programmes.

Recently, Cherish was accepted into the Te Hononga ā Kiwa Māori Business programme which aims to increase Māori business engagement across the world in collaboration with the Centres of Asia and Pacific Excellence in Latin America, North Asia and Southeast Asia.

“One of the reasons I applied was because of my research. I was collecting secondary data from Massey and Waikato universities, Wintec and the Manukau Institute of Technology and I heard about this opportunity.

“Part if the application required me to describe myself in three words. I replied with ‘bubbly’, ‘determined’ and ‘motivated’.”

Those three words were a whole new dialogue for Cherish.

She is now part of a North Asia project group who have just been awarded best pitch for an Indigenous business idea.

“I can’t believe I have got this far even though I hadn’t planned to be here.”

The daughter of a solo parent, Cherish says her mother always “pushed me to try things even when I had kickbacks”.

“I’ve experienced failure, but I have grown resilience. I have more self-worth – and I am learning to acknowledge that. When I started my degree, I was so adamant that the world was my oyster and I was going to conquer it. The COVID-19 lockdown, my research project, and being part of the Te Hononga-a-Kiwa programme has changed the way I think about things,” she says.

“I’ve uncovered my passion and drive to be somewhere where I can make an impact or be beneficial for Māori. Being in the tertiary sector really appeals because I can tap in and connect with my culture and I am learning through each new experience.”

Read more:
Māori Pasifika Trade Training is the ticket for Tuku
Māori staff and student scholarship winners aim to lead and inspire in their communities
Passion for organics takes Eady from the farm to tertiary study