Our current status

Latest Update: COVID-19 - 21 September 2021 

Kia ora whanau,

We hope you’re keeping well, and no doubt looking forward to Alert Level 3! Please find below the latest COVID-19 update – as of 4:00pm yesterday.

  • COVID-19 Alert Level Changes (as at 4pm 20 September)
  • Contact-tracing reminder
  • COVID-19 vaccinations
  • Stress counselling and support
  • Advice for International Students
  • Things change quickly so stay up to date by following the links below

COVID-19 Alert Level Change (as at 4pm 20 September)

The Government has announced that Auckland will move to Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm Today – Tuesday 21 September for at least two weeks. 

The alert level settings will be reviewed on Monday 4 October.

At Alert Level 3 there is a medium risk of community transmission with active, but managed, clusters. Make sure you follow all the public health rules to protect yourself, your whānau and our communities. The General Alert Level 3 information is available on the Unite against COVID-19 website.

Contact-tracing reminder

Using the NZ COVID Tracer App is our fastest way to respond to the Delta virus – the faster we respond, the faster we can stop it.  You can also turn on Bluetooth tracing in your app. Bluetooth tracing keeps track of who you have been near, while maintaining everyone’s privacy. 

For more information on contact tracing, please visit the Unite Against COVID-19 website.

Please continue to check the Ministry of Health’s locations of interest page to find out if you might have been exposed to COVID-19. 

COVID-19 vaccinations

The COVID-19 vaccination programme will continue at Alert Level 3. For bookings for everyone aged 12 and over, you can go online to the national booking system BookMyVaccine, or phone the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 to reserve your spot.

Stress counselling and support

This will continue to be an unsettling time, and the uncertainty of COVID-19 can have an impact on our mental wellbeing. We continue to remind staff and students that mental wellbeing is important, and can be supported through accessing a range of the self-help resources:

  • Mental Wealth by Le Va provides online resources to help young people look after their mental health, and includes online counselling
  • The Lowdown provides videos and articles about anxiety and depression and also includes support through a free 24/7 helpline, text and webchat
  • Aroha is a chatbot to help young people cope with stress

There are also a number of helplines that are available and can connect people to trained counsellors. These include:

  • 1737 which is available 24/7 via free call or text
  • Youthline which can be accessed by calling 0800 376 633 or by free texting 234. Youthline also has a web chat function
  • OUTline has a free helpline available between 6pm and 9pm for members of the rainbow community. This can be accessed by calling 0800 688 5463.
  • If you have immediate concerns for the safety of yourself or someone else, please call 111.

In addition to the support and services available to all New Zealanders, there are Pacific mental health and addiction providers that have activated pandemic plans and are supporting their communities digitally where possible. These providers include:

  • Pasifika Futures in Waitematā, Canterbury and Counties Manukau
  • Fonua Ola in Counties Manukau
  • Kāute Pasifika in Waikato
  • Pacific Health Service Hutt Valley and Naku Enei in the Hutt Valley
  • Vaka Tautua in Capital and Coast DHB and Auckland Ministry of Health are in touch with the pacific mental health community in Auckland and are looking at options to support as needed

There is also free counselling/Psychology Service in response to COVID-19 for Migrants and Former Refugees: Diversity Counselling New Zealand | DCNZ Hamilton | Contact Us for help

Advice for International Students

For advice for international students in New Zealand, please refer to the NauMai NZ website.

The Ministry of Social Development has a discretionary fund to help you and your family get through this tough time - apply now via Asian Family Services or call 0800 862 342.

Things change quickly so stay up to date by following the links below

For health advice, please refer to the Ministry of Health’s website.

Ngā mihi maioha, 

Previous Covid Updates

Government guidelines

Advice from the NZ Ministry of Health

New Zealand's dedicated COVID-19 website contains a wealth of useful advice and information around protecting yourself and our wider community.  
The government has issued guidelines for Alert Level 4 that are essential for everyone to understand and adhere to.   

As we unite against COVID-19, it's important that we keep the basic hygiene measures, including washing your hands and coughing or sneezing into your elbow. 

We should all continue to keep track of where we’ve been and who we’ve seen to assist with rapid contact tracing if it is required.

Check locations of interest to see who may be contacts of COVID-19 cases in the community. Contacts who attended one of the locations in New Zealand during the relevant times are asked to follow the directions for that location.  



Symptoms of COVID-19

To find out more on what the COVID-19 symptoms are, including Long COVID, how fast they appear, and what to do if you have any symptoms click HERE.

Mental wellbeing

Managing your mental wellbeing

The Ministry of Health website has a lot of helpful information on managing our mental health during this time.

You can also find more information on how to look after your mental wellbeing, keep children safe and reassured, free resources and where to go for help HERE

If over days and weeks your distress or stress symptoms are escalating or you feel you are not coping, all Media Design School's network of support is here to help you.  Students can speak with our Student Counsellor, Flora, by emailing, and staff can access the EAP at any time. You can also call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

More information

Where can I get more information?

While we are working hard to keep this page updated as we receive new advice, the Ministry of Health's website is your best source of up to date information.  

If you have other questions or concerns, contact Healthline at 0800 358 5453 or your GP for medical advice. Healthline has translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages and they do have Mandarin and Cantonese speaking staff available. 

Testing Centres

Where can I get a Covid Test?

Community-based testing for COVID-19 is available through district health boards and public health units across the country. 

You can find your closest testing centre HERE.


Where can I get vaccinated against Covid-19?

Find out where you can get a vaccine and how to book your vaccination appointments from somewhere nearby HERE.