he pānui kōhungahunga

He Pānui Kōhungahunga
COVID-19 update - 21 December 2021

21 December 2021
he pānui kōhungahunga

He Pānui Kōhungahunga
COVID-19 update - 21 December 2021

21 December 2021

Kia ora koutou,

One last update for the year before we give you a break from bulletins. We’ll return again on January 18.

You will be pleased to know that yesterday Cabinet approved a paper on funding relief staff. This will mean that we are able to support you with the cost of backfilling unvaccinated teachers and staff who are in their notice period. Find details below, along with a cyber security risk you will need to be aware of.

Further good news is the updates today on booster shots and confirmation that children aged five to 11 will now have the opportunity to be vaccinated.

Thank you again for the remarkable resilience you showed this year and your commitment throughout 2021 to make the best of some very difficult circumstances.

I hope you take the opportunity to get a break in the coming weeks.

Meri Kirihimete me ngā mihi o te tau hou,


Support for cost of relief teachers

Due to the recent vaccine mandate, some early learning services had to work through employment processes with staff who have not met the mandate requirements.

Where these processes have led to termination of employment, early learning services have a legal obligation to continue paying the employee for the notice period set out in the COVID-19 Response (Vaccinations) Legislation Act 2021 or the relevant collective or individual employment agreement.

Some services may have needed to hire relief teachers to fill in during paid notice periods, resulting in an additional cost for these services. Cabinet has agreed that where relief teachers have been hired during paid notice periods directly related to staff members not meeting the vaccination mandate, the Government will meet the cost of the relief teacher. This support will not be available for home-based educators.

We are currently developing an application process and will provide details of how to apply for this support through a bulletin in January 2022.

Update on vaccinations

Parents and caregivers will have the opportunity to protect their children aged five to 11 against COVID-19 with the child version of the Pfizer vaccine:

Government confirms COVID-19 vaccinations to protect tamariki – Beehive

The interval between the second dose and the booster shot has been reduced from six months to four months:

Omicron – Government’s plan to minimise risk – Beehive

Warning: Serious security vulnerability

Early learning services could be impacted by a serious weakness or vulnerability that has been found in a software component called Log4j.

Log4j is a small piece of software that is used as a building block in many types of software and online services, including the ones used by education providers.

Because it’s just one component in a piece of software, it’s hard to know if your service uses it without it being investigated by an IT professional. 

If you have more questions, contact our cyber security team: cyber.security@education.govt.nz.

Recently updated advice for early learning services

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