Stronger COVID protections needed in schools

The Green Party is calling on the Government to introduce stronger measures in schools and early education centres to ensure children and their whānau are not put at greater risk from a change to COVID-19 protections.

“When case numbers that seemed impossible a couple of years ago are now happening daily, it’s vital that we do everything possible to keep our children and the communities around them safe,” says Teanau Tuiono, the Green Party’s spokesperson for COVID-19 and schools.

“This means seeing our tamariki as the heart of our whānau, and making sure their wellbeing is protected, whether at school or at home.”

The Green Party is calling on the Government to:

  • Rollout a school-based vaccination programme
  • Work alongside Māori and Pacific leadership to achieve high equity in vaccine coverage.
  • Provide free N95 masks or equivalents to every school - to teachers and students
  • Expand the use of masks down to year one
  • Introduce a test to stay system
  • Improve ventilation and provide greater support for online learning for whānau isolating

“COVID-19 protection measures have played a vital role keeping us all safe.

“But as the Government signals its intention to remove at least some of these measures, it must also plan for the future. Not only to get our tamariki through the current outbreak, but to prepare for any new variants or a second wave of Omicron cases.

“Too many of our children, their teachers, and their whānau have already been exposed to Omicron. We need to fix the gaps in the layers of protection, not strip things back further. This is especially important for the under 5s who cannot be vaccinated, and for immunocompromised children and those with underlying health conditions.

“And it will be Māori and Pacific children who will be at the greatest risk. Not only are vaccination rates lower, Māori and Pacific communities also experience greater barriers to supportive health care.

“Whatever the Government announces on Wednesday, a return to business as usual is simply not an option. Ministers need to make sure our schools have everything they need to keep children well,” says Teanau Tuiono. 

ENDS

Latest Education Announcements

Story

Time to support te reo Māori as a core subject and as a medium of instruction

On the 50th anniversary of the Māori language petition, the Green Party is calling on the Government to make te reo Māori a core curriculum subject...
Read More

Story

Pay parity for early childhood teachers, now

A recent decision by the Minister of Education to hold back pay parity for ECE teachers needs changing urgently, the Green Party says.
Read More

Story

Free masks a Green win

Following pressure from the Green Party, the Government has announced that medical masks will be available free for everyone, with N95 masks free f...
Read More

Story

Green Party secures free masks in schools

Political pressure from the Green Party has pushed the Government to supply free masks to kids and teachers in schools across Aotearoa New Zealand.
Read More

Story

Pay equity for kaiārahi i te reo celebrated

Recognising te reo and tikanga Māori in schools starts with pay equity, says the Green Party.
Read More

Story

Testing removal means domestic protections needed

The Green Party says the removal of pre-departure testing for arrivals into New Zealand means the Government must step up domestic measures to prot...
Read More

Latest Covid19 Response Announcements

Story

Vital public health measures still missing from COVID response

Strong public health measures are more vital than ever, the Green Party says as the Government removes many longstanding COVID-19 restrictions. 
Read More

Story

Better long-term planning needed for COVID

COVID-19 is here to stay and so the Government needs to put in place long-term protection measures, including mandatory ventilation standards, the ...
Read More

Story

Green Party AGM to move online

The Green Party has made the decision to move its 2022 AGM online. Members of the party will not be gathering in Christchurch this weekend.
Read More

Story

Free masks a Green win

Following pressure from the Green Party, the Government has announced that medical masks will be available free for everyone, with N95 masks free f...
Read More

Story

Make N95 masks free for everyone

The Green Party is once again calling on the Government to supply free masks to everyone. 
Read More

Story

Green Party secures free masks in schools

Political pressure from the Green Party has pushed the Government to supply free masks to kids and teachers in schools across Aotearoa New Zealand.
Read More