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

Keep masks in schools to protect tamariki

The Green Party does not support the Government’s decision to move Aotearoa to ‘orange’, or the removal of mask rules for schools.
Read More

Story

Greens celebrate as Matariki Bill passes third reading

The Greens are celebrating today as Te Kāhui o Matariki Public Holiday Bill passes its third reading in Parliament, and want to see more done to em...
Read More

Story

Test to stay and free N95 masks needed in schools

The Green Party is calling for “test to stay” and N95 masks in schools and early childhood education.
Read More

Story

Green Party calls for ‘test to stay’ in schools, free RATs for all

The Green party is calling for “test to stay” in schools and early childhood education, and free Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) for all to protect vuln...
Read More

Story

Greens welcome Matariki public holiday date, now we must build this significant time into our education system

The Green Party welcome the dates set out for the next 30 years for the Matariki public holiday, but more must be done to embed this significant cu...
Read More

Story

Greens’ Māori Caucus Te Mātāwaka call for Matariki Ahunga Nui to be expanded in school curriculum

The Green Party are calling for an expansion of the current school curriculum on Matariki, so that a deeper understanding of how it relates to mana...
Read More

Latest Covid19 Response Announcements

Story

Keep masks in schools to protect tamariki

The Green Party does not support the Government’s decision to move Aotearoa to ‘orange’, or the removal of mask rules for schools.
Read More

Story

Protect vulnerable communities before rolling back COVID-19 protections

The Green Party is reiterating its call for stronger protection of vulnerable communities as the Government keeps the country in ‘red’.
Read More

Story

Urgent action needed to protect communities

The Green Party does not support changes to COVID protection measures and calls on the Government to act urgently to keep our most at-risk communit...
Read More

Story

Liveable incomes needed to lift COVID burden

The Green Party is calling on the Government to boost support directly to people so they are not put at greater risk by a change in COVID-19 protec...
Read More

Story

Boost support long-term for Māori and Pasifika isolation, vaccinations

The Green Party is calling on the Government to focus long-term COVID-19 support on whānau, hapū and community service providers helping Māori and ...
Read More

Story

Greens urge Government to keep public health protections

The Government must not remove COVID-19 protection measures until it is very clear that the Omicron outbreak has passed, the Green Party says.
Read More