Outrage over Auckland students in Tauranga classes

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology has confirmed that Auckland students received MOH approval to travel to class in Tauranga. Photo: SunLive.

A Tauranga parent is horrified to learn that their son has been attending class all week with Auckland students who travelled to Tauranga during the Auckland Alert Level 4 lockdown.

Three students who travelled from Auckland to Tauranga earlier last week have been attending classes at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

“We all expected that we are safe here in Tauranga,” says the parent. “That’s why we have this border control. No one thought this would be happening.”

Toi Ohomai have confirmed that the Auckland students have been on campus attending classes with Tauranga students.


“We have been made aware of three students who attended our Windermere campus this week after travelling from Auckland,” says Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Chief Executive Leon Fourie.


The students arrived in Tauranga on Monday September 13 and went straight to their class on campus. It has been confirmed by Toi Ohomai that they attended four classes during the week.


On Friday September 17, Toi Ohomai was made aware of the students’ travel history and immediately stood them down from class.


“Prior to leaving Auckland, the students contacted the Ministry of Health for guidance, produced negative COVID tests, and relevant documents to border staff and were permitted to travel through,” says Fourie.


“As soon as Toi Ohomai was made aware of the students travel history, as a precautionary measure they were immediately stood down from class and instructed to self-isolate at home. They have all since returned a second negative test yesterday. As an additional precaution, the students will not be returning to campus until 14 days since they arrived in Tauranga.”

The Tauranga parent is outraged that this situation has been allowed to happen.

“Where does it come that students are essential? They are not essential workers. Is this happening all throughout NZ?” says the parent.

“We have a friend whose daughter is refused to come out of Auckland to see her father in Tauranga who has been given weeks to live. How do we have these double standards? The Aucklanders are all there doing their bit. And the rest of the country are assuming that we are safe? How can this be rubberstamped by health officials?”

SunLive received a separate report from a reader who was also attending the same classes that they were unaware the students had arrived from Auckland during Auckland’s Alert Level 4 and expressed concern that the Auckland students were in close proximity to other students each day.


Police have also confirmed that the group of three travelled from Auckland to Tauranga.


“Police are aware of three people who travelled from Auckland to Tauranga earlier this week,” says a Police spokesperson.


“Police have spoken to the group and the matter has been referred to the local health authorities.”


SunLive requested further information from the Ministry of Health.


"Police have spoken to the group and the matter has been referred to the local health authorities. The people have returned negative tests," says a Ministry of Health spokesperson.


Two people have been arrested after allegedly travelling from Auckland to Wellington during alert level 4.


A police spokesperson confirmed a 24-year-old woman and a 41-year-old man had been arrested in Wellington on Saturday after allegedly travelling from Auckland in breach of alert level restrictions.

“They have been charged with failing to comply with order (Covid-19) and are expected to appear in Wellington District Court on Monday,” says the Police spokesperson.


“As the matter is before the court, police are not in a position to provide anything further at this time.”


This is the latest in a string of alleged lockdown breaches police have dealt with. On Thursday, three essential workers were arrested in Ohakune after travelling from Auckland to Tūroa ski field, police say.


Police had charged them with failing to comply with Covid-19 restrictions and taking, obtaining or using a document for pecuniary advantage. The trio were bailed and are set to appear at Auckland District Court on September 23.


Last week, an Auckland couple allegedly used their essential service exemptions to travel to Wānaka.


Another Aucklander who travelled to Whakatāne this week made headlines, as well as a polytech student after travelling from Auckland to attend class in Taranaki.

More on SunLive...
You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now

Don't Worry

Posted on 19-09-2021 23:51 | By The Caveman

Jaffa land is just up there road from Tauranga ............ Tga already has a problem (not ? ? ) with and AUCKLAND truck driver (but it’s not his problem) so a couple - sorry 3 - THREE - students who have "permits" to travel from Jaffa land to Tauranga for a POLYTEC lecture are not a problem !!! YET as per media last week a 60 year old Auckland lady could NOT get a permit to travel to Waihi for her 90+ mothers funeral !!! WHAT HAVE I MISSED ? ? ? ?


Posted on 19-09-2021 21:22 | By

Bob is right. Those that authorized this should be dismissed immediately. What were they NOT thinking? The students allegedly had authorisation from the MOH to carry out what they did. Toi Ohomai also need to stand up and give some answers, however, it does appear that once the Polytechnic was aware of this they took IA. They still need to stand up and speak to if they were aware students were coming in from a L4 zone and kept it quiet. Surely MOH had spoken to them before giving the authority to attend. There is way too much slackness and breaches and these are only the ones that come to media attention.

Bob is right

Posted on 19-09-2021 16:11 | By FRANKS

Fire the person who authorised this !!!!!!!!!!

Settle down Bob

Posted on 19-09-2021 15:40 | By

Gosh, so much outrage for nothing. It’s as though New Zealand is a modern day enactment of Lord of the Flies.

@ Bob Landy

Posted on 19-09-2021 15:27 | By nerak

Couldn’t have put it better myself. The whole story reeks of selfishness, and lack of recognition of possible consequences.

More hysteria

Posted on 19-09-2021 13:59 | By

More covid hysteria. How many young Kiwis have died of covid in the last 2 years? Of all the thousands infected with Covid, what’s the average age of the handful of deaths? What’s the percentage of deaths to infections? It is mind numbing to see people terrified of covid when they can’t answer these basic questions.

They probably...

Posted on 19-09-2021 12:58 | By morepork

... thought it was OK, because they complied with the MOH and legal requirements. The real idiots here are the MOH officials who could not see how counter-productive this is in the light of other people who were NOT able to travel even though their reasons were as important to them as study was for these students. I also sympathize with the parents of Tauranga students who were not consulted before Toi Ohomai went ahead and did this. The Polytech could reasonably be expected to have more brains...


Posted on 19-09-2021 12:43 | By

There’s stupid. There’s very stupid. There’s really stupid. There’s really $&?!$&@& stupid. And then there’s three students travelling from Auckland to Tauranga to attend classes at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology. Find those who authorised this and dismiss them.