Te Kura does not receive additional funding for the provision of devices and connectivity. However, we recognise that families on limited incomes may struggle to meet the additional costs involved and have set aside funding to assist as many students in need as we can.
If you don’t have access to a suitable device or require financial support to pay for internet access, you can apply for assistance. Eligible students will receive a second-hand laptop computer and an internet subsidy of $30 per month (or an additional $30 for those in rural areas) during the school year which is paid directly into the applicant’s bank account.
We are unable to support all of our students in this way, so eligibility for a Community Services Card or receiving a benefit are ways we can easily identify those who are most in need. Community Services Cards are available for low to middle income earners, with annual income thresholds that start at $49,447 for a family of two. More than 870,000 New Zealanders already hold one.
Applications will be approved if the applicant meets the following criteria:
• the application is made on behalf of a full-time student, or young adult student enrolled in three or more courses
• the student is enrolled in Te Ara Hou, an online 000, or NCEA course (at any level)
• the applicant is a beneficiary or Community Services Card holder and provides their beneficiary or Community Services Card number with their application
• a valid student ID number is provided with the application
• the applicant and student are resident in New Zealand.
How to apply
Apply online or download an application form to fill in and post. Alternatively, call us on 0800 65 99 88 (select option 1 from the menu) to apply over the phone or ask for an application form to be posted to you.
You will find out whether your application has been approved via email or letter.
If my application is approved, how long will it take for the laptop to arrive?
Depending on where you live, it may take five to 10 working days for your device to be delivered. Please note that laptops are delivered by courier and the courier will not leave the laptop at your address if there is nobody home to sign for it.
Can I apply for assistance for more than one student?
Yes, providing the other student(s) are enrolled in Te Ara Hou, an online 000, or NCEA course and you meet the other eligibility criteria for assistance.
I/my student is enrolled in another online course – can I still apply for assistance from Te Kura?
At this stage our assistance programme is only available for students who are enrolled in Te Ara Hou, an online 000, or NCEA course.
What training or support is provided for students using the new device?
Simple instructions for operating your laptop will be included with your device when it is sent out to you. We recommend Digital Unite as a great place to learn computer basics. All our students are able to download Microsoft Office 365 for free. You can contact our Student and Whānau Service Hub for technical assistance by calling 0800 65 99 88 extension 8712 or emailing email@example.com.
Will Te Kura contact my preferred service provider to arrange connectivity?
No. Te Kura will pay the subsidy directly into your bank account. If you have a current broadband provider you do not need to do anything, but if you don’t yet have an internet connection to your home you will need to arrange that with your preferred provider. If you're not sure what internet services are available in your area, have a look at www.glimp.co.nz
If you’re also applying for a laptop, we recommend that you set up your internet connection as soon as your application is approved.
What options are there for families who aren’t eligible for assistance through Te Kura?
You may be eligible to participate in the 2020 Communication Trust’s Internet@Home equity programme. This programme is intended for low income families who do not have a fixed telephone line and would struggle to pay monthly internet charges in advance, or who may be declined service because of a poor credit record. Families with a fixed telephone line are encouraged to ask their telephone service provider for a bundled phone and internet service.
Families can register their interest in being part of this programme by sending an email with their name and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her on 0800 272 020 between 9am and 3pm on weekdays. Participants may be required to attend a half-day internet training session.
Who qualifies for the internet connectivity top-up?
If you have a full-time student who is eligible for assistance and enrolled through one of the geographical isolation/ itinerancy enrolment gateways you can apply for the internet connectivity top-up of $30 per month. Other full-time or young adult students in rural areas, not enrolled through these gateways, but eligible for assistance can also apply for the top-up, providing they meet the same criteria as they would if they had been enrolled through one of the full-time enrolment gateways, i.e.:
• the student would be unable to attend a reasonably convenient school because of its distance or inaccessibility from their home. To qualify, the student’s nearest school for their age, gender, and in their preference of English or Māori medium, and school bus route and public transport must be:
a. more than 4.8 kilometres away (private road distance does not count)
b. located behind a geographic barrier preventing reasonable access to a school, suitable public transport or school bus route.
To apply for the assistance, email email@example.com (or apply in writing via post if you do not have an email address) outlining how you/your student meets these criteria. This will then be assessed by a team leader or the Manager, Student and Whānau Support and if eligible the application will be approved and you will be advised of the outcome in writing.
Are overseas students eligible for assistance?
No, the student must be living in New Zealand.
What happens with the laptop and internet subsidy after leaving Te Kura?
The laptop and subsidy are only available while enrolled with Te Kura. When you apply for a subsidy you are required to sign a declaration that you’ll let Te Kura know if you/your student is withdrawing from the roll. We will then arrange for the laptop to be returned and the subsidy payments will be cancelled.
What can I do if my application doesn’t meet the criteria or is declined?
In exceptional circumstances Te Kura may approve applications on behalf of students who do not meet the eligibility criteria. You may make an application for assistance by writing to Te Kura’s Chief Executive outlining why you are unable to access a suitable device or need financial help for internet access and why you do not have a Community Services Card or beneficiary number. Please provide as many details as you can in your letter, including student name and ID number.
Applications should be sent to:
Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu
Private Bag 39992
Wellington Mail Centre
Lower Hutt 5045
What can I do if there is no internet connectivity available in our area, or my student's circumstances mean that online learning is not suitable for them?
We recognise that there is a small number of families living in locations without any internet connectivity available to them. There are also some students whose exceptional circumstances (such as for health reasons or the protection of others) mean that access to the internet is not appropriate for them at this stage. Families in these circumstances can apply to receive paper-based resources sent through the post. Many, but not all, of our online courses can be provided in paper form, but wherever possible we will do whatever we can to help students access their resources online. If you wish to apply for paper resources, please complete the application form and send it to the regional manager for your area.