Air filtration and ventilation in NZ schools

Maxwell made this Official Information request to Ministry of Education

The request was successful.

From: Maxwell

Dear Ministry of Education,

I write as a NZ citizen.

Can you please confirm the following information with regards to air filtration/ventilation in NZ schools for the purpose of Covid-19 mitigation:

1) when the initiative was first proposed for discussion by MoE or related agencies;
2) when the initiative was finalised and signed-off for nationwide school usage by MoE or related agencies;
3) when orders were placed for the applicable machinery/technology by MoE or related agencies;
4) a summary of which NZ schools will receive the first 500 'air cleaners'.

The above request is in reference to the announcement made by Education minister Chris Hipkins in this Stuff article on Tue 25 Jan 2022 (Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politic...).

Yours faithfully,

Maxwell

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From: Enquiries National

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Kia ora Maxwell

 

Thank you for your request for information below.  The Ministry will
consider and respond to your request in accordance with the Official
Information Act 1982 (the Act).

 

Under section 15(1) of the Act, we are required to make and inform you of
our decision on your request as soon as reasonably practicable and in any
case not later than 20 working days after the day on which your request is
received.  You can therefore expect to receive our decision on your
request on or before the 23 February 2022.  If more than 20 working days
are needed due to the potential workload and/or consultations involved in
answering your request, we will notify you accordingly.

 

The Ministry may publicly release on our website the response to your
request five days after you have received it. Any personal information
will be removed.

 

In the interim, if you have any questions about your request, please email
[1][email address].

 

Ngā mihi

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education - TW
[2]education.govt.nz  |  [3]Follow us on Twitter: @educationgovtnz

[4]Te TD huhu o te MD tauranga

 

 

 

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From: Enquiries National


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Kia ora Maxwell

 

Thank you for your email of 25 January 2022 to the Ministry of Education
requesting the following information:

 

1) when the initiative was first proposed for discussion by MoE or related
agencies;

2) when the initiative was finalised and signed-off for nationwide school
usage by MoE or related agencies;

3) when orders were placed for the applicable machinery/technology by MoE
or related agencies;

4) a summary of which NZ schools will receive the first 500 'air
cleaners'.

 

The above request is in reference to the announcement made by Education
minister Chris Hipkins in this Stuff article on Tue 25 Jan 2022

(Source:
[1]https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politic...).

 

Your request has been considered under the Official Information Act 1982
(the Act).

 

 1. when the initiative was first proposed for discussion by MoE or
related agencies

 

The initiative refers to the COVID-19 Response – Ventilation in Schools
programme, the scope of which is outlined in the November Ed Report
(1277412) – see link in response to question 2.

Along with testing, vaccination, good hygiene and physical distancing,
good ventilation is important in minimising the risk of airborne
transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.

As part of the Ministry’s response to COVID-19, this programme of work
evolved through 2021. We’ve been working with colleagues across government
and research to make sure we’re giving schools the right advice –
including standing up our own COVID-19 ventilation technical advisory
group made up of experts from NIWA, the Ministry of Health, GNS Science
and universities. They will continue to play a key role in shaping our
response.

The work we are undertaking as part of our [2]COVID-19 ventilation
strategy for New Zealand schools is in addition to the indoor air quality
requirements all school buildings are required to meet.

 

 2. when the initiative was finalised and signed-off for nationwide school
usage by MoE or related agencies

 

An Education Report relating to formalising our ventilation in schools
programme was signed off within the Ministry of Education by Scott Evans,
Deputy Secretary Hanganga, Matihiko | Infrastructure & Digital on 19
November 2021.

 

The initiative was then signed off by Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister of
Education on 21 November 2021.

 

Refer:
[3]https://assets.education.govt.nz/public/...

 

 3. when orders were placed for the applicable machinery/technology by MoE
or related agencies

 

An order for portable CO^2 monitors was confirmed on 26 November 2021. The
Ministry countersigned the contract on 10 December 2021. This was procured
following MBIE urgent procurement guidelines.

 

An order for portable air cleaners (purifiers) was confirmed on 24
December 2021. The Ministry countersigned the contract on 10 January 2022.
This was procured following MBIE urgent procurement guidelines.

 

The Ministry currently has two advance notices on the GETS website for
other purchases:

 

o [4]GETS | Ministry of Education - School Infrastructure - Portable Air
Cleaners
o [5]GETS | Ministry of Education - School Infrastructure - Assisted
Natural Ventilation System (ANVS) – Pilot Programme

 

 4. a summary of which NZ schools will receive the first 500 'air
cleaners'

 

We are expecting our first shipment of Samsung air cleaners to arrive in
New Zealand before the end of February.

 

Our first priority will be distributing these to targeted spaces within
schools we are working with, who have been unable to improve ventilation
by other means.  

 

As most schools are and can continue to be naturally well-ventilated, we
don’t anticipate portable air cleaners will be needed in most indoor
spaces.  

 

Our [6]classroom ventilation self-assessment toolkit will help schools
identify areas where ventilation might need to be supplemented if
operational strategies and property improvements aren’t effective at
improving ventilation, or if an interim solution is needed.  

 

Our property advisors and ventilation team will work with these schools to
determine if an air cleaner is the right approach to help improve
ventilation.

 

Please note, the Ministry now proactively publishes OIA responses on our
website. As such, we may publish this response on our website after five
working days. Your name and contact details will be removed.

 

Thank you again for your email. You have the right to ask an Ombudsman to
review this decision. You can do this by writing to
[7][email address] or Office of the Ombudsman, PO Box 10152,
Wellington 6143.

 

 

Nāku noa, nā

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^MC
[8]education.govt.nz  |  [9]Follow us on Twitter: @educationgovtnz

[10]Te TD huhu o te MD tauranga

 

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