Newsletter August 2020

From the Chair

Well, just when we all thought we could relax a little, COVID-19 snuck up and bit us in the derriere! Our Committee has been hard at work developing a set of guidelines for us to use while we remain in Level 2 – “allowed to do things while being extra vigilant”. You can read the full guidelines on our website here but here’s a summary of the key points as they affect courses and workshops at SeniorNet.

  • The Learning Centre remains open but with restrictions on social distancing
    • Maximum of 7 people in a class with 3 tutors
    • We’ll still have our mid-class break but there will be no morning or afternoon tea served – students are welcome to help themselves to water
    • Tutors will not handle student’s devices and they will wear masks during exercises
    • Students are encouraged to wear face coverings
  • All attendees at The Learning Centre are strongly encouraged to use the official COVID-19 Tracer App and we’ll be happy to assist anyone to get it installed on their smartphone or iPhone (indications are that the latest version works well on both Apple and Android devices). You can also access it yourself here or by going directly to the Apple Store or Google Play Store on your device
  • Key surfaces will be cleaned down after every class (desks, keyboards, kitchen surfaces etc). Hand sanitiser will be provided for everyone to use
  • Regular Workshops (iOS, Android and Q&A) will move to online Zoom Sessions
  • Students attending current (and future) courses under Level 2 will be contacted by the Lead Tutor. If you are uncomfortable about attending a face-to-face course, you are welcome to withdraw and we will give you priority access to the same course when it is next scheduled under Level 1
  • The COVID-19 Helpdesk will be reinstated for members to gain access to technical assistance while we are in Level 2 (see details below)

Our full Level 2 Guidelines are published in elsewhere on our website. We have leaned heavily on the official government COVID-19 website for guidance

Remember that we have a webpage on our own site which has a lot of quick links to COVID-19-related websites and information – click here


The delayed AGM of the SeniorNet Federation is being SeniorNet Fed logoheld this coming Thursday afternoon. I will be representing SeniorNet Kapiti at the meeting and voting on our behalf.

In related news, I’ve been nominated (unopposed!) to the position of Wellington Regional Representative on the Executive of the Federation. I’ve been reassured that the role is compatible with my current position as your Chairperson and I see it as an opportunity for Kapiti to share the secrets to it’s success and stability with other Learning Centres as well as to learn new tips and tricks from them.

Historically, communication between Learning Centres and The Federation has been relatively limited but I know that the new CEO, Heather Newell, is working hard to change that and I will be doing the same by reaching out to the other Learning Centres in our Region and engaging more frequently with them.

So, for now, stay safe and remember that SeniorNet Kapiti is here to help you with all your technology needs regardless of whether we are meeting face-to-face or Zooming together online.

Please do not attend any face-to-face SeniorNet activities, Workshops or Courses if you are displaying any symptoms

Peter Bunkall
Chair, SeniorNet Kapiti Inc.

Onsite Courses and Workshops During Level 2

As Peter has mentioned above, we are taking a cautious approach to social distancing during the period we remain under Level 2. If your Course or Workshop is already underway, you will have already spoken to the Lead Tutor.

If your Course or Workshop hasn’t started yet, you will be contacted by the Lead Tutor prior to the commencement date. If we have decided to run the Course and you are not comfortable attending under our Level 2 Guidelines, please let the Lead Tutor know and  they will get Elaine to put you on the list for when we are back in Level 1.

Zoom Courses and Workshops during Level 2

If a Course or Workshop you want to attend has moved online using Zoom, please take the time to get set up properly prior to the start of the session. We have comprehensive details on our website here that will guide you through. If that doesn’t work, please contact the COVID-19 Helpdesk on 04 299 0754, leave your details (incl phone number) and a description of the problem. Someone will call you back

Annual Membership Renewal

SeniorNet Kapiti is proving popular in these uncertain times and the majority of our members have already renewed their membership for the 2020-21 Year – we thank you for your ongoing support.

If you haven’t yet got around to renewing, you can use Internet Banking to pay directly to our bank account ($30 individuals and $50 couples) – ANZ Bank a/c 06-0501-0746900-00. Please remember to put your name and membership number in the Code & Reference fields so we know who’s paying us.

Of course, if you’re not comfortable using Internet Banking yet you can mail us a cheque, and while you’re at it, why not contact Elaine on 021 169 6256 and book in for the next Introduction to Internet Banking Workshop

COVID-19 Helpdesk is Open Again!

Our COVID-19 Helpdesk has reopened for Level 2.

As with last time, if you have a technical question, please call our main number on 04 299 0754, leave your details (incl your phone number) and a description of the problem. One of our Tutors will call you back within 24hrs.

A Note about Windows Live Mail

For those of you still using Windows Live Mail as your email client, we strongly encourage you to change to an alternative email client. Microsoft no longer support this product and we are hearing some troubling stories from our members, following the latest updates to Windows 10 – Windows Live Mail is no longer reliable and in some cases won’t upload email to the in-tray.

There are several excellent alternatives available including;:

  • Windows 10 Mail. This is the new mail app which comes pre-installed with Windows 10.  This mail client provides all the essential features you need in handle your mail – lots more than Windows Live Mail.  A calendar application is also included with this package.  SeniorNet Kapiti use this application as part of our email course (Email using Windows Mail).
  • Thunderbird is a free email application that is easy to set up and customize – and it is loaded with great features. Several of our Tutors are familiar with Thunderbird and can assist you to set it up and we also have some handouts you might find uesful left over from the Paradise migration a couple of years ago.
    Thunderbird is available from

Outlook Mail logo

  • Microsoft Outlook. This mail client is sold as part of the Microsoft 365 package.  It is the current market leader in the (corporate) Window’s environment.  This application includes a calendar and contacts package.

If you require assistance to setup your selected replacement mail client bring your pc along to a How Do I …? Workshop and one of our tutors will willingly help you. You will need to bring along:

  • Your device (laptop, phone or tablet)
  • Your email address (or addresses)
  • Your email password. If you have forgotten your email password, we may be able to assist you to reset your password if you have your cell phone with you.

This setup could be done during COVID-19 Level 2 using remote support so if you need help, call the Helpdesk (details above).

Our Sponsors

Google is now a sponsor of SeniorNet in New Zealand. There is an interesting article here regarding the nature of their sponsorship.

Please don’t forget our National sponsors – they’re important to SeniorNet and help us in many ways, including offering discounts to our members. They will all appreciate your support to help rebuild their businesses. Always show your membership card and ask if there’s a discount – you might be rather surprised! The best example is Noel Leeming where the SeniorNet discount extends well beyond computers to everything in their store!