The mandate will apply from Monday 31 January 2022, requiring all staff and all students to be fully vaccinated if they enter University campuses or take part in face-to-face University activities.
It will also apply to contractors and visitors who wish to enter University campuses.The University will review its approach to a vaccine mandate every three months or at the end of Trimester 1 in June 2022.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford says this decision is underpinned by a detailed risk assessment, as well as consultation with staff, students, unions, and University Council members.
A survey sent to all staff and students showed there was widespread support for a vaccine mandate with the vast majority of staff respondents saying they would be more comfortable coming to campus if they were vaccinated (93%), their colleagues were vaccinated (90%) and students were vaccinated (90%).
For students, a high number of respondents agreed or strongly agreed they would be more comfortable at the University if they were vaccinated (89%), favoured staff being vaccinated (85%), as well as favoured other students being vaccinated (84%).
This engagement has highlighted there is widespread support for a mandate from across our community, says Professor Guilford.
“This decision not only ensures the University meets its obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Pastoral Care Code of Practice, and also ensures the safety and wellbeing of our community.“
“This is particularly important for the University as the survey revealed that 40 percent of our community are either part of, or have a family member who is part of, a vulnerable population.
“We know that this is the right response for those studying, working, and visiting our campuses and premises while COVID-19 exists in the community.”
The University will continue to work with government agencies to finalise details of how the vaccine mandate will be applied and implemented, and will keep Te Herenga Waka’s community informed as decisions are made.
“I can assure you that we will be as respectful and empathetic as possible in implementing government guidelines, while also ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our community,” says Professor Guilford.
The University has been supporting the nationwide vaccine rollout with Mauri Ora, Te Herenga Waka’s student health and counselling service, is running a vaccination clinic on the Kelburn campus. The clinics are running until Friday 17 December between 9.30 am and 3 pm, and no booking is required.