Making a complaint

If you have already tried to resolve your issue or do not feel safe or comfortable doing so, you can make a formal complaint.

Make a complaint

Use this secure online form to make a complaint. You can make a complaint in person, by phone, or in an online meeting by contacting complaints@vuw.ac.nz.

We understand that making a complaint may be a distressing process, so we encourage you to seek support before, during, and after completing this form. Visit our support pathways webpage for helpIf you’d like to speak to someone now, call Need to Talk on 1737.

You can make a complaint about most things within reason. If you are unsure, you can reach out to the Complaints and Conflict Resolution Advisor for support and advice.

Information to include in your complaint

  • Your details (name, student number, preferred method of contact).
  • The steps you have already taken to try and resolve the matter.
  • A detailed statement outlining what happened, when and where it happened, who was involved and who may have witnessed it.
  • Supporting documents (any materials that might support your complaint).
  • Why you are wanting it addressed through a complaint process and what outcome(s) you hope to achieve through the process.
  • The impact of the incident or situation.
  • Any concerns you might have about your safety (if you have immediate safety concerns, contact the Police on 111 or Campus Security on 0800 842 8888).
  • Any support you might need.

What happens once I’ve made a complaint

Once the complaint has been received, it will be reviewed by the Complaints and Conflict Resolution Advisor.

They will consider the following things:

  • whether there are risks or safety concerns that need addressing to make sure everyone is safe, and any serious risks can be addressed.
  • what your support needs might be, how you have been impacted, and how to work alongside you to ensure we can minimise the impact of the situation on your wellbeing, studies and other areas of your life.
  • who the complaint should be referred to. The Complaints and Conflict Resolution Advisor will allocate the complaint to the most appropriate person or operational area of the University to respond.

Which area will respond to my complaint and how will it be managed

In most cases, complaints relating to issues concerning students will be referred to the Student Interest and Conflict Resolution team.

Complaints by students that relate to the University, its systems or its staff, will be referred to the operational area that is most appropriate.

This is not an exhaustive list and if you are unsure, or would like more information about a particular policy or process, email the Complaints and Conflict Resolution Advisor.

What happens to my complaint

The allocated person who receives the complaint will action the complaint in line with the regulations or procedures it relates to. Once investigated, the outcome will be communicated to you and any other relevant parties who have been involved.

Who will see my complaint

If a complaint includes allegations about another individual, that person will be provided with a copy of all relevant documentation, including a copy of the complaint. This is part of the natural justice requirements that underpin complaint management.

Sensitive issues including allegations of harassment, sexually harmful behaviour and pastoral care are treated confidentially and will not be discussed with others unless they are directly involved. If you are unsure, contact the Complaints and Conflict Resolution Advisor for a confidential conversation and advice.

If I am afraid of reprisal

If there is fear of reprisal and you are worried that there might be consequences for making a complaint you can seek confidential guidance and support before you make a complaint. You can email the Complaints and Conflict Resolution Advisor or the VUWSA Student Advocate.

Whānau, parent or guardian feedback

If a whanau member, parent, guardian, or guarantor wishes to provide feedback, raise a concern or make a complaint they should email the Complaints and Conflict Resolution Advisor directly.

Note that if the matter is sensitive, the Complaints and Conflict Resolution Advisor may require the permission of the student before they can discuss it.

Members of public can make a complaint

As a member of the public, you can give raise a concern or make a complaint by emailing the Complaints and Conflict Resolution Advisor directly.

I am not happy with the process or outcomes, or the University does not accept my complaint

If you are not happy with the process or the outcome of your complaint, or the University does not accept your complaint, or you (or the University) perceive they do not have the cultural competency to deal with it, or you feel the University has not made adequate progress towards resolving the complaint, or you are not satisfied with the University's complaints process or outcome, there are a number of different pathways to take your concerns externally.