Polytechnics determine vaccination requirements

Southern polytechnics are working through plans for vaccination requirements on their campuses.

It follows the University of Otago’s proposal to require vaccination passes on campus.

Otago Polytechnic chief executive Dr Megan Gibbons said it was formally consulting staff in regards to vaccination.

The consultation period began yesterday and closes on December 9.

"We believe it is important to respect people’s decisions, while also determining what is right for the organisation, our students, staff and the wider community," Dr Gibbons said.

Otago Polytechnic is a subsidiary of Te Pukenga, which was proposing a default position that anyone attending, working at, or visiting a Te Pukenga network subsidiary must be fully vaccinated, unless a local risk assessment concluded that was inappropriate.

That default position would be confirmed on December 7 at the Te Pukenga Council meeting.

"We cannot compel a person to become vaccinated, but staff who choose not to be vaccinated, or withhold vaccination status, may have their ongoing employment affected should a decision be taken that requires staff to be fully vaccinated," Dr Gibbons said.

"It is not our intention to simply exclude unvaccinated staff from our operations. We will take an individual approach to those situations and work closely with individuals and their formal leader to identify options that work for the individual as well as the team and learners/customers that they support."

Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) people, capability and safety general manager Toni Magi said it was working on a draft vaccination policy, which would be sent out to staff for consultation.

‘‘At the heart of everything we do is the wellbeing of our students, staff and anyone entering any of our campuses.

‘‘Anyone coming on to our campus must know that they can attend campus as safely as possible and not contract an illness that can then be transmitted back to their whanau on return to their community.’’

 - daisy.hudson@odt.co.nz



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