Security staff to check vax passes cost DCC $20K

Security staff were initially contracted across a range of Dunedin facilities to check passes....
Security staff were initially contracted across a range of Dunedin facilities to check passes. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Employing security staff to check Covid-19 vaccine passes at Dunedin City Council sites has cost more than $20,000.

Vaccine passes have been required since early December for elected officials, staff and members of the public aged 12 and over to access what the council calls its public-facing facilities.

That includes the Municipal Chambers, Civic Centre, libraries, swimming pools, Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, the i-Site visitor centre and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

The policy was brought in soon after the Government moved to its traffic light system for managing Covid-19 cases, placing the South in the somewhat restrictive Orange setting.

Security staff were initially contracted across a range of Dunedin facilities to check passes.

In most cases, council staff were now carrying out pass-checking or facilities were moving towards that happening, a spokeswoman said.

The highest-profile incident related to vaccine passes in the city was when Dunedin city councillor Lee Vandervis attempted to attend a council meeting in December, but walked past security staff and did not show a pass.

The meeting was delayed and Cr Vandervis later left the Municipal Chambers and police delivered a trespass notice at his home.

He put in an apology for the next meeting, rather than attend remotely, and called the beefed-up security at the council unnecessary.

The council is required to provide a work environment without risks to health and safety, so far as is reasonably practicable.

This obligation includes eliminating or minimising risks associated with exposure to disease where the harm of that disease can be minimised by vaccination, the council has said.

The policy is to be reviewed in March.

-- grant.miller@odt.co.nz

 

 

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