Dunedin only southern council insisting on passports so far

From Monday, people wanting to use the Dunedin Public Library must show their vaccination pass....
From Monday, people wanting to use the Dunedin Public Library must show their vaccination pass. Photo: ODT files
Dunedin may be the only southern centre requiring residents to prove they are vaccinated before being allowed to use most of its public facilities.

Sandy Graham
Sandy Graham

The Dunedin City Council yesterday decided it would require people to show their passes to access its pools, libraries, venues and offices.

Other councils in the South are taking a less stringent approach, saying they were trying to keep as many of their services as accessible as possible while still protecting residents and staff.

Dunedin City Council chief executive Sandy Graham said its decision was designed to keep people safe when Dunedin moved into an orange setting under the Government’s new traffic light system.

The new measures would be rolled out in two stages, beginning at Moana Pool, the St Clair Hot Salt Water Pool, Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and council-organised events, beginning tomorrow.

All other public-facing facilities, such as public libraries, Dunedin Chinese Garden, Olveston, the i-Site visitor information centre and Civic Centre, would follow on Monday.

The staggered approach ensured appropriate measures were in place at each facility, she said.

"We realise this will have an impact on some members of our community, but our priority is to keep our staff, customers and the wider community safe."

The same mandate applied to council staff, contractors, volunteers and elected members, who must also be fully vaccinated to enter once new requirements were in place at each facility.

The requirements were consistent with measures being introduced by other councils, including in Timaru, Auckland and Wellington, Ms Graham said.

Other councils 

Other southern councils were not requiring vaccine passes to enter most of their facilities.

Clare Hadley
Clare Hadley

In Invercargill, people would be able to visit libraries and pools without showing a vaccine pass, though they would require a pass to attend events at the Civic Theatre and Rugby Park.

Invercargill City Council chief executive Clare Hadley said the council wanted to continue to operate its services with "the greatest benefit for the community".

Southland District Council chief executive Cameron McIntosh said the council would also not require people to show their passes to access its facilities and offices. If hirers of its facility wanted to use vaccine passes they could, but would have to enforce that themselves.

All ILT-managed facilities would only serve vaccinated patrons with the exception of bottle stores, as they were deemed an essential service, while ILT Stadium Southland would require anyone aged over 12 to show their pass to enter.

General manager Nigel Skelt said it was "very difficult" for it to operate under any other rules because numbers would be restricted.

The Gore District Council is not requiring vaccine passes to enter any of its facilities and the Waitaki District Council would only be requiring passes to be used at the Oamaru Opera House.

At other Waitaki facilities such as libraries and swimming pools, people would still be required to social distance and mask use was encouraged.

Council chief executive Alex Parmley said the council’s approach was to try to keep as many of its services open and accessible as possible while protecting residents and staff.

The Clutha District Council’s position was unknown last night.

The Queenstown-Lakes and Central Otago District Councils will confirm their positions today.