Council updates vaccination approach and requirements

Vaccine passes no longer needed

Publish Date : 04 Apr 2022
City From Shore Sunset

Vaccine passes will no longer be required at Auckland Council’s sites and facilities from Tuesday 5 April 2022. This follows a review of the council’s overall approach to vaccination and changes to vaccination requirements for its staff, elected members and those that carry out work for us, including volunteers.

Chief Executive Jim Stabback says the council began with a thorough review of its risk assessment which, along with speaking with staff and elected members, and seeking updated health and legal advice, informed decisions on the revised approach.

“I’m confident we have reached decisions that reflect what our risk assessment has told us, that are right for our people and our customers, and reflect where Tāmaki Makaurau, and New Zealand, is at with its coronavirus response. 

“Recent changes to the COVID-19 Protection Framework required us to carefully consider these changes now, and we’re prepared to do so again if other variants appear or we see an increase in risk to our people and the community,” he says.

Dr Claudia Wyss, whose Customer and Community Services directorate has the lion’s share of the council’s customer facing roles, says the council’s approach to date has served us well and prepared us for this next phase.

“Librarians, lifeguards, park rangers and all of our frontline workers have done an amazing job at making our services available to Aucklanders throughout this pandemic.

“I applaud our team, and our colleagues across the council who also work with the public; but also the majority of Aucklanders who have showed support and appreciation for the work we do.  

“Our staff have done an excellent job communicating our policy and the government guidance, while also managing some service impacts due to illness among colleagues or whānau.

“There have been some unfortunate situations where they have also borne the brunt of people’s frustration and some antisocial behaviour, and we ask our customers for their continued patience, support and kindness during this time.

“From tomorrow everyone will be able to enter our sites without having to show their vaccine pass, or scan or sign in.

“However, to protect the safety of other customers and our staff, customers will still be required to wear a mask indoors, in line with the current government guidance.

“We are also asking customers to maintain safe distances from others, and of course stay at home if unwell.

“We continue to manage the impacts of Omicron on our workforce, which means there will be reduced services or temporary closures at some locations from time to time, so check our website before you leave home," says Dr Wyss.

From tomorrow (Tuesday 5 April 2022):

  • Being fully vaccinated will be strongly encouraged among Auckland Council employees but will no longer be a requirement in order for our people to carry out their roles and access our workplaces, apart from in certain circumstances, like when a government mandate is in place.
  • This also applies to those who carry out work on our behalf, such as contractors, suppliers and volunteers, which means our contractor vaccination policy will be retired.
  • We will remove the guidance put in place for elected members, who will no longer be required to be vaccinated to work in our offices and meeting spaces.
  • In line with this new approach and the government’s changes, customers accessing our sites and facilities will no longer need to provide evidence of a My Vaccine Pass.

More information about the council’s approach to vaccination will be published on our website on Tuesday 5 April, including the updated risk assessment. For changes to the COVID-19 Protection Framework, visit the government’s website.

Check before you go

Visit our website for up-to-date information on interruptions to our services and facilities due to staff illness or unavailability. Unwell staff or staff having to isolate as a result of being a household contact can affect our rosters and require a reduction in hours or temporary closures. This can also be affected by the ability of our contracted suppliers to supply their essential services, like cleaning.

About our review

“We have focussed our efforts on this review In order to provide clarity and certainty for our people quickly, align with government changes and complete reviews of vaccination requirements for our elected members, customers and contractors as soon as possible – given the changing circumstances,” says Mr Stabback. 

The council’s overall approach to vaccinations is based on a risk assessment which determines the risk associated with the virus across the whole organisation and assesses the effectiveness of control mechanisms.

We began reviewing our risk assessment in early March as a result of the Omicron outbreak and following our commitment to regular reviews. This work included seeking updated health advice from the Ministry of Health and health experts and receiving updated legal advice.

The government signalled changes to the COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic light settings) on 23 March, prompting us to accelerate our review and consider impacts on our people, customers and our services, in order to ensure alignment in the timing of any changes.

On Monday 28 March we announced to our people that we had updated our risk assessment and were proposing changes to our approach to vaccination. We shared our proposal with staff, met with groups within our organisation and with unions, and carried out a survey of our people.

We received close to 4000 responses to the survey. Of those, 56 per cent either strongly agreed or agreed with the proposal, while 36.7 per cent either disagreed or disagreed strongly. A further 7.3 per cent neither agreed or disagreed or didn’t know.

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