Students and staff at most of NZ’s universities must be vaccinated for new term

At least six New Zealand university staff have resigned over compulsory vaccination, but dozens of others may no longer be able to perform their roles.

Six of the country’s eight universities have introduced a Covid-19 vaccine mandate ahead of the new term, which begins next month.

University of Canterbury (UC) has not, but a recent survey found the majority of students and staff would support mandatory vaccination.

“Based on this response […], the University of Canterbury is now consulting staff and students on a proposed mandate policy, with responses due by 4pm Friday 28 January,” said a spokeswoman.

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Paul O’Flaherty, UC’s executive director of people, culture and campus life, said they will now work closely with the university council before making a final decision.

“If the vaccination policy is adopted by the university, the implementation phase will run from February 3 to February 18, after which staff and students would be required to upload their My Vaccine Pass to a university database,” he said.

Auckland, Lincoln, Massey, Otago, Victoria Wellington and Waikato universities will require students, staff and visitors to show their vaccine pass to access campuses and university buildings. In most cases this will be from February 14.

Staff and students at six of the country’s universities will be required to be double-vaccinated by start of the new term.


Staff and students at six of the country’s universities will be required to be double-vaccinated by start of the new term.

Auckland University of Technology (AUT) has not adopted a vaccine policy but says it will follow “government requirements for universities for each level of the traffic light system”.

Stuff asked all eight universities if any staff have resigned due to the vaccine. Otago said there had been six resignations, but they are working with 54 staff who were not vaccinated by January 10.

“Options for those staff may include a change in duties, working from home or cessation of employment,” said Kevin Seales, Otago’s director of human resources.

There have been no resignations at Lincoln, Massey, or AUT.

Auckland, Canterbury, Victoria University Wellington and Waikato did not say if any staff had resigned.

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