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Porirua City 'to require Covid-19 vaccinations for staff and at council premises'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Porirua City Council will require all staff to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 from 17 January, and vaccination passes will be required at all Council premises when the traffic light framework comes into force on 3 December.

Chief Executive Wendy Walker said as a public service organisation the health and safety of staff, our customers and the wider Porirua community was the key driver behind these decisions.

"We consulted with staff on whether to make Covid-19 vaccinations compulsory for all staff, and the majority of feedback was strongly in favour of this move.

"People told us they wanted to feel safe at work, and to protect family members who can’t be vaccinated, like children and the immune-compromised. They also told us that they want to role model safe practices for the community we serve," she said.

The council carried out a risk assessment which showed that many jobs at Council were public-facing or involved working closely with the community. This created a greater risk of staff either catching Covid or spreading it into vulnerable communities.

"But staff don’t operate in a vacuum - we are interconnected and work across teams and locations. The Delta variant is highly infectious and hard to contain. It is a very real risk to our people," Ms Walker said.

"We are committed to providing a safe workplace and I believe the best way to achieve that is to require all staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19."

Ms Walker said staff would need to be vaccinated by 17 January next year. Council would work closely with anyone who was unvaccinated to understand their reasons and direct them to health providers for information and support.

"We know these are challenging and unsettling times and our goal is to work through any issues and retain our staff in a safe workplace."

Council has also made the decision that when New Zealand moves to the Protection Framework traffic light system on 3 December, all Council facilities and premises will require users to show vaccination passes.

"Putting these protections in place not only protects our staff and customers, but means we can keep our services operating safely for the community, with the least possible disruption at all traffic light levels.

"We know this will impact on some members of our community, but our priority has to be keeping everyone safe.

"As Covid-19 inevitably spreads throughout our communities we need to the way we work, and live. This means some of the freedoms and choices we’ve previously had will need to be adapted, as we adjust to a changing world."

We’re working through how scanning systems will work at our facilities, so keep an eye on our website and facebook page for updates.

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