No vaccine pass mandates yet from EBOP councils

While Whakatāne District Council has announced vaccine passes will be required to enter some of its facilities, no such mandate has been issued by Kawerau or Ōpōtiki district councils – yet.

Following a risk and assurance committee meeting on Thursday, the Whakatāne council held an emergency meeting at which the Covid-19 Protection Framework, better known as the “traffic light system” was discussed at length and a decision was made to require vaccine passes to council facilities, with the exception of outdoor areas and public toilets.

Kawerau District Council announced on Monday that it would not require vaccine passes but has not ruled it out in the future.

“Our priority is to protect the health and safety of staff and those who use council services,” says Mayor Malcolm Campbell.

Communications manager Tania Humberstone says the council is still in the process of completing risk analysis for staff, teams and council-owned facilities and locations.

“We also want to make sure that whatever decisions we make include a well thought out implementation plan which has been costed and is sustainable. Enforcing vaccination pass rules will require additional staffing and resources.”

Ōpōtiki District Council is also undecided on a policy for vaccine passes, saying it is working through what the traffic light settings will mean for the council as an employer and as a provider of various services to its communities.

The council wants to be sure that its implementation plan included well-understood, costed and sustainable processes for checking and enforcing vaccine pass rules.

Kawerau and Ōpōtiki councils have urged regular users of their services to be vaccinated and offered assistance to people to apply for and print out their passes.

These services are available at the Kawerau i-SITE and the Ōpōtiki library.

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