He waka eke noa | We are all on the waka together
Note: This paper does not contain legal advice. This is a fluid area with information being released daily. We will endeavour to keep all information up to date, however if you have any uncertainty, we recommend obtaining legal advice.
1. Aotearoa New Zealand has successfully managed much of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, generally enjoying greater quality of life because of the elimination strategy. The primary tools to manage the pandemic were social distancing (isolation), contact tracing and mandated public health requirements.
2. The elimination phase of the COVID-19 response used a series of Alert Levels which focused on isolation as the most effective means of supporting the elimination strategy.
3. Under this policy, unless a youth service was an essential service, face to face Youth Work and wider youth services were not able to be delivered under Alert Levels Three and Four. This has seen groups actively engaging in online options.
4. The August 2021 outbreak of the COVID-19 Delta variant prompted a change in Government policy from the previous elimination strategy to a strategy based on minimisation. This shift in strategy is made possible through the introduction of vaccinations.
5. The COVID-19 Protection Framework introduced by the Government is preparing Aotearoa New Zealand for endemic* COVID-19.
6. The COVID-19 Protection Framework’s core assumption is that vaccination is the most effective means of reducing the prevalence and severity of COVID-19. Vaccinations are supported by other public health measures including mask wearing, social distancing, and contact tracing.
7. The COVID-19 Protection Framework creates a dual track system for business and organisations across Aotearoa New Zealand:
8. Generally speaking, organisations requiring vaccines are able to operate through the different levels of the traffic light system with minimal disruption. Conversely, organisations not requiring vaccines will have to change how they operate at different levels as a result of increasingly stringent public health requirements. At some levels of the traffic light system some organisations are not able to operate.
9. The digital verification of vaccines works in two parts:
10. This is a fluid area with information being released daily.
|Education||Health||Other youth services|
|Staff or volunteers||Must be vaccinated under the education mandate||Must be vaccinated under the health mandate||Recommended proof of vaccination: Korowai Tupu paper on the Vaccination Health Order Summary|
|Young people over 12||Schools do not require proof of vaccination||All health and disability services do not require proof of vaccination||Proof of vaccination may be required – see below|
|Young people under 12||Vaccine not available||Vaccine not available||Vaccine not available|
If you offer Youth Work or any form of youth service to young people you will need to ask yourself the questions:
Will you require young people over the age of 12 to provide a vaccine certificate?
If you are not covered by a vaccine mandate, will you require your staff/volunteers to provide a vaccination certificate?
Note: some organisations may consider offering some services where vaccinated certificates are required, and others where they are not. In this case we recommend a risk analysis where the staff/volunteers or spaces are the same (i.e., the same venue and staff/volunteers are used) to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Many members of Ara Taiohi work with young people under the age of 12. Vaccinations are not currently available to young people under the age of 12. If you are offering services to those under 12, we encourage you consider:
* Endemic (adj): (of a disease) persisting in a population or region, generally having settled to a relatively constant rate of occurrence.
The following templates have been provided by our friends SCOUTS Aotearoa: