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Worser Bay Boating Club

Vaccinations and what your club should consider

Issue date

Sport New Zealand have recently released some guidance that sets out their current position on vaccinations, which would be useful for clubs to review following today's government announcements.

Please note these requirements are likely to change as we transition into the Covid-19 Protection Framework (CPF or traffic light system).

It was announced today that Cabinet are likely to confirm on November 29 a move for all of New Zealand to the Covid-19 Protection Framework. On top of that, Auckland's border will open on December 15 for anyone fully vaccinated or who has received a negative Covid test within 72 hours of travel.

The details of the traffic light system are still being designed and there will be further guidance regarding the implications that system will have for sport and recreation (such as how the system will work for community sport events).

Sport New Zealand vaccination guidance in full can be found here.

Aktive have also developed a comprehensive resource to help clubs and volunteers work their way through the recommended processes, which can be found here. This includes a vaccination decision making guide, risk assessment form, policy guidance and an FAQ section.

In summary, the recommendation for clubs, with regards to preparation of the Covid-19 Protection Framework, is as follows:

Employees and volunteers

Clubs are encouraged to conduct a risk assessment around the activities and duties employees and volunteers undertake at the club. The Worksafe website here helps you take the following three steps:

  • Step 1 – conducting a health and safety risk assessment about the risk unvaccinated employees would pose for each role in your organisation
  • Step 2 – identifying other controls and measures that could be used (such as physical distancing, mask wearing etc) and the extent to which these would reduce the risk posed by unvaccinated employees
  • Step 3 – considering the practical implications and consequences of an outbreak of Covid-19 in your organisation

Please refer to the Employment New Zealand guidance here if employment implications crop up after your risk assessment.

It is important there's a robust consultation and a just and fair process undertaken.

If your club activities involve any activities with the following mandated heightened risk sectors – education or health - please refer to the Sport NZ document for guidance here.

If you adopt a policy of mandatory vaccination for your staff, then this could also specify that any volunteers working for your organisation would be able to continue in their voluntary roles only if they were vaccinated.

Similarly, if you choose to make vaccination a condition of entry to your facility or event, then any volunteers within your organisation would be able to attend and work at the event only if they were vaccinated.

Visitors to your facility or participants at your events

Under current legislative settings, organisations can legally require visitors to their facilities and/or participants in events they run must be vaccinated. This requirement can be made a condition of entry to the facility or event and the organisation does not need to complete a health and safety risk assessment prior to mandating vaccination as a condition of entry.

While your organisation can legally require visitors to your facilities and/or participants in your events to be vaccinated, there is currently no requirement for your organisation to take this approach (although it is possible this could change under the Covid-19 Protection Framework that is being developed).

These factors should be considered as part of the broader health and safety planning you would be expected to carry out in preparation for hosting any visitors or events. These considerations include:

  • The role your organisation can play in promoting the vaccine
  • Ensuring you avoid discrimination on the basis of religion or disability
  • The health and safety of people on your sites
  • Compliance/enforcement
  • Development of the Covid-19 Protection Framework

Although it is not required, organisations might wish to conduct a risk assessment for visitors before confirming their vaccination policy. This assessment could help to communicate the reasons behind the policy that is ultimately adopted and could involve the same steps as the risk assessment for employees using the Worksafe website here.

Additional considerations

The Covid-19 Protection Framework indicates hospitality, events, public events etc can choose to require vaccination certificates. There are some higher-risk settings where vaccination certificates will be a requirement in order to open to the public. See the CPF information here.

Yachting New Zealand will continue to keep you abreast of any updates, which can be found here