Snow day procedure

In the event of widely disruptive snow or ice conditions, the following procedures will occur at the Dunedin and Central Otago campuses.

Dunedin Campus

The normal response for the Polytechnic will be a delayed opening time of 10.00am and this decision will be made by the Chief Executive (or a delegate) by 7.00am.  

The decision to delay the start time will be based on the following:

  • suggestion from Police for people to stay at home
  • whether buses are running
  • if schools have a delayed start
  • if there are extensive road closures (road information is available on 0800 444 449).

If the weather situation has not cleared and road closures remain, Otago Polytechnic will be closed for the day. This decision will be made by 8.30am.

Please check these means of communications for updates about a delayed opening or full closure:

  • announcements on More FM 97.4, The Hits 89.4 and Radio Dunedin 99.8 FM from 7.30am at the latest (these will be updated half hourly until the 10.00am broadcast)
  • Otago Polytechnic website homepage
  • Otago Polytechnic Facebook page
  • Otago Polytechnic 0800 answerphone message
  • alert on Student Hub 
  • all staff email
  • alert on Tuhono. 

It is possible that, even with a delayed start, specific courses or activities for particular students will be cancelled for the day. Individual Heads of School will ensure that appropriate announcements are made on More FM 97.4, Moodle and by email.

Central Otago Campus

The Campus Coordinator makes the decision about closure for the day and is then responsible for communication.

As staff travel from Queenstown, Wanaka, Alexandra and Roxburgh, a decision is made as early as 6.00am.

A cancellation notice is issued via radio station Media Works, which covers the Central Otago area, at about 6.15am.

It is more common that the Central Otago Campus has to close early to ensure that people can get home from work.

Campus availability

In the event of a delayed start or full closure, the Campus Services on-call staff member will ensure buildings are locked down in the normal process for after-hours access which will mean that the usual after-hours access will be available to students for study.


Staff responsibilities

Staff are expected to:

  • make a reasonable effort to get to work on a snow or ice day – ensuring the safety of themselves and others as a priority – regardless of whether the Polytechnic has a delayed opening or is closed for teaching
  • advise of their particular situation (expected time of arrival or inability to make it to work) by 10am at the latest
  • ensure that they communicate as early as possible to their students the changes to any class schedule and confirm their availability online or by phone
  • remain ‘contactable’ during the day via phone or email for staff or students
  • continue with work that is possible to do while not in the office (checking and actioning emails should you have internet access)
  • should you choose not to be contactable on a snow day, it becomes annual leave.

For more information, please read the Snow and Ice Response policy.