Search the Otago Polytechnic website

Updated 5 January 2022

We want to keep you all up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination requirements for study here at Otago Polytechnic. 

This page provides you with information we have access to right now. As further information becomes available, we’ll update it here.

As well as the information below, we've also created a list of FAQs which will hopefully help to answer any questions you have.
  

FAQs


Vaccine requirements at Otago Polytechnic 

From 1 February 2022, Otago Polytechnic requires all students, staff, contractors and visitors to have a valid My Vaccine Pass to enter any Otago Polytechnic site.  

This decision was based on feedback given during a consultation period and has been made to support the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and wider community, who are at the heart of everything we do.   

Read our policy here


Important things to know

  • If you have an official medical exemption from the Ministry of Health, you are still able to get a My Vaccine Pass. We will only need to verify your My Vaccine Pass, and in the case of staff and students, enter the expiry date into our secure system*. This doesn’t tell us whether you are fully-vaccinated or have a medical exemption. 
  • In exceptional circumstances, exemptions may be granted to staff and students from this requirement. Please be aware that some of our programmes are covered by Government mandates and therefore exemptions cannot be granted (this is advised on the specific programme webpage for those qualifications). If you think you have grounds to be exempt from these vaccination requirements for other programmes, please email covid-19@op.ac.nz.

*Please note: for programmes covered by the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccination) Order 2021 (i.e. our health and education programmes), we will also need to see evidence of your vaccination (including types and dates) if you wish to begin studying, or continue studying, any of these.     
  

What does this mean for studying at OP?   

Every programme webpage on our website has been updated to include the specific COVID-19 vaccination requirements that relate to that programme. Below is a high level summary of how vaccination requirements work across our range of programme delivery types. 

Programme start date before 1 Feb 2022 
  • The vast majority of our programmes begin after 1 February 2022. However, there are a few that will start before this date. If you are studying a programme that begins before 1 February 2022, you’ll need to provide us with your My Vaccine Pass by 1 February 2022 to continue in the programme (or be granted an exemption by the Chief Executive). Please be aware that some of these programmes already have vaccination requirements in place due to Government mandates (e.g. Bachelor of Midwifery) so you’ll be asked to provide this My Vaccine Pass before being enrolled in the programme.     
Fully online programmes  
  • If you are studying a fully online programme, you do not have to provide your My Vaccine Pass to us. You will have to provide it to us if you want to visit an Otago Polytechnic site for any reason (e.g., meetings, events, presentations) or attend graduation in person at the end of your programme. You won't need it if you are only accessing an on campus health service as a patient (such as Student Health or the Kowhai Centre).    
Online programmes with block courses   
  • If you are studying an online programme which has block courses (or workshops or any other kind of face-to-face learning at a physical location), you will need to provide us with your My Vaccine Pass before 1 February 2022, or be granted an exemption by the Chief Executive. All locations where our block courses or other teaching is delivered are approved teaching sites and therefore are classed as an Otago Polytechnic site location.     
Work-based learning programmes   
  • If you are studying a work-based learning programme (such as through Capable NZ or our online/in-work horticulture programmes), you don’t need to provide us with a My Vaccine Pass if all of your learning is done in your workplace/off-site. In this instance, you’ll need to follow your workplace vaccination guidelines. Please be aware that you’ll need to provide us with your My Vaccine Pass if you do need to come on to campus at any stage for meetings or presentations, and you’ll also need to do this if you want to attend graduation in person. You won't need it if you are only accessing an on campus health service as a patient (such as Student Health or the Kowhai Centre).    
On campus / onsite programmes   
  • For all other programmes, you will need to provide us with your My Vaccine Pass prior to 1 February 2022 to be able to study at an Otago Polytechnic site with us, or be granted an exemption by the Chief Executive. 

 

How do I provide evidence of my vaccination status?   

The Government has advised that the only proof of vaccination that we can accept is the My Vaccine Pass (these can sometimes also be referred to as “vaccination certificates” or “vaccine passports”).   

Find out how to get your My Vaccine Pass here > 

Returning students  
  • If you’ve been studying during 2021 and will be returning to study in the same programme in 2022, you’ll need to show your physical or digital My Vaccine Pass to your school administrator. They will then be able to enter your My Vaccine Pass expiry date into our secure system.  
  • If you can’t come on to campus, please email a screenshot, scan or digital copy of your My Vaccine Pass through to your school administrator. This will be sighted and then destroyed.  
  • If you don't know who your school administrator is, please send your screenshot/scan/digital copy to studentadmin@op.ac.nz  
  • If you're returning to study a health or education programme, please see the additional requirements below. 
New students  
  • If you’ve already applied for a programme starting in 2022, our admissions team will be in touch with you to tell you what they need from you and by when.
  • You'll need to either:
    • email a screenshot, scan or digital copy of your My Vaccine Pass to the admissions team, OR
    • present your physical My Vaccine Pass or digital My Vaccine Pass in person at our Customer Services desk (The Hub, Forth Street, Dunedin).
  • If you present your My Vaccine Pass in person, please note that you'll also need to show us your proof of identity. 
  • If you're applying to study a health or education programme, please see the additional requirements below.      
If you haven’t yet applied  
  • If you haven’t yet applied for a programme starting in 2022 but are intending to, please just complete our online application process as normal and one of our admissions team will let you know what you need to do.    
  • You'll be asked to either:
    • email a screenshot, scan or digital copy of your My Vaccine Pass to the admissions team, OR
    • present your physical My Vaccine Pass or digital My Vaccine Pass in person at our Customer Services desk (The Hub, Forth Street, Dunedin).
  • If you present your My Vaccine Pass in person, please note that you'll also need to show us your proof of identity. 
  • If you're wanting to study a health or education programme, please see the additional requirements below.      

For health/education programmes (returning or new students)

If you're studying any of our health or education programmes, we'll need to sight your My Vaccine Pass and also see evidence of your vaccination (including types and dates). We are legally obliged to collect this additional information from you as these programmes are covered by the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccination) Order 2021.

You can verify your vaccination status using one of the below:

1. My COVID record 

  • Screenshot 
  • Scan 
  • Photo 
  • Print out 

2. Document from the Ministry of Health 

  • Letter or vaccination records 

3. Purple vaccination record card. 

 

What if I don't have a My Vaccine Pass and don't intend to get one?

It’s not our intention to simply exclude unvaccinated students from our operations. All of our students are valued and respected. As mentioned previously, we will work closely with anyone who doesn’t feel that they can meet these vaccination requirements so we can better understand your unique situation.  

We hope to be able to identify alternative online programmes that will help you achieve your education goals. Please be aware that you will need a valid My Vaccine Pass if you want to attend your graduation in person, or any other Otago Polytechnic event. 

Visit our FAQs page and check the Which qualifications can I study without a My Vaccine Pass? question (in the Studying section) for more info > 

 

Where will my information be held?   

Otago Polytechnic Ltd. will comply with Privacy Act 2020 principles when managing the collection, storage and disclosure of information pertaining to a student's COVID-19 vaccination status. In accordance with OP’s Information Management Policy, COVID-19 vaccination details and evidence will be held in strict confidence by OP and will only be disclosed to external agencies for the purposes of confirming your vaccination status as required, or as otherwise required by law. By providing evidence of your COVID-19 vaccination status to OP, you are consenting to disclosure of this information for the purposes outlined in this paragraph.   

 

What if I have questions or am concerned?   

We know that this is a difficult situation, and that people hold a range of feelings and thoughts about vaccinations.  

Please ensure you seek information about vaccines from reliable sources such as the Covid-19 website 

If you need support or want to talk through what this situation means for you studying at OP, please reach out to our Student Support teams.  

Support area

Phone details

Email contact

Student Support

(Dunedin)

(Freephone from NZ) 0800 762 786

(Intl.) +64 3 477 3014

studentsuccessdn@op.ac.nz

Student Support

(Central Otago)

(Freephone from NZ) 0800 765 9276

(Intl.) +64 3 445 9900

COTAdvisors@op.ac.nz

 

Student Support

(Auckland)

(Freephone from NZ) 0800 111 212

(Intl.) +64 9 309 0301

studentsuccessaic@op.ac.nz

 

Te Punaka Ōwheo

(Māori support)

 

(Freephone from NZ) 0800 762 786

 

TePunakaOwheo@op.ac.nz 

 

Student Health

(Dunedin)

(Freephone from NZ) 0800 762 786

(NZ direct.) 03 479 6082

 

studenthealth@op.ac.nz

 

After hours support

Phone +64 21 735 421