02 December 2021

Laidlaw moving into the Covid-19 Protection Framework

Aotearoa NZ is moving into the COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF) on Friday 3 December. This means that our Henderson and Manukau campuses move into Red, and our Christchurch campus moves into Orange. While the CPF settings will be reviewed by the Government on 13 December, and again on 17 January, we do not know how long Red or Orange settings will be in place in 2022. So, we are working to what we know, ensuring that we regularly review Laidlaw’s response as the situation unfolds. 


What we’ve been doing

In all of this, Laidlaw leadership have regularly submitted 
ourselves to Christ, seeking His wisdom and discernment. An overarching consideration is the reality that Aotearoa as a whole, and Laidlaw as a part, is moving from an emergency pandemic response to a 
new business-as-usual. As Laidlaw does this, we are mindful of our commitment to the formational and relational learning model for which we are known and respected. 

In our deliberations, we considered:

  • the Covid-19 Protection Framework
  • TEC guidance
  • Laidlaw’s mission and vision 
  • Laidlaw’s graduate profile 
  • the needs of all students, staff, partners, stakeholders, and visitors 
  • Laidlaw’s ability to deliver meaningful learning in different settings 
  • what it means for Laidlaw to be Christlike in our response

As you can see above, we have considered the wellbeing of our whole community in deciding Laidlaw’s response to the CPF.   

Throughout our discussions, we have wrestled with tensions, challenged one another, and articulated deeper thinking when more was required to come to decisions. All of this weighed heavily on us, conscious of the impacts on our community in whatever decisions we make.

What we’ve decided

On Friday, Laidlaw’s National Governing Council approved the draft Laidlaw College response to the CPF. Subsequently, on Friday evening, further information arrived from the Ministry of Education on the requirements for tertiary organisations under the CPF.  Specifically, those requirements are: 

For tertiary providers in regions that will move to Red when the COVID-19 Protection Framework comes into force, staff onsite will need to: 

· have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to continue working onsite from 3 December, and 

· have received both doses of the vaccine by 17 January 2022. 

Students and visitors can only be onsite at a tertiary provider at Red from 3 December if they are fully vaccinated (unless exempt) and have a valid My Vaccine Pass. For tertiary providers in regions that will move to Orange, in the COVID-19 Protection Framework, there is no vaccination requirement for staff, students or visitors onsite. 

We have decided that Laidlaw College will adhere to the CPF, including the requirements issued by the Ministry of Education.

From 3 December 2021, Laidlaw College will operate as a vaccine pass required organisation. At Red, our campuses will require a vaccine pass for onsite access. At Orange, you can access campus without a vaccine pass, although some events may require them to ensure more can participate.

There are a few areas where we need to work through the grey areas around requirements for tertiary organisations and the requirements for holding events or gatherings.  We will work on this and share more as further decisions are made.

A summary of Laidlaw’s response to the CPF across several areas of the College’s operations can be found here.

Henderson and Manukau Campuses will remain closed until 17 January to enable us to prepare for operating at Red in 2022. Staff will be able to work onsite if they meet vaccine pass requirements, but are encouraged to continue working from home where possible. Library Click and Collect services will continue to operate outside of Christmas Break dates.

Implications of requiring vaccine passes

For students without a vaccine pass, or who live with those who are more vulnerable or are vulnerable themselves, we will make every effort to provide alternate or remote learning options. However, offsite learning will be made available only if meaningful outcomes can be delivered and our staffing capacity enables this to take place. ‘Meaningful’ includes meeting requirements from regulatory and registration bodies and the impact of health orders on access to sites where students may undertake practicum requirements or internships.
Heads of School will be in contact with any students who are unable to be onsite and/or unable to complete the practicum or internship requirements for their programme.
For staff members without a vaccine pass, or who live with those who are more vulnerable or are vulnerable themselves, we will conduct an interim working-from-home assessment. This will consider the impacts on the staff member, the College, and our stakeholders in performing their role remotely. In recognising that long-term work from home may not deliver the best outcomes, interim working-from-home plans will have a review date no later than 1 April 2022. 
To find out about Vaccine Exemptions please check out the Ministry of Health Website.
You may be wondering about Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) and how that may apply to Laidlaw’s ongoing response to the CPF. We don’t know yet. Laidlaw and other tertiary organisations will be guided by advice from the Ministry of Education as to how RATs will support other public health measures.  

Next steps

We know that, as a community, we will respond differently to this update. Student Support are available to respond to any questions students may have about how this affects their study. As with many organisations across Aotearoa, we will be learning our way into the CPF over the next few months. We will set up logistics as best we can, adapt to this new environment as required, and will continue to provide as much information as we can, as regularly as we can.  
I continue to ask for your prayers for our staff, our students, our partners, and for Laidlaw’s leaders.   

I want to leave you with the words of Paul in Romans 15:13:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ngā mihi nui   
Phil Newman 
Acting CEO/COO