Two doses for 99 percent of Tairawhiti police staff
Almost all of the Tairāwhiti region's police have been fully vaccinated and the area commander does not foresee any problems with the broader mandatory policy that will apply across the board from early March.
New Zealand Police will be implementing a mandatory vaccination policy for all employees, contractors, volunteers, suppliers, new employees and visitors who work or enter police sites.
Everyone covered by the new policy will be required to have had their first Covid-19 vaccination by February 11 and to have had their second by March 11.
Anyone visiting a police station or police site to access essential police services, like front counter services, will be exempt from the policy.
The exemption also applies to people brought to a station in relation to enforcement and operational activities — like victims and witnesses — and people held in police custody suites will also be exempt.
“Vaccination rates across New Zealand Police are already high, with 96 percent of all staff having received at least one dose and 94 percent having had two doses,” Deputy Police Commissioner Tania Kura said.
“The majority of police staff are already covered by the Police Vaccination Order, which came into effect on January 17 and applies to constabulary staff, authorised officers and recruits.
“Police are committed to ensuring that our staff and the people we engage with are safe and vaccination is the best defence against Covid-19 and its variations.”
To date, 99 percent of Tairāwhiti police staff in Gisborne, Wairoa and up the East Coast have been fully vaccinated — around 220 people.
“We have another four waiting for their second jab and we are working with the very small number of other unvaccinated staff members,” area commander Inspector Sam Aberahama said.
“I'm really pleased that almost all of our people are now double-vaxxed.
“As for the wider mandatory process just announced, there will be a process put in place around that so we can check the vax status of people coming on site at the police stations.
“We will also be communicating with those who supply services to us, both business and volunteer services,” Insp Aberahama said.
“We will be communicating our expectations to them and working with them through a process that will be put in place.”
Dep Com Kura said frontline police worked in close proximity with police employees.
“This mandatory policy will provide safety for our employees while reinforcing the safety of our frontline staff and of our communities.”
The new policy was approved by the police executive leadership team this week and follows a consultation period with staff in December and after feedback from the police association and the Police Managers' Guild, she said.
“We are committed to delivering the policing service that New Zealanders expect and deserve and to achieve this we need our staff to be vaccinated and protected against Covid-19.
“Ahead of the February 11 deadline we will be communicating with those affected and encouraging those who are yet to be vaccinated to get their first dose.”