Not everyone singing from same hymn sheet over vaccinations mandate


People working in sectors that require a vaccine pass must have their first innoculation by Friday week.

Customers queiung for takeaways at Olafs Cafe. Mt Eden, on Auckland's first day of level 3 after five weeks of lockdown.

Those in hospitality have 10 days to get their first dose of vaccination. Photo: RNZ / Jean Bell

That’s 10 days notice for hospitality, close contact businesses, gyms, events and gatherings.

The mandate includes religious leaders – something that has caught some churches by surprise.

The Auckland Church Leaders Group represents 45 churches in the region, and convenor Jonathan Dove said the mandate for church staff came as a shock.

He said not all would be fully vaccinated.

“Like the rest of New Zealand church leaders aren’t all singing from the same songsheet when it comes to political views and vaccines or responses to Covid but certainly the vast majority of church leaders have been co-operating with government health measures, that they are vaccinated.”

Dove said church leaders want to be included in consultation about vaccine mandates and how they can hold gatherings in the traffic light system.

Workers covered by the vaccine mandate need to have their first dose by Friday next week and be fully vaccinated by 17 January.

It was not quite what Crave cafe’s general manager Nigel Cottle was expecting.

“The new information for me is that our staff don’t have to be fully vaccinated at the start of the traffic light, they have to have at least one vaccination.”

Either way he’s ready to open the doors – of the more than 50 staff, only one has decided not to get vaccinated.

Cottle said he would be standing at the door to check vaccine passes – a job he was loathe to pass to staff on their first day back in months.

“We have some nervousness around just the systems and people being not angry or nervous but just frustrated maybe,” he said.

“My hope is that people have a generosity to the staff because it’s not their decision but they are having to outwork the implications of the government policy, which in general we’re supportive of.”

It will be no-jab no cup of joe, as those who cannot show a vaccine pass will not be let inside to place an order.

So far retailers are exempt from the vaccine mandate but can choose to adopt the pass system for their stores.

Local clothing retailer Kilt would not be adopting a mandate for staff or customers, said co-owner Lauren Hart.

“At the moment while we don’t have to mandate we are opting not to. If that changes of course we would change with that but at this stage we are letting them [staff] choose and make their own choice knowing what they are encountering.”

She said shoppers have returned to Kilt’s Auckland and Hamilton boutiques, but not everyone is ready.

“People that are out and about are comfortable to be out and about and that’s something we’ve definitely found. There are those people that are still a little wary about going out and going shopping.”

Businesses and organisations are to use an app to scan and verify the certificates.

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