Covid-19 Protection Framework
The New Zealand government has provided some guidelines under the Covid-19 Protection Framework (Traffic Light System) for organisations to follow for the protection and safety of the community, especially the vulnerable.
In formulating its response, Northgate has chosen to remain true to who we are and what we value, whilst remaining within the boundaries of what the government has set. We have chosen to be an organisation that values and respects each one’s views without arguing about opinions, but rather to seek agreement among us to ensure we maintain unity and harmony.
We have chosen to treat all our programmes as individual activities since they fall under different sectors within industry. We made decisions that are
- inline with our vision and values,
- honouring of our staff and volunteers,
- caring for our community and visitors, and
- that is honouring towards our government in what they are trying to achieve for the country.
Each of the programme leaders in our team has been encouraged to be creative and find the best ways to meet the government requirements. In most cases though, its directives have been very precise, leaving us with very little option but to follow them to the letter. The outcome of our decisions has meant that the roles of some of our staff and volunteers and the involvement of some of our participants and visitors will be affected. Nevertheless, we are thankful that the Northgate Board has committed to supporting all employees so that no one will be losing their jobs.
The Traffic Light System affects most of our programmes and to allow them to continue, the Board has approved the following decisions around our programmes:
- Café – Since the café falls under the “Food and Drink Services” category, it will only be able to operate effectively as a sit-down service when My Vaccine Pass verification is used. Unvaccinated staff and volunteers will no longer be able to serve in the café. However, contactless ordering and pick up will be possible for all customers, regardless of their vaccine status.
- Community Meals – The same rules as the café apply and it will continue under My Vaccine Pass verification. Unvaccinated staff and volunteers will no longer be able to serve at community meals. Takeaways will be available to anyone regardless of their vaccine status.
- Exercise classes for seniors – These fall under the “Entertainment, recreation and exercise” category, and it will only be able to operate under Levels Orange and Red when My Vaccine Pass verification is used.
- Feel Good Friday programmes – Since these programmes are all based around the café, the programme will operate under My Vaccine Pass verification and unvaccinated volunteers and staff will no longer be able to serve at this programme. Haircuts will unfortunately not be going ahead at this stage.
- Foot Clinic – The Foot Clinic falls under the “Close contact services” category, and it will only be able to operate under Levels Orange and Red when My Vaccine Pass verification is used.
- Zion Concert – With 250 young people dancing and 400 in the audience, the only way that the term concert will be able to go ahead is under My Vaccine Pass. The concert will be live-streamed free for those who cannot attend because of their vaccine status.
- Zion Classes – These fall under the “Entertainment, recreation and exercise” category, and it will only be able to operate under Levels Orange and Red when My Vaccine Pass verification is used. Children under 12 will not be affected.
- Community Support – The office will remain open to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people who require help or need to pick up food or other needs.
- Other – From time to time Northgate offers one-off events or programmes. Decisions around these will be considered on a case by case basis.
At all of our programmes, we will continue to require the following:
- Vaccine passes
- Use face coverings
- Maintain physical distancing
The government regulation states that vaccination for all workers is required when they work in a programme under My Vaccine Pass. Workers must have had their first dose when the COVID-19 Protection Framework comes into force, on 3 December 2021 (or their first day of employment after that), and both doses by 17 January 2022. Volunteers and staff need to prove their vaccination status in order to continue working within Northgate’s programmes.
Each programme will have its own particular requirements that will be communicated by the programme leader. We don’t want to see any of our volunteers left without an opportunity to serve. Northgate will continue working with volunteers to seek ways in which each one can continue serving in areas that fit their own skills, interests and calling.