Natasha Ryburn, Director, Planning, Permissions and Land has released the following information:
"As we prepare to move into the new Covid-19 Protection Framework, DOC has been exploring how best to apply this framework at our facilities.
We have decided that from 15 December 2021, all those aged 12 years and over who are staying in DOC accommodation must be fully vaccinated.
This measure ensures those using huts and campsites don’t put themselves or others at unnecessary risk while enjoying our great outdoors this summer. The feedback we have been getting is that most visitors want the certainty of knowing that those they are sharing huts and campsites with are also vaccinated.
What facilities are covered by the vaccine requirement?
All DOC huts, campsites and sole occupancy lodges – bookable and non-bookable are included in this requirement.
People do not need to be fully vaccinated to use tracks, toilets or any other non-accommodation facilities on public conservation land.
What does the vaccine requirement mean for concessionaires?
This requirement impacts concessionaires who have staff or clients using DOC accommodation. From 15 December, anyone staying in these facilities will need to be fully vaccinated.
This means that if you are taking clients to DOC accommodation, you must ensure everyone is vaccinated.
Concessionaires making bookings on behalf of their clients or staff will be responsible for seeking proof of vaccination from their clients and then completing a declaration on their behalf as the booking holder. This declaration will be a part of the normal online booking process. You are not required to provide evidence of your clients’ vaccination status to DOC at this time.
Your clients must be able to provide their Covid-19 vaccine certificate during their stay at any DOC hut, campsite or lodge.
If you have existing bookings on behalf of your clients or staff for after 15 December, you will need to ensure they are fully vaccinated. If your clients or staff cannot confirm they are fully vaccinated, their booking will need to be cancelled.
Cancellations are easy and DOC will provide a full refund to those who are concerned about Covid-19 risks or who won’t be vaccinated prior to their hut or campsite booking. For booking queries and cancellations, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For concessionaires who manage campsites on public conservation land, operations teams in the districts where you manage campsites can work you through how this vaccine requirement would apply at these campsites. We encourage you to get in touch with your local DOC contacts to have these discussions.
For more information about the vaccine requirement, including compliance, please visit the DOC website: www.doc.govt.nz/accommodation-vaccine-policy.
What does the change to the Covid-19 Protection Framework mean for concessionaires?
The new Covid-19 Protection Framework allows businesses to open and operate in a way that is as close to normal as possible for vaccinated people, while minimising the virus’ spread.
It is essential that all concessionaires comply with the Covid-19 Protection Framework. In addition to the government requirements, any concessionaire can go through their own process to decide whether they wish to make vaccination mandatory for their staff and customers. DOC does not need to be part of this decision and any compliance around the Covid-19 Protection Framework is carried out by MBIE.
MBIE’s advice/information for businesses is available online."