11 Dec 2021

Thames-Coromandel council requiring all employees to be vaccinated on council premises

2:50 pm on 11 December 2021

The Thames-Coromandel District Council has confirmed it will require all employers - and councillors - to be vaccinated if they are on council premises.

The Thames Coromandel District Council buillding.

Photo: RNZ / Jean Bell

That will cause problems for the district's mayor Sandra Goudie, who will likely have to chair council meetings from home.

Goudie opposes vaccine mandates and has rejected the Pfizer vaccine, saying she will wait for the Novavax jab, which is not yet available in New Zealand.

But from 20 December, the Thames-Coromandel District Council's vaccine policy will require all employees and elected members to have had their first dose to enter council workplaces.

They will need to be fully vaccinated by 17 January.

People who did not have proof of vaccination by then would be required to work remotely while the council considered its options.

District councillor Gary Gotlieb said the mayor's stance was hurting the region's reputation.

"We're going through a very difficult stage with Covid, we don't know where it's going to go; that's why we have to take precautions and it's unfortunate that we have - I think - the only mayor in the country that isn't out there encouraging people to get vaccinated."

He said Goudie's refusal to support the Pfizer vaccine rollout affected the reputations of the council, the district's residents and ratepayers and the councillors themselves.

Gotlieb said the deputy mayor may have to chair meetings once the rules came into effect.

Goudie refused to comment when contacted by RNZ last night.

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