12 Oct 2021
Rerenga Awa actively endorses the statement from Korowai Tupu, the Professional Association of Youth Workers in Aotearoa and strongly encourages the vaccination of everyone to protect our community.
13 October 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Rerenga Awa actively endorses the below statement from Korowai Tupu, the Professional Association of Youth Workers in Aotearoa and strongly encourages the vaccination of everyone to protect our community.
Vaccination is a critical part of the Aotearoa New Zealand public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Youth workers can help to protect themselves, the people they work alongside, and the wider community by getting their COVID-19 vaccinations.
As the Professional Association of Youth Workers in Aotearoa, Korowai Tupu encourages all Youth Workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 – except were a medical condition makes this unsafe. We know that vaccinations reduce transmission and illness related to COVID-19. We want our communities to be as safe as they can be, and see a high rate of vaccination as a crucial part of ensuring this safety.
Through our commitment to professional and ethical practice, Youth Workers act to protect and promote the health of taiohi (clause 20.1). The relational nature of our work means that Youth Workers may be at greater risk of exposure to COVID-19 and then subsequently spreading it across our communities. We have an obligation to reduce this risk (clause 16.5).
Youth Workers should be aware of how to access evidence-based advice and information about the COVID-19 vaccination (clause 23.1). This information should form the basis of our support of taiohi and others. Youth Workers also have a requirement under our Code of Ethics to be conscious of our own skills and competencies and refer young people to other professionals as needed (clauses 17.3 & 17.4).
As the Professional Association of Youth Workers in Aotearoa New Zealand, Korowai Tupu respects an individual’s right to have their own opinions and expects professional Youth Work to be practiced according to our shared Code of Ethics and Mana Taiohi principles. Promotion of misinformation about vaccinations is inconsistent with these. Acknowledging and enhancing the mana of young people is expressed when we support young people to make informed decisions about vaccinations.
Regarding mandatory vaccination:
As we have heard in the media this week the Ministry of Health has announced the following workforces will be required to have fully vaccinated workers.
• High-risk workers in the health and disability sector to be fully vaccinated by 1 December, 2021, and to receive their first dose by 30 October
• School and early learning staff and support people who have contact with children and students to be fully vaccinated by 1 January, 2022, and to receive their first dose by 15 November
While this announcement has provided clarity for some sectors, it remains unclear on the direct impact on Youth Workers or Youth Development Workers who engage with young people in a context outside of the education or health systems.
Rerenga Awa is actively working to provide clarity on the orders, and will advised the sector as soon as possible.
Useful information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme can be found through these links:
• On the MOH website https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccines
• On the Oranga Tamariki website https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/covid-19-implications-for-our-practice/talking-to-tamariki-whanau-and-caregivers-about-the-covid-19-vaccine/
• Prepare Pacific https://preparepacific.nz/
• Karawhiua https://karawhiua.nz/
• 90 Percent Project https://www.90forcanterbury.co.nz/
Tim Perry – Rerenga Awa | Canterbury Youth Workers Collective Manager
020 402 65591