Travel Policy


To ensure that:

  • Research, teaching, outreach and impact-producing activities for the University are enabled
  • travel costs are effectively managed, monitored and authorised
  • travel risks are identified and managed
  • environmental impact of travel is minimised
  • the University is able to support all University members and students when travelling on University business and to comply with duty of care and other Health and Safety obligations


This policy applies to:

  • all University members organising, undertaking or approving University travel funded by the University or a third party and
  • all University student activity travel, unless indicated otherwise


1. Protecting the health and wellbeing of University travellers.
2. Ensuring travel is approved by those with delegated financial authority who ensure efficient and equitable use of resources.
3. Understanding the environmental impacts of travel and using lower-carbon methods of transport such as public transport where possible.
4. Minimising the number of journeys to reduce carbon emissions (the University is committed to a Net Zero Carbon trajectory)
5. Travel needs to be essential and beneficial to the functions and strategic objectives of the University.
6. Minimising risk wherever possible.



7. All University air travel must be economy class in order to support the University’s carbon reduction and manage travel costs.

8. The University is committed to ensuring that all University members experience safe and equitable opportunities to travel. Therefore, a higher class of travel may be approved by:

  • an approving manager to accommodate the specific health and safety needs of a University member with a medically certified disability or medical condition, or
  • a University Executive Committee member, or faculty dean for requests originating from their own faculty, if justified by the circumstances or nature of the travel.

9. Staff may use personal funds or other personal rewards such as frequent flyer points to upgrade to a higher class of travel.

Organising and booking travel

10. The University has a duty of care obligation to all staff and students when travelling on University business and to ensure their safety.

11. To support this obligation the travel management company (TMC) must be used to coordinate all travel requirements including airfares, accommodation and rental vehicles unless one of the exceptions outlined in Travel Expenses and Booking Procedures applies.

High risk travel

12. All travellers must adhere to official risk advice while travelling.

13. The University has the right to prohibit travel or recall travellers if travel to the destination(s) is deemed inadvisable by the Risk Office, and to extend the high risk status to destination(s) based on information from the University’s insurer and other risk rating agencies.

International travel insurance

14. The University provides international travel insurance in the following situations:

  • Funded University travel
  • University Student Activity Travel
  • University travellers are eligible for University travel insurance cover whilst undertaking limited personal travel which is incidental to the University business travel and part of the end-to-end journey.

15. All international University travel, eligible University student activity travel registered with 360 International and personal travel in conjunction with such travel, must be insured by the University insurer, for the entire duration of the journey. Refer to:  University student activity travel insurance terms and conditions - The University of Auckland.

16. Students traveling on programmes of a semester length or longer, including the 360 International Exchange programme, are not covered by University travel insurance.

17. Students who are not eligible for University-funded international travel insurance must purchase their own comprehensive travel insurance for the duration of their travel. Refer to:  University student activity travel insurance terms and conditions - The University of Auckland.

Companion travel

18. The University does not cover travel or any other additional costs for companions travelling with the University traveller.

19. Travellers with exceptional circumstances may request dispensation from their approving manager to have their companion’s travel expenses reimbursed.

University travel expenses

20. All costs associated with University travel must comply with the Travel Expenses Procedures.

Consequences of non-compliance

21. Failure to fully comply with this policy may amount to misconduct or serious misconduct which may result in the University taking disciplinary action.

22. Where a breach of policy has been identified, the University could:

  • Seek reimbursement of costs directly from the traveller;
  • Cancel the travel
  • Refuse reimbursement claim

Conduct while travelling

23. While travelling all University travellers must behave in a manner appropriate of representing the University in accordance with the University’s Code of Conduct.


The following definitions apply to this document:

360 International is the service division within the International Office that supports the University’s outbound student mobility objectives, including management of the exchange programme and other learning abroad initiatives, and the registration of all University student activity travel.

Approving manager is the traveller’s line manager or a manager higher in the approval hierarchy with the appropriate financial delegated authority or travelling student’s supervisor, travel organiser, or the 360 International office.

Disability is any physical, psychological, cognitive or sensory impairment which, in interaction with social and systemic barriers, restricts a person's full and effective participation in university life on an equal basis with others.

Duty of care is a legal obligation to a standard of care, that a business has to its employees and others. When individuals are travelling on behalf of a company and to ensure their safety, the proper procedures and travel policies need to be in place and understood.

Economy class does not include premium economy class, products (such as Skycouch) or equivalent where an additional cost is incurred over and above that of the standard economy class airfare.

Exceptional circumstances may include carer responsibilities that require companion travel.

Entire duration is the total length of the trip from the date of departure to the date of return to the traveller’s place/city of departure.

Essential travel is travel that is absolutely necessary and required to deliver the University’s strategic objectives. Travel is directly attributable to achieving the agreed strategic objectives of the faculty, service division, or

  • the purpose of travel is directly attributable to achieving a contracted deliverable or milestone, orstudent approved travel, or
  • travel provides demonstrable benefits to the University through updated knowledge, networking with peers or developing new skills, supporting early -career development and
  • the benefits cannot be achieved through teleconferencing or videoconferencing, or
  • the University traveller is presenting at an event which provides demonstrable reputational benefit to the University and/or contributes to the professional or academic community of practice;
  • it has been specifically included in a grant or fund

External funds grants received by the University from external parties are considered to be University funds and must be administered in accordance with this policy except where a grant has specific terms and conditions or compliance requirements that are stricter than this policy, in which case those terms and conditions or compliance requirements may supersede this policy dependent on the terms of the agreement

High risk destination is an international location (i.e. country or area of a country) that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and (or) the Insurer have identified as having an “avoid non-essential travel” or “do not travel” status.

Insurer is the University’s travel insurer via the University’s insurance broker Marsh Ltd.

International Travel refers to all travel where the destination is outside of New Zealand.

Net Zero Carbon: Human caused greenhouse gas emissions are balanced by human driven greenhouse removals over a specified period. Net-zero Greenhouse Gas emissions must be achieved at the global level to stabilise temperature increase and limit warming to 1.5˚C. This involves steep reduction trajectories.

Personal travel is travel for non-University purpose.

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full, casual or part-time basis.

Third Party is an organisation or individual separate from the University.

Travel organiser is the member of staff arranging, requiring or supporting the trip or activity, as recognised by the approving manager.

Travel Management Company (TMC) means Orbit World Travel, the travel agency contracted by the University to supply travel management services.

University means Waipapa Taumata Rau - the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

University’s insurance policy refers to the travel insurance policy.

University members refers to those persons who make up the University as set out in section 3(2) of University of Auckland Act 1961 and also refers to University staff members, students, Council committee members, contractors, sub-contractors and invitees.

University student activity travel refers to international travel for any student activity:

  • undertaken to fulfil a requirement for academic progress at the University or
  • organised or supported by the University or
  • endorsed by 360 International and directly related to the to the student’s professional/academic development.
  • University student activity travel does not include activities organised solely by a student or group of students unless they otherwise meet the above definition of University student activities.

University travel is travel that has been approved as being for University purpose and is funded by the University or third party.

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Owned by: Chief Financial Officer
Content manager: Procurement Office
Approved by: Vice-Chancellor
Date approved:  01 November 2023
Review date:  01 November 2025