Equity Policy


All staff members, students, visitors and contractors at the University.


To support all members of the University to provide a safe, inclusive and equitable study and work environment that enables all people to reach their potential.


The University is committed to meeting its responsibilities under the Treaty of Waitangi, and achieving equity outcomes. The University has also expressed its commitment to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Note: The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals include priorities of no poverty, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities, peace, justice and strong institutions.

The University acknowledges the distinct status of Māori as tangata whenua and is committed to partnerships that acknowledge the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The University recognises that equity will enhance its national and international reputation.

The commitment to equity outcomes will attract, retain and support talented people to achieve their potential. This will benefit the creative and intellectual life of the University, and support engagement with the University’s diverse communities and stakeholders.

The University will comply with all Tertiary Education Commission equity reporting requirements, and will comply with all applicable legislation in its pursuit of equity outcomes.


1. The University will provide a safe, inclusive and equitable study and work environment characterised by impartial, merit based decision making.

2. The University will develop robust equity strategies with measurable outcomes; plan, resource, monitor and report progress towards the achievement of aspirational equity goals.

3. The University will foster fairness and respect for diverse groups of people.

4. All members of the University are to support equitable access, participation, engagement and success for all staff members and students, including Māori as well as those from equity groups.

5. The University will oppose discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of gender identity and on prohibited grounds stated in the Human Rights Act 1993, being sex, marital status, religious belief, ethical belief, colour, race, ethnic or national origins, disability, age, political opinion, employment status, family status, and sexual orientation.

6. The University will meet the legislative requirement for equity monitoring and initiatives under the State Sector and Education Acts by developing and maintaining faculty and service division strategic and annual plans, reported through annual equity reporting to the University’s Equity Leadership Committee, which reports via Senate to Council.

7. The University will monitor terms and conditions including for those with family and caring responsibilities, diverse ethnic groups, mature aged staff, professional staff, and temporary, part time and casual staff, to ensure fairness and inclusion for these groups.


The following definitions apply to this document: 

includes being blind or Deaf; hearing or vision impairments; impairment due to head injury, medical conditions or mental health conditions; physical or mobility impairments; speech impairments and specific learning disabilities.

Discrimination means denial of participation or human rights to categories of people based on prejudice. It includes detrimental treatment of an individual or group based on their actual or perceived membership of a certain group or social category. Discrimination may be conscious or unconscious, direct or indirect.

Equity at the University of Auckland means fairness and justice within a safe, inclusive and equitable study and work environment that enables talented people to achieve their potential and the University to achieve its strategic objectives.

Equity groups are more likely to have experienced one or more barriers to accessing and succeeding at the University, such as discrimination, marginalisation, under-representation, underachievement in school, and/or socioeconomic background.

The University supports Māori and equity groups including:

  • Pacific students and staff members
  • Staff members and students with disabilities
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Takatāpui + (LGBTIQTakatāpui+) students and staff members
  • Students and staff members from refugee backgrounds (SSRB)
  • Students from low socio-economic backgrounds (low SEB)
  • Men, women and gender diverse people where there are barriers to access and success

Equity outcomes are the measurable qualitative and/or quantitative results of equity strategies, plans, policies and practices.

Inclusive means including everyone and not excluding any part of society.

Māori students and staff members are tangata whenua and as such the University is committed to partnership and advancement.

Marginalisation means exclusion from full participation in all aspects of society.

Refugee means a person ‘who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his/her nationality and is unable to or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country’ (The United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees).

Safe means protection from physical, emotional and psychological danger or harm.

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

Students from low socio-economic backgrounds refers to students from backgrounds characterised by a combination of social and economic factors including parents without educational qualifications, low household income, parents in low skilled occupations, reliance on government income support and household overcrowding.

Under-representation means lower representation of a group compared with their representation in the wider community or peer group.

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

Key relevant documents

Include the following:

Document management and control

Content manager: Pro Vice-Chancellor (Equity)
Owner: Pro Vice-Chancellor (Equity)
Approved by: Chancellor
Date approved: 11 December 2017
Review date: 11 December 2022

Further information

More information about the University’s commitment to be a fair and inclusive place to study and work can be found on the Equity Office website.