Emergency Management Statute


In an emergency the powers of the University and the powers and functions of the Council may need to be delegated to persons or committees other than those who hold those delegations in the normal course of operations.

Existing operational delegations and procedures set out in University statutes and regulations may have to be suspended if an emergency precludes their being exercised or would lead to unacceptable risks.


All staff members of the University.


To ensure that the University has effective governance and management during an emergency, and that appropriate delegations are in place for the duration of that emergency and any reasonable recovery period.


Delegations – regulations and statutes

1. Unless the Council resolves to the contrary:
During an emergency,

  • all delegations of Council’s powers (other than the delegations set out in clauses 2, 3 or 4) will be suspended; and
  • with the exception of the power to appoint a chief executive, all the powers of the Council will devolve, as if they had been delegated to two persons called the Emergency Cabinet
  • the Emergency Cabinet will consist of the first person available from list “A” below read sequentially from top down, and the other one of whom will be the first person available from list “B” below, read sequentially from top down:
The Chancellor The Vice-Chancellor
The Pro Chancellor
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Chair, Finance Committee The Registrar
Chair, Audit Committee
The Director of Administration

2. As required by the Act the Council approves all and any sub-delegation by the Emergency Cabinet to members of staff of the University during an emergency.

3. The Emergency Cabinet may nominate in writing and duly constitutes the Emergency Cabinet a committee of Council under section 193(3) of the Act, during an emergency.

4. The Emergency Cabinet must report to Council as soon as practicable following the end of an emergency.

5. To avoid doubt, all of the academic and administrative affairs of the University will continue to be delegated to and managed by the Vice-Chancellor under section 196 of the Act.

6. All of the powers of delegation of the Vice-Chancellor are specifically reserved during an emergency save that the revocation at will in writing of an existing delegation during an emergency by the Vice-Chancellor will be deemed to be operative if the Vice-Chancellor records the same in writing under s197(a) of the Act and, if circumstances permit, has communicated that revocation to the former delegate by whatever means are reasonable.

7. If the Vice-Chancellor is not available, all of the academic and administrative affairs of the University will continue to be managed, in sequence, by the persons in list B above.

8. During an emergency any person other than the Vice- Chancellor in list B above who holds the delegations set out in Item 6 will be deemed to have been appointed as acting Vice-Chancellor by the Council of the University for the duration of the emergency under section 222(6) of the Act.

9. The operation of regulations and statutes of the University which are inconsistent with good governance and good management of the University during an emergency, may be suspended in whole or in part by the emergency cabinet. Any such suspension must be in writing and published to an extent reasonable in all the circumstances to any person likely to be affected by that suspension.

Note - In this clause “regulation” and “statute” mean any regulation or statute made under section 194 of the Education Act but excluding this statute.

10. The Emergency Cabinet must report to Council all suspensions made under this statute.

Existence of or declaring an emergency

11. The existence of an emergency is to be treated as a question of fact and must be declared by the Council, where the Council is capable of passing a resolution, whether or not in a meeting, and be subject to such directions and conditions if any in such a resolution.

12. In any case where the Council cannot pass such a resolution, the existence of an emergency will be a question of fact determined by the emergency cabinet.

Ending an emergency

13. The Council will declare the ending of an emergency by resolution.

14. In the event that the Council cannot pass a resolution to declare an emergency ended, the emergency cabinet may do so.

15. The ending of an emergency will be treated as a matter of fact.

Paramountcy of council powers

16. Nothing in this statute limits, prohibits or constrains the Council of the University in the exercise of its powers or functions or from:

  • declaring an emergency
  • declaring an emergency to be at an end
  • extending the time of any emergency
  • passing resolutions to deal with an emergency; or
  • imposing conditions or varying this statute at any time it is able to pass a resolution or make a direction to that effect

17. To avoid doubt it is declared that whilst the emergency cabinet may hold delegated powers, it will not operate as the Council of the University but solely as delegate and holder of the powers of the University during an emergency and subject to such conditions that the Council may from time to time impose.


The following definitions apply to this document:

Act means the Education Act 1989.

Council is the University's governing body which comprises lay, staff and student members.

Emergency means an event, occurrence or circumstance beyond the control of the Council that:

  • adversely affects the premises, buildings or facilities of the University; or its supporting infrastructure; or its staff members or students; such that a substantial part or parts of the University are required to close, be quarantined or restricted (at the behest of any local or national authority or voluntarily) for a period of more than five days; and/or
  • prevents the delivery or undertaking of normal day to day management functions; and
  • is declared such by the Council or (where for any reason the Council cannot pass a resolution, whether or not in a meeting) by the emergency cabinet

An emergency includes such reasonable recovery periods following any closure, quarantine or restriction as may be necessary to ensure the University is capable of resuming its normal day to day management and governance functions, in whole or part.

Emergency Cabinet means the body constituted in terms of this statute.

Staff Member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part-time basis. This includes permanent, fixed-term and casual staff members.

University means the University of Auckland including all subsidiaries.

Key relevant documents

Include the following:

Document management and control

Content manager: Performance and Risk Manager
Owned by:
DVCO and Registrar
Approved by:
Date approved:
February 2007
Review Date:
26 June 2012