Equity Guidelines


All staff, students, visitors and contractors at the University


These guidelines support the effective implementation of the Equity Policy.


Māori and Equity

  • The University of Auckland is committed to meeting its responsibilities to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, and achieving equity outcomes for Māori as well as equity groups
  • Māori have a distinct status as tangata whenua rather than as an equity group. The University places particular emphasis on promoting Māori presence and participation in all aspects of University life and encouraging teaching, learning and research important to Māori including matauranga Māori and te reo Māori
  • The University’s staff and student equity groups include those who are:
    • identified in legislation and other compliance requirements; and/or
    • under-represented and/or disadvantaged in gaining access to and succeeding in the institution, compared with their representation in the wider community or peer group;
    • students identified through evidence of the need to remove barriers to improve access, participation, retention, progression and success;
    • staff identified through evidence of the need to remove barriers to improve the recruitment, selection, appointment, development, recognition, career progression, retention, job satisfaction and success
  • Staff and students may face increased barriers to access and success via membership of multiple equity groups

Equity in practice

  • The University has a statutory obligation as critic and conscience of society to advocate for and contribute to equitable educational, economic and social outcomes including through staff and student equity
  • The University is committed to enhancing the participation and success of Māori and equity groups both through removing barriers and actively supporting an inclusive work and study environment, serving its increasingly diverse communities
  • Equity requires fairness, safety and inclusion, rather than treating everyone in exactly the same way
  • The University aims for an environment in which diverse staff and students feel welcome, safe and included, free to disclose all aspects of their identities (including culture, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, family status) confident that they will be respected
  • Merit relative to opportunity should underpin decision making for staff, acknowledging that individual circumstances can affect opportunity and productivity

Equity governance, leadership and responsibilities

  • Council is the University’s governing body and its responsibilities include to acknowledge the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, ensure that the University does not discriminate unfairly against any person and to encourage participation and success, especially for under-represented groups
  • The Vice-Chancellor is the head of the University and is responsible for providing academic leadership, effective management; leading strategic planning and directing resource allocation to meet the University’s strategic objectives including Treaty of Waitangi and staff and student equity objectives
  • The Pro-Vice Chancellor (Equity) provides strategic leadership for equity. The Pro Vice Chancellor (Māori) provides strategic leadership to guide the University’s relationships with Māori (including staff and students) and chairs the Rūnanga - the University’s Māori staff Council. The Director Pacific Strategy and Engagement provides strategic leadership and governance on Pacific staff and student matters
  • The Equity Committee advises and reports to Council through Senate on University equity strategy, plans policies, projects and outcomes
  • The Equity Office - Te Ara Tautika leads the University’s commitment to be a fair, inclusive, safe and equitable place to study and work
  • Faculty Equity Committees focus on student and staff equity in each faculty
  • The University is committed to a culture of safety, respect and inclusion. It will not tolerate unfairness, discrimination, bullying or harassment including on the basis of sex, marital status, ethical beliefs, religious beliefs, colour, race, ethnic or national origins, disability, age, political opinion, employment status, family status or sexual orientation.  Staff and students should familiarize themselves with the Addressing Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Policy, Procedures and Guidelines
  • The University’s performance management systems EVOLVE and the Academic Performance Review (APR) support staff leadership, capability and accountability for equity outcomes

Strategy, planning and reporting

  • The University uses  evidence from research findings, data, consultation with stakeholders and national and international benchmarking to identify and eliminate unfair or illegal barriers to equity and determine where best to target strategies and support for Māori and equity groups
  • The University’s strategic equity approach is shown in the University’s Equity Cycle, which identifies the points of intervention necessary to achieve equity outcomes
  • The Equity Policy supports the University to achieve its mission and objectives, outlined in the University’s Strategic Plan, in particular strategic objectives 1, 7 and 11
  • Through the University’s planning and reporting cycle faculties and service divisions must prepare annual plans that identify strategies to increase participation and success of Māori and equity groups using a range of Key Performance Indicators
  • The University receives funding from Government for education provision and research. Annually, through its Investment Plan with the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) the University agrees a range of performance indicators, including targets relating to access and achievement for Māori, Pacific students and students with disabilities – who the government has identified as priority groups. The University faces penalties for the non-achievement of performance indicators
  • TEC also provides Universities with Equity Funding (TECEF) to support improved retention and success at higher levels for Māori, Pacific students and students with disabilities. This targeted, supplementary funding is to be used in addition to faculty and service division’s budgets for Māori, Pacific and students with disabilities
  • TECEF is allocated to faculties annually via the Equity Office in partnership with Māori and Pacific stakeholders, including via the TECEF Māori and Pacific Committee/Working Group, and disability stakeholders

Equity strategies for students and staff

Diagram 1: University of Auckland entry pathways
Diagram 1: University of Auckland entry pathways
  • Diagram 1 (above) shows the entry pathways to the University available to students who have the potential to succeed in a university of high international standing, including Māori students and students from equity groups.

Policies, strategies and information for Māori and students from equity groups

Policies, strategies and information for staff equity

Information and strategies for Māori and equity groups by faculty

Key relevant documents

Key relevant documents

Key relevant legislation & International Declarations

Key Plans & Strategies

Policies & Guidelines

Reports & Reviews

Document management and control

Owned by:  Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Equity)
Content Manager: Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Equity)
Date approved: 7 May 2015