Equity Policy and Procedures


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


This policy supports the University to achieve its mission and strategic objectives, consistent with its values and commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi.


The University of Auckland is committed to meeting its responsibilities under the Treaty of Waitangi, and achieving equity outcomes.


  1. 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.
  2. The University will identify and seek to eliminate unfair and illegal barriers and support equitable access, participation, engagement and success for all staff and students, particularly Māori as well as those from equity groups, by developing robust equity strategies with measurable outcomes.
  3. The University aims to provide a safe and inclusive study and work environment characterised by impartial, merit based decision making. It will plan, resource, monitor and report progress towards the achievement of aspirational equity goals. It will foster fairness and respect for social, cultural and gender identity diversity.
  4. The University will enhance its national and international reputation and attract, retain and support talented people to achieve their potential through its commitment to equity outcomes. This will benefit the creative and intellectual life of the University, and support engagement with the University’s diverse communities.
  5. The University opposes discrimination, including discrimination on the 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 requirement for ‘an equal opportunities programme’ under the State Sector and Education Acts by faculty and service division strategic and annual plans, reported through annual equity reporting to the University’s Equity Committee, which reports to Council. It will comply with all Tertiary Education Commission equity reporting requirements, and will comply with all applicable legislation in its pursuit of equity.


Disabilities includes those who are blind or Deaf; have 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 and inclusive 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 prioritises equity groups including:

  • Pacific students and staff
  • Staff and students with disabilities
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex (LGBTI) students and staff
  • Students and staff from refugee backgrounds (SSRB)
  • Students from low socio-economic backgrounds (low SEB)
  • Men or women where there are barriers to access and success

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

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 are tangata whenua and as such the University will prioritise them

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)

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: 15 December 2014

Review date: 15 December 2017


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.