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Earthquake information for Christchurch and Wellington campuses

Message to Christchurch staff and students

The engineers have now inspected the main building and have confirmed it is safe to occupy. Staff are free to access the building today but will need to use their access cards to gain entry. Access to the building will be as normal from tomorrow morning.This means that all University of Otago, Christchurch, buildings have now been inspected and are cleared for occupation.
The University's premises at No 4 and No 72 Oxford Tce have been inspected and given the all clear.
The Barrington Clinic will reopen tomorrow.
The Barrington Clinic is closed until further notice.
The Gloucester St buildings, 273 Montreal St, and 45 Cambridge Tce are now open for staff and students. Other buildings are awaiting checking by engineers so are not yet open. Staff and students will be notified once these buildings are cleared.
Following the earthquakes last night, all University of Otago, Christchurch (UOC), buildings (including 4 and 72 Oxford Tce and Gloucester St buildings) will be checked at first light. These buildings are closed until these checks have been completed.

In the meanwhile, please expect a delayed opening to UOC buildings today. The earthquakes have understandably caused concern for us all. Please keep safe, check on others, and keep your emergency kit ready.

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Message to Wellington staff and students

FINAL UOW UPDATE for Tuesday, 15 Nov - 7.10pm
Nga mihi

I am pleased to be able to tell you that the engineers' report has been received by property services in Dunedin. This has confirmed that only minor cosmetic damage has been noted, mainly at the junctions between each of the three main buildings. On this basis there was no reason to prevent us from re-occupying the buildings including Radiation Therapy.

Reoccupation will proceed as follows:

1. Only key card access overnight, as we have for normal weekend access. This will be set up by mid-evening.
2. Full access from tomorrow as per usual weekdays.

I thank staff who have helped with essential tasks despite many having damage to their homes and possessions.

We can expect aftershocks with certainty. If I am at all concerned about the buildings I would make a decision to close again, and I know I am well supported in this stance by Professor Harlene Hayne, Vice-Chancellor.

Looking after ourselves

I have said more about this in the email that went to all staff and students.EAP is available confidentially and free of charge for staff.
The student counselling service is available through the usual route.

EAP can be found here:

Below is a link to a information sheet prepared for Christchurch staff and students. It refers to Christchurch but I have decided to send it out rather than wait for it to be changed.

Information for staff following the earthquake

I look forward to seeing many of you over the remainder of the week. In the meantime, thank you again for your patience.

Have a good evening.

Kia kaha, ka kite ano

Sunny Collings
Dean & Head of Campus, UOW

Tuesday, 15 Nov 4.00pm
Update about building status at UOW

Kia ora tatou

The engineers have just finished inspecting our premises and I will be able to let you know details this evening when they have been able to complete their report in writing. However, I can signal that I am hopeful that we will be open as usual tomorrow morning.

My next announcement will be this evening after working hours, so please check the websites and /or your emails from mid-evening.

Of course the aftershocks will continue, so my key message is still about looking after yourselves and those around you.

Thank you again for your patience.

Best wishes
Sunny Collings
Dean and Head of Campus
Tuesday, 15 Nov 2.00pm
Attention UOW trainee interns invited to VIVAS in Psychological Medicine

Hello again, this group of vivas is being arranged for Thursday morning and you will be notified of details directly by the Department of Psychological Medicine in due course.

Best wishes
Sunny Collings
Dean and Head of Campus
Tuesday, 15 Nov 1.00pm
Update for UOW surgery TI VIVAS

Kia ora

The surgery distinction vivas are scheduled for tomorrow, and the Surgery Department has communicated to the students doing these that our expectation is that they will proceed. Please check your email if you are one of these people. If the UOW campus is not re-opened, we have 2 rooms booked in the CCDHB surgery directorate that we will use for the vivas.

You will be notified of this by email from the Department should the backup be needed.

Best wishes
Sunny Collings
Dean and Head of Campus
Tuesday, 15 Nov 11.50am
Update for UOW Trainee Interns

Morena everyone, this update is about the O&G viva exams.

Those of you who are involved should now have received an email explaining how these Distinction and Award assessments will be managed.

Thank you for your patience and please look after yourselves and friends and whanau.

Best wishes
Sunny Collings
Dean and Head of Campus
Tuesday, 15 Nov 8.35AM
I hope you were able to have a more settled night last night, although there were continuing aftershocks.

I recognise that some of you will still have cleaning up to do and/or may be helping others today, and this is not made easier by the weather. Please take the time you need to attend to these important things.

My thoughts are with staff and students who may have whanau and friends in the badly affected areas further south.

Today our task is to have our building inspected, and I am feeling hopeful but of course not certain that we can achieve this today. Once the building is cleared we will reopen.

For Trainee Interns, we are making arrangements for the Viva exams and you should hear directly from the departments involved as plans are made.

Yesterday was a difficult day and I want to thank everyone for their contribution to working our way through it, and for being patient as we worked with a constantly evolving situation.

I will post further updates as we know more.

Best wishes
Kia ora koutou, I have received notification that the engineers cannot inspect the UOW buildings on the Newtown site today.The building will therefore remain closed as a precaution and I will update you again tomorrow morning.

Thank you for your patience.

A further email/notice will advise about any TI vivas that may take place tomorrow/Wednesday.

Again, take care of yourselves, whanau and friends.

Kia kaha,
Professor Sunny Collings
Dean & Head of Campus
University of Otago Wellington
Kia ora all UOW staff and students, I can now confirm that we are on the engineers' list for an inspection prior to reopening the UOW building on the Newtown Campus. The building remains closed. We are being listed as a priority but of course we are not the only priority, so a degree of patience is important.

The CCDHB building is open and working as usual.

A small number of incident staff have been in the building today (including myself) and we have been able to undertake the functions required in this situation without any major problems. I extend my deep gratitude to those staff.

I will update you again as soon as I have information. In the meantime we are starting to make contingency plans for the small likelihood that we will not be in the building by Wednesday, with a focus on the TI viva exams.

For yourselves, continue to take care of each other and try to get some sleep if it was very disrupted last night. Sleep really helps with resilience.

Warmest regards,
Sunny Collings
Dean & Head of Campus
Following the earthquake last night the University of Otago, Wellington, buildings are closed today, Monday 14 November. A further notice will be sent by email when the building is reopened.

Please keep safe, check on others, and keep your emergency kit ready.