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Category Administration and Management
Type Policy
Approved by Vice-Chancellor, 17 April 2019
Date Policy Took Effect 24 May 2019
Last approved revision 27 April 2022
Sponsor Vice-Chancellor
Responsible officer Registrar and Secretary to the Council


The University of Otago is committed to creating an environment in which no form of sexual misconduct is tolerated and to having processes in place that reduce the likelihood of sexual misconduct.  Where incidents of sexual misconduct are disclosed, the University will support those making disclosures while recognising the importance of fair process (including the right to be heard) for those alleged to have committed acts of sexual misconduct.

This policy is intended to:

  • clarify the options available for those disclosing sexual misconduct
  • ensure that support is available for students who disclose sexual misconduct so that they are able to continue their studies successfully
  • establish the expectations placed on staff who receive disclosures of sexual misconduct
  • provide a clear and consistent process for responding to disclosed incidents of sexual misconduct, and
  • ensure that disclosed incidents of sexual misconduct are handled effectively, consistently and in a timely manner.

Policy guide

If you have a specific reason for accessing this Policy, you may wish to follow these links first (noting that any information should be read in the context of the whole Policy).

I have been affected by sexual misconduct

What are my rights?

How can I seek support?

What are my options?

How can I make a complaint?

Where can I get additional advice, help or assistance?

Someone I know has been affected by sexual misconduct or has told me about sexual misconduct

What should I do?

I have been accused of sexual misconduct

What are my rights?

Where can I get additional advice, help or assistance?

What are the roles and responsibilities around sexual misconduct in the University?

Organisational scope

This policy covers sexual misconduct or retaliation that occurs or is alleged to have occurred:

  • on a University of Otago campus or on other property controlled by the University
  • in connection with any University of Otago programme or activity, whether on or off campus
  • through any University of Otago web-based programme, or
  • where the affected party or the respondent is a University of Otago student or employee and there is a connection between the circumstances of the misconduct and the University.


Measures put in place following a disclosure of alleged sexual misconduct which involve the affected party, but not the respondent (e.g. changes to study requirements, living arrangements and/or working situations).
Affected party
An individual who considers that they have been subject to sexual misconduct.
Confidential staff
Staff who have professional obligations, or a recognised right, that generally allows them to keep information confidential to themselves and the person giving the information (except where disclosure is required under law). These include approved Te Whare Tāwharau Advocates, chaplains, medical practitioners, counsellors and other health professionals.
Disclosing party
Any person who discloses alleged sexual misconduct under the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
A disclosure is the sharing of information about an incident of alleged sexual misconduct.
Interim Measures
Protective Measures put in place pending the completion of University processes following a disclosure of alleged sexual misconduct.
The Otago University Students' Association.
OUSA Student Support
The student support service provided under the auspices of the Otago University Students' Association.
Protective Measures
Measures put in place following a disclosure of sexual misconduct to support and protect an affected party, including measures to manage potential interactions with the respondent.  Protective measures may be agreed to between the parties involved or imposed.
An individual alleged to have breached the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Any action intended to harm any person as retribution for a complaint made under this policy, or a threat to cause harm to any person as retribution for a complaint made under this policy or to dissuade a person from making such a complaint.
Senior ResidentialCollege staff
The Warden of a University or University-affiliated Residential College or their delegated deputy or assistant, or the Senior Warden of Colleges.
Sexual misconduct
Any kind of inappropriate or unwanted action of a sexual nature, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, the unauthorised making and sharing of intimate visual recordings, and retaliation.
Grievous sexual misconduct
For the purposes of this policy, means any sexual misconduct amounting  to sexual violation (as defined in Section 128 of the Crimes Act 1961); attempted sexual violation; or assault with intent to commit sexual violation; or any other conduct or alleged conduct which the Vice-Chancellor (acting on the advice of the SMART Co‑ordinator) determines should be considered to be grievous sexual misconduct for the purposes of this policy.
Sexual harassment
Sexual harassment means:
  1. the making of a request of any other person for sexual intercourse, sexual contact, or other form of sexual activity which contains an implied or overt promise of preferential treatment or an implied or overt threat of detrimental treatment; or
  2. by the use of language (whether written or spoken) of a sexual nature, or of visual material of a sexual nature, or by physical behaviour of a sexual nature, to subject any other person to behaviour that:
    1. is unwelcome or offensive to that person (whether or not that is conveyed to the person complained about);
    2. and is either repeated, or of such a significant nature, that it has a detrimental effect on that person.
Nothing in this definition shall apply to the use or presentation of language or materials, which is reasonably required for bona fide educational purposes.  (Note: this definition of sexual harassment aligns with section 62 of the Human Rights Act 1993).
Sexual Misconduct Action Response Team (SMART)
The team of University of Otago staff appointed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) to undertake the roles defined by this policy. SMART is led by the SMART Co‑ordinator.
Te Whare Tāwharau
The University of Otago Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Centre.


1.Roles and responsibilities

  1. Te Whare Tāwharau is responsible for general education and activities aimed at preventing sexual misconduct amongst the student population; and for providing support and guidance to affected parties where sexual misconduct is disclosed, and where those parties choose to engage with Te Whare Tāwharau. Te Whare Tāwharau can also guide affected parties to other support services.
  2. SMART are responsible for providing guidance and issuing advice to staff to ensure alleged student misconduct under this policy is responded to appropriately; for oversight of support of affected parties and respondents where an investigation is initiated; and for oversight of sexual misconduct investigations conducted by the University. SMART does not investigate sexual misconduct but has an oversight and advisory role.
  3. Senior Residential College staff are responsible for providing pastoral support to affected parties and respondents where appropriate and managing involved parties and the wider College community in relation to relevant allegations of sexual misconduct.
  4. The Proctor (including any Deputy Proctor) is responsible for investigating sexual misconduct under this policy where appropriate (see clause 10); advising on interim and protective measures where sexual misconduct involving students is alleged; and other responsibilities as detailed in the University's Student Conduct Statute 2021.  The Proctor also has a pastoral role of providing informal support and guidance for students in situations that do not call for formal action under this policy.
  5. The Provost (including any Deputy Provost) is responsible for investigating sexual misconduct under this policy upon referral from the Proctor; and other responsibilities as detailed in the University's Student Conduct Statute 2021.
  6. The Director of Human Resources, or their delegate, is responsible for responding to staff sexual misconduct under this policy.
  7. OUSA Student Support is available to provide support to students who are affected parties or respondents where sexual misconduct under this policy is alleged to have occurred. OUSA Student Support have transparent processes in place to protect all parties and maintain appropriate independence where affected parties and respondents both choose support via their service.
  8. No member of staff, other than those charged with the responsibility of doing so under this policy, shall attempt to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct.

2. Prevention of sexual misconduct

  1. The University, through Te Whare Tāwharau, Human Resources, and other available means, and working in collaboration with OUSA , will undertake steps to prevent sexual misconduct by:
    1. ensuring that staff and students are informed of this policy, related resources, and education programmes
    2. ensuring those covered by this policy have access to information and training to prevent sexual misconduct through appropriate programmes that may include, but not be limited to, bystander intervention, resistance education, and consent education
    3. integrating a diverse, inclusive and culturally-appropriate range of training and educational opportunities regarding sexual misconduct into key student activities during orientation, enrolment and at other times of the academic year, and
    4. integrating prevention and disclosure training and education regarding sexual misconduct into employee induction processes and other training and courses for staff.

3. Rights of affected parties and respondents in relation to sexual misconduct

  1. Affected parties have the right to:
    1. be treated in a manner that enables them to maintain control and empowers them to determine their own needs and how to meet those needs
    2. be heard
    3. be treated with dignity and respect
    4. be free of blame or judgment, no matter the situation they were in at the time of any alleged sexual misconduct
    5. not be exposed to prejudice based upon ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, ability, lifestyle, or experience
    6. choose whether or not, and to what extent, they wish to participate in University support or disciplinary processes
    7. have access to confidential resources, including an advocate who is separate from those investigating their complaint (they may also choose any person to advocate on their behalf in addition to or instead of any Te Whare Tāwharau advocate provided  under 3(a)ix below, which may include an OUSA Student Support advocate for student parties)
    8. be provided with information about options for action and determine whether or not they wish to report to Police, and
    9. in the case of students, have access to a Te Whare Tāwharau provided advocate to support them in accessing academic and related accommodations (see clause 9).
  2. Respondents to allegations of sexual misconduct have the right:
    1. to the presumption that they have not breached this policy unless an investigation in which they have had the opportunity to be fully heard (which may be through processes in the criminal justice system) has determined otherwise, or they have admitted the breach
    2. to be treated with dignity and respect and, where relevant, to be dealt with in good faith in accordance with their employment agreement
    3. to access confidential support independent from any staff investigating a complaint, which may include support for student respondents through OUSA Student Support
    4. subject to any requirements or expectations that may arise for members of University staff, to choose whether or not, and to what extent, they are willing to participate in any investigation, and
    5. not to be exposed to prejudice based upon ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, ability, lifestyle, or experience.

4. Disclosing sexual misconduct

  1. The University of Otago strongly encourages any individual who has been subject to or knows of sexual misconduct to disclose the circumstances to a University staff member and to seek support.
  2. Affected parties and others are free to make disclosures of sexual misconduct in the manner they choose, including to University staff (some other options are available at the end of this policy). Students are encouraged to make use of the advice available from Te Whare Tāwharau. OUSA Student Support is also available for advice and support for students.
  3. Confidential staff are not required to advise any other party of information they receive regarding sexual misconduct, but:
    1. may do so where that is consistent with, or required by, their professional ethical obligations or, in the case of Te Whare Tāwharau advocates, by relevant Te Whare Tāwharau guidelines, and
    2. may advise the SMART Co‑ordinator, or the Director of Human Resources in cases involving staff, that they have received such information and discuss the handling of the situation in general terms (identifying the affected party only if they consent).
  4. Staff receiving a disclosure of sexual misconduct are expected to:
    1. offer to facilitate contact with a support provider (see options listed at the end of this policy), and, where the affected party is a student, specifically advise the party from whom they received that information of the services available from Te Whare Tāwharau and offer to facilitate contact with Te Whare Tāwharau
    2. advise the party from whom they received that information of the right of an affected party to seek a formal investigation, which may be initiated through the Police, the office of the Proctor, a Senior Residential College staff member, or the Director of Human Resources as appropriate, and
    3. advise the SMART Co‑ordinator of the disclosure (identifying the affected party only if they consent) so that SMART can:
      • maintain an overview of disclosed incidents across the University
      • ensure, as far as consistent with the affected party's willingness to be identified, that support is provided in accordance with clause 7, and
      • assist in a determination of whether the disclosed incident constitutes alleged grievous sexual misconduct, if required in cases of alleged student misconduct, and
    4. advise the Director of Human Resources where the disclosure relates to potential misconduct by a staff member (identifying the affected party only if they consent).
  5. Students receiving a disclosure of Sexual Misconduct from another student are encouraged to:
    1. advise the party from who they received that information of the services available from Te Whare Tāwharau (including that Te Whare Tāwharau can provide information on other support services), and to offer to facilitate contact between Te Whare Tāwharau and that party, and
    2. advise the Te Whare Tāwharau Manager that they have received such a disclosure and pass on such information as they consider appropriate having first discussed the matter of disclosure with the Te Whare Tāwharau Manager.
  6. Staff or students receiving a disclosure of sexual misconduct may contact the SMART Co‑ordinator for advice.

5. General principles applying to disclosures of sexual misconduct

  1. All members of the University affected by sexual misconduct are entitled to reasonable access to relevant resources, including advocacy and counselling.  Support is also available for students dealing with events which precede enrolment at university, and which impact their ability to work or study.
  2. To encourage disclosure, the University of Otago generally will not hold affected parties, disclosing parties or witnesses involved in the addressing of sexual misconduct accountable for breaches of any University policies relating to alcohol or drugs that may have occurred at the time of the alleged sexual misconduct.
  3. The University will, to the full extent possible, respect and safeguard the privacy of individuals who disclose allegations of sexual misconduct and all others involved in the process.  Information will be shared only on a need-to-know basis with those who have a role in dealing with the situation under this policy or who have a role in dealing with urgent concerns regarding the safety or welfare of individuals, or as required by natural justice as per clause 5(d) below.
  4. Where a complaint is made against a person and investigated by the University, the respondent shall have rights to access all relevant information and to respond prior to a finding being made.  Relevant information may be withheld during the investigative stage of the process, if disclosure may prejudice the investigation, but will be available subsequently.
  5. The University, through SMART, will keep a central record of disclosures, in a manner that does not enable individuals to be identified, in order to be able to assess trends and inform best practice and ongoing education.

6. University response to disclosures of sexual misconduct

  1. The University will, in the first instance, respond to all disclosures of sexual misconduct by ensuring the affected party has access to appropriate support (see clause 7).
  2. Affected parties may choose to:
    1. Make a disclosure without raising a formal complaint:
      • If this only involves seeking support and/or accommodations as per clause 9 below, then the respondent will not be involved or notified, and their identity does not need to be revealed.
      • If this involves seeking protective measures as per clause 9, the respondent will need to be identified and notified of the request, so that protective measures can be discussed.
    2. Make a formal complaint:
      • This may also include a request for protective measures or accommodations as per clause 9 below.
      • This requires disclosure of the respondent's identity, who will need to be informed of the identity of the affected party and of the allegations they are making, if the complaint is progressed (see also clause 5(d) above).
  3. Formal complaints against students may be dealt with under the following pathways:
    1. For grievous sexual misconduct, referral or direct complaint to Police (see also clause 11).
    2. For other sexual misconduct, either:
      • University investigation (see clause 10), or
      • complaint to Police (see also clause 11).
  4. Formal complaints against staff will be managed by Human Resources under the Ethical Behaviour Policy and the staff member's employment agreement or independent contract with the University.   This may include formal investigation by Human Resources and/or Police involvement as appropriate. An affected party complaining about a staff member may raise the matter directly with the Police if that is their preference.
  5. An affected party shall, as far as possible subject to this policy, be entitled to choose the manner in which an allegation is addressed and shall be entitled to change that decision at any time.
  6. Where a determination is needed as to whether a formal complaint is considered grievous sexual misconduct (see clause 4(d)iii), or to otherwise assess the level at which a complaint may be considered (see clause 10(b)), the University may seek additional information from the affected party.  In doing so, and so as to minimise trauma and ensure no prejudice in any subsequent investigation:
    1. information will be collected in a sensitive manner, which may entail collection through a trusted support person and subsequent relay to the SMART Co‑ordinator
    2. information collected will be limited to that required to make the relevant determination
    3. a brief record of the basis of the determination will be kept, but no formal statement will be taken, and
    4. as far as is practicable, any requirement that the affected party repeat their story will be avoided.
  7. Where an affected party who is a student wishes a matter referred to the Police, Te Whare Tāwharau and/or the Director of Human Resources (as appropriate) are available if that affected party so wishes to facilitate that referral and to ensure that affected party is provided support.
  8. The Proctor may require students who are involved in a Police or University investigation to comply with protective measures as provided for under clause 9 of this policy and/or interim measures under Student Conduct Statute.  The Director of Human Resources may establish and require a member of staff to comply with interim measures consistent with their employment or contractual arrangements with the University.
  9. In investigating any allegations, the University will treat all parties and witnesses with dignity and respect.
  10. A clear distinction will be maintained between those offering advocacy or ongoing support to those involved in investigations and those responsible for undertaking investigations.

7. Support following an incident being disclosed

  1. As soon as possible after an incident is disclosed, the staff member to whom the disclosure has been made shall notify the SMART Co‑ordinator who shall ensure that an appropriate staff member is assigned responsibility for as many of the following as are appropriate to the circumstances:
    1. assessing the affected party's safety and well-being and any issues there may be for the safety or wellbeing of the University community
    2. ensuring  that suitable support is in place for all affected parties and any other parties that may be involved
    3. informing the affected party of the right to contact Police and offering to facilitate such contact
    4. discussing with the affected party the issue of the need to seek medical treatment, and, where relevant, explaining the importance of obtaining and preserving forensic and other evidence (including digital or social media material that may be relevant)
    5. informing the affected party of their ability to seek to have protective measures or accommodations put in place, including options for, and available assistance with, changing academic, living, transportation, and/or working situations
    6. informing the affected party about resources available at the University and in the community, including advocacy and support services
    7. informing the affected party of their options, including with reference to whether the matter is considered grievous sexual misconduct, and where appropriate seeking consent to initiate an investigation, and discussing with them any concerns or barriers to participating in the investigation
    8. outlining to the affected party the applicable procedure(s) for University investigations, the range of possible outcomes, and privacy implications of proceeding with a complaint (see clause 5(d))
    9. explaining  to any relevant parties that the University does not tolerate retaliation and that the University will take prompt action in response to any act of retaliation
    10. assessing whether the incident should also be referred for action under the Student Critical Incident Policy or Staff Critical Incident Policy, particularly where there has been serious injury to the affected party, or serious distress or harm caused to a group within the University community, and
    11. taking any other measures that are deemed necessary or desirable.
    Appropriate staff may include, but are not limited to, Te Whare Tāwharau staff, Residential College staff, or a member of the Proctor's Office, taking into account clause (6(j) in terms of any possible future investigation.
  2. Having taken the appropriate steps under the previous clause, the staff member assigned responsibility for taking the steps under clause 7(a) will work with the affected party, in consultation with the SMART Co‑ordinator as appropriate, to determine the pathway(s) the affected party wishes to follow in addressing the situation (see clauses 6(b) and (c)), and to ensure that appropriate ongoing support is available to the affected party.
  3. Where an affected party seeks to raise a formal complaint against a student or seeks agreed protective measures, the SMART Co‑ordinator shall ensure that an appropriate staff member is assigned responsibility for providing support to the respondent student party.  Appropriate staff may include, but are not limited to, a member of the Proctor's Office or Residential College staff, taking into account clause (6(j) in terms of any possible future investigation.  Support should include:
    1. assessing the respondent party's safety and well-being
    2. ensuring  that suitable support is in place for the respondent party
    3. advising the respondent about their rights to advocacy and legal representation, including support available via OUSA Student Support
    4. explaining that the University does not tolerate retaliation and that the University will take prompt action in response to any act of retaliation
    5. taking any other measures that are deemed necessary or desirable.
  4. In the case of a complaint against a staff member, the Director of Human Resources shall ensure that the respondent is informed of their rights and obligations in relation to any investigation.

8. Confidentiality, limits on confidentiality and requests for no action

  1. Confidential staff members may on some occasions have an obligation to pass information on, such as when there is perceived to be significant risk to the safety of the person making the disclosure or to the safety of others.
  2. In some cases, including where there is a significant risk to the University community, a situation may warrant formal University investigation even if the disclosing party and/or the affected party has not directly sought this.  This may be determined by:
    1. the Director of Human Resources in cases where the respondent is a University staff member, or
    2. the Vice-Chancellor, in consultation with the SMART Co‑ordinator, in all other cases.
  3. Where a decision to proceed with an investigation is made under clause 8(b), the Human Resources Director (or their delegate) or the SMART Co‑ordinator shall, prior to the commencement of the investigation, discuss with the affected or disclosing party:
    1. the reasons for deciding that the matter needed to be investigated, and
    2. the means by which risks to the affected party, disclosing party or any other party arising from a decision to investigate may be managed.
  4. Subject to any requirements or expectations that may arise for members of the University staff, affected parties, respondents and witnesses may choose not to participate in University investigations, and have no obligation to cooperate or offer information or evidence.

9. Protective measures and accommodations

  1. An affected party, or any person acting on an affected party's behalf, may seek to have protective measures or accommodations put in place, being:
    1. measures available and approved under other University regulations and procedures
    2. measures voluntarily agreed to by the affected and respondent parties (any agreement to such measures by a respondent party in the absence of a formal investigation shall not be considered indicative of an acceptance that sexual misconduct has occurred).
    3. measures imposed by the Proctor pursuant to their powers under the Student Conduct Statute
    4. measures imposed by the Head of a Residential College under College rules
    5. measures established by the Director of Human Resources in accordance with the employment or contractual arrangements the University has with the party intended to be subject to the measures.
    6. measures which it is reasonable in all the circumstances to put in place to manage interactions and relationships between students who are involved in allegations of sexual misconduct, whether or not such allegations have been or are able to be established.
  2. Accommodations that may be available (subject, where required, to approval under other University regulations and procedures) include:
    1. changes to accommodation, access to counselling and medical services, voluntary leave of absences or withdrawal from paper(s)
    2. provision of Campus Watch escorts
    3. confidential counselling through Student Health, Te Huka Mātauraka/Māori Centre, ACC or the Employment Assistance Programme
    4. arrangements for students where study or performance has been affected, including:
    5. as approved by Human Resources, arrangements for staff in the following areas:
      • flexible working arrangements, including changes to start and finish hours or change of location or, in some instances, job assignment
      • leave to attend appointments or for other reasons related to the sexual misconduct.  Leave can be paid or unpaid depending on the duration of the leave and individual circumstances and requirements.
  3. Protective measures imposed on respondent parties may include:
    1. no-contact orders
    2. prohibition on attending events or being on campus, or otherwise limiting access to specified campus spaces
    3. measures put in place under Residential College rules
    4. measures consistent with the respondent's employment agreement or contract with the University.
  4. Where the Proctor determines that protective measures should be imposed, any parties subject to those measures may seek to have this decision reviewed by the Provost, if they consider these measures are unreasonable.
  5. Any person establishing protective measures under the authority of this policy shall also consider whether the respondent should be encouraged to seek counselling, educational opportunities or other guidance or support in connection with the issues being managed by those measures.  Any engagement with such support shall not be taken as acceptance that sexual misconduct has occurred.

10. Formal Investigation by the University

  1. Where the University conducts a formal investigation into an allegation against a student, the investigator who shall establish and conduct the investigation will be the Proctor or their appointee (an appropriate person appointed in consultation with the SMART Co-ordinator), or another appropriate investigator appointed by the SMART Co‑ordinator.
    The investigator shall ensure that the SMART Co-ordinator is aware of the investigation and the SMART Co-ordinator shall assign a team of at least two SMART members to deal with any relevant matters in connection with the investigation.
  2. Where the University conducts a formal investigation into an allegation against a staff member, the Director of Human Resources will establish an investigation in accordance with the applicable Human Resources processes. The Director of Human Resources may advise the SMART Co-ordinator of the investigation and invite them to appoint one or more SMART members to be available to assist with the investigation.
  3. The University will seek to complete investigations in a timely manner, taking into account the complexities of the case.  Expected timeframes will be communicated to affected and respondent parties, and updates on any changes to estimated timeframes provided.
  4. Where a University investigation into a complaint about a student is commenced, and the process of investigation subsequently identifies that the alleged misconduct includes grievous sexual misconduct, the University will pause its investigation and support the complainant to raise the matter with Police should they wish to do so.  All other provisions in this policy, including the availability of protective measures, shall apply.
  5. Subject to the following provisions, the process of investigation to be followed in each case shall be determined by those responsible for the investigation having regard to the nature of the complaint and the overall circumstances.
  6. An investigation into the behaviour of a student shall ensure fairness to all parties involved, including by:
    1. allowing any party who wishes to do so to have support or representation, and
    2. ensuring that a party against whom an allegation is made is fairly informed of:
      • fair detail of the allegation and of their right to be heard
      • the potential sanctions if an allegation is upheld, and
      • their right to decline to participate in the investigation and the implications of this, including that the investigation will proceed without their input.
  7. An investigation into a person employed or engaged by the University shall be carried out in a way that is consistent with the requirements of the applicable employment agreement or independent contract terms.
  8. The person responsible for an investigation may consult with SMART at any time during the course of an investigation and, in the case of allegations against students, shall do so before finalising their investigation report. SMART may provide advice to the investigator including recommending that further investigation is undertaken before a report is finalised.
  9. Investigations shall conclude with a report detailing the investigator's conclusions which may include findings:
    1. that sexual misconduct has occurred
    2. that sexual misconduct has not occurred or is unable to be proved to the necessary standard by the available evidence, or
    3. that the investigation has been unable to determine whether sexual misconduct has occurred but considers the matter should be left open pending the possibility of further evidence becoming available.
  10. Following the conclusion of an investigation:
    1. interim measures that have been established for students remain in place unless cancelled by the Proctor or Head of Residential College on the advice of SMART, and
    2. the Proctor, Head of Residential College or Director of Human Resources (as the case may be) may impose further or alternative protective measures which are considered appropriate to manage the situation on an ongoing basis having regard to the interests of any affected party, any respondent parties, interests of any others involved in the matter and the interests of the wider University community.
  11. In the event that the investigation has concluded that sexual misconduct has occurred:
    1. the Proctor may exercise their powers under the Student Conduct Statute to impose an appropriate penalty on a student or may refer the matter to the Provost for determination or further referral to the Vice-Chancellor, and/or
    2. responsible Residential College authorities may take appropriate steps under Residential College rules, or
    3. the Director of Human Resources may cause appropriate steps to be taken under a staff member's employment agreement or contract.

11. University Actions where a Police Complaint is Made

  1. Where a complaint is made to the Police and the matter is as yet unresolved through Police or criminal justice system processes the University shall establish such protective measures as are necessary to support the affected party.
  2. In cases where the respondent is a student, regardless of any outcome through the criminal justice system, the Proctor may determine that it is appropriate to continue to require compliance with protective measures.
  3. Where a respondent admits or is found guilty of sexual misconduct under criminal justice system processes, the University will, as appropriate and on the basis of that finding, apply its own subsequent processes under the Student Conduct Statute, Ethical Behaviour Policy and/or other relevant Statutes, policies or contractual agreements.
  4. In cases where the respondent party is a staff member, regardless of any outcome through the criminal justice system, the University reserves the right to complete any relevant Human Resources processes under the direction of the Director of Human Resources.

12. Sanctions

  1. Any action taken against a student shall be taken under the Student Conduct Statute 2021 and/or Residential College rules.
  2. Any action against a staff member or independent contractor shall be in accordance with their employment agreement/contract, University policy and employment law and taken by those with the authority to do so.
  3. Nothing in this policy limits the University from imposing sanctions on a respondent where they have admitted sexual misconduct or have been found by a court to have committed acts amounting to sexual misconduct.

Related policies, procedures and forms

Contact for further information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact the SMART Co‑ordinator:


Confidential resource contact details – for information

Approved survivor/affected party advocates (Te Whare Tāwharau)

Freephone 0800 479 379
Tel +64 3 479 3790
Txt +64 21 278 3795

Te Whare Tāwharau website (includes walk-in hours and details)

OUSA Student Support (including Queer Support)

Note that OUSA Student Support is also available to provide support to student respondents.

Tel +64 3 479 5449
Freephone 0800 12 10 23
Office: 5 Ethel Benjamin Place, Dunedin 9016

OUSA Support Hub website

Counsellors, doctors and health professionals at the Student Health service

Freephone 0800 479 821
Tel +64 3 479 8212
Office: Corner of Walsh and Albany Streets, Dunedin 9016

Student Health website

Ministers, or those with a professional role which allows for confidentiality, such as the University Chaplains

Tel +64 21 195 3023Email
Located in the Upper Room in the University Union building

Otago University Chaplains website

Māori Counsellors at Te Huka Mātauraka/Māori Centre

Tel +64 3 479 8283/8490
Email or
Located at 515 and 519 Castle Street North, Dunedin 9016

Māori Centre website

Ōtepoti Collective Against Sexual Abuse

Tel +64 3 474 1592
Located in Dunbar House, 21 Dunbar St, Dunedin Central

Contact ŌCASA

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