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Category Administration and Management
Type Policy
Approved by Vice-Chancellor, 27 January 2006
Date Policy Took Effect 27 January 2006
Last approved revision 10 December 2021
Sponsor Chief Operating Officer
Responsible officer Head of Risk, Assurance and Compliance


To ensure that University staff and Council members are aware of what is appropriate behaviour with respect to the acceptance of gifts, benefits or gratuities.

Organisational scope

This is a University-wide policy, covering all group entities that are wholly owned by the University. It shall apply to all University staff or representatives including the University's Council members, where they are acting on the University's behalf.


University representatives
For the purposes of this policy, includes all University employees and University Council members.


  1. Summary

    1. The University adopts the New Zealand Public Service Code governing offers of gifts or gratuities.
    2. University representatives must not abuse their position for personal gain. They must not solicit or accept gifts, rewards or benefits which might compromise their integrity and the integrity of their department and/or the University.
    3. As a general rule, University representatives should not accept a gift (whatever its nature or value) if the gift could be seen by others as either an inducement or a reward which might place the University representatives under an obligation to a third party.
    4. Where offers of gifts or inducements are made to a staff member, this should be reported by the staff member to his or her manager or Head of Department, who will determine the appropriate response. A staff member who accepts a gift should declare the gift to their manager or Head of Department for a decision on final disposal.
    5. Where offers of gifts or inducements are made to a Council member, this should be reported by the Council member to the Registrar and Secretary of the Council, who will determine the appropriate response. A Council member who accepts a gift should declare the gift to the Registrar and Secretary of the Council who will determine an appropriate response, in consultation with Chancellor or Pro-Chancellor as required. Legitimate and significant gifts will be recorded in a Council gifts register as required.
    6. Gifts or benefits can range from one-off offers of small gifts to ongoing discounts on goods and services. The line between token gifts of appreciation and those that might compromise the recipient is often not easily defined, but any gift (regardless of value or nature) where it could be seen by others as an open inducement or reward that might place the University under any obligation should not be accepted.
    7. The following factors should be considered in determining whether a gift/benefit may be accepted or not:
      1. the monetary value of the gift or benefit
      2. how the gift or benefit would look to an outside party
      3. the reasons for the gift or benefit being offered
      4. the frequency of the gift – even a small gift or benefit given repeatedly may be of concern
      5. whether the gift displays a company or organisation logo
      6. the value or importance of the gift or benefit to the employee, and
      7. the commercial influence, actual or perceived, that the gift or benefit may represent – where a supplier has won a contract for the provision of goods and services to a department (or departments), the supplier should not offer personal discounts to employees of that department. Nor should staff accept them. They could be seen both as a reward for letting the contract and an inducement to maintain the commercial relationship.

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:

Mark Cartwright
Head of Risk Assurance and Compliance

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