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Domestic and international air travel approval and booking processes, June 2021

The Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Group (VCAG) recently agreed a change to the way that staff book travel to remove the additional approval steps implemented as a response to the impact of Covid-19, while still being mindful of the need to reduce the impact of air travel on climate change. From 14 June 2021, the following arrangements will be in effect:

  1. All travel decisions and approvals should consider the significant impact air travel has on climate change as well as the financial implications.
  2. All International travel will still require approval by the relevant member of Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Group (PVC, DVC or Divisional Head).
  3. Expenditure for domestic travel will be approved by the relevant cost centre Manager or approved delegate. (Refer to School/Divisional guidelines for leave approval processes.)
  4. The Air NZ online booking portal will remain closed as this tool does not allow for updating of the travel tracker which supports the duty of care for our staff when they are travelling.
  5. The portal for booking travel insurance is being updated by the insurer and will be reopened once development and testing are complete. In the meantime travellers should contact the Travel Insurance Officer to book insurance for international travel:

Domestic Air Travel

Please ensure you refer to your School/Divisional guidelines for leave approval processes prior to making travel plans.

  • Online bookings can be booked and directly ticketed using the Mandatory Travel Agent’s online booking tool. All online bookings must include the appropriate GL/PL account code; or,
  • Offline (phone/email/in person) via the University Travel Agents.
    • Travel, once finalised with the travel agent, requires an approved University purchase order to allow the travel to be ticketed. Purchase orders are obtained using the Travel Request Smart-form.
    • The smart-form request must be submitted as soon as practicable (preferably within 8 hours) from receipt of the confirmed itinerary from the travel agent. This is to allow Supply Chain the ability to supply the approved PO back to the travel agent within the 24-hour window allowed by airlines to ticket the travel.
    • When completing the smart-form, the traveller should indicate all necessary approvals are in place, and attach a copy of the finalised travel itinerary created by the travel agent for the traveller.
    • Once the Supply Chain team have the request, they will raise and complete the purchase order and forward to the travel agent to authorise the ticketing of the travel.
  • Travellers are encouraged to use the Mandatory Travel Agent (MTA) online tools, where appropriate, to make their bookings to avoid any undue delay in the booking process.

International Travel (including Australia)

Travel must be booked via the MTA using the same process as for domestic offline bookings. International travel requires approval by the relevant VCAG member.

Travel cost increases

Should there be any unavoidable cost increases between approval and when the booking occurs, re-approval will not be needed. However, any scope change to the original travel request such as an additional route, additional accommodation, different class of travel, will require re-approval by your applicable approval authority.

Online booking tools

Further Information

Travel and Related Costs Policy
Travel Planning Procedure

Note: The Travel and Related Costs Policy and Travel Planning Procedures are currently in the process of being revised to reflect these changes.

Sharon Van Turnhout
Chief Financial Officer


Arranging University-related travel must be conducted through approved channels. Special supplier contracts have been negotiated to ensure the most cost effective options for the University.

The University has developed several travel related policies and procedures to assist you with your travel arrangements. You should familiarise yourself with these documents prior to booking your domestic or international air flights, accommodation, taxis/shuttles, arranging a rental car, or travel insurance.

Organising travel information

Further information about travel

Contact the Procurement Team