A letter to this effect was sent to staffers and elected members on 22 December, signed by Sean Mallon as Group Manager of Infrastructure Services. Why not by boss Mr Maxwell? He was probably on holiday by that stage. We’re told he returns next Monday.

“Following consultation with our staff, SLT [Senior Leadership Team] has confirmed that we want everyone who works here, both our staff and the people who carry out work for us, to be fully vaccinated against [covid].”

It then trots out the standard government excuses that the Pfizer substance reduces transmission of the China virus and that people are less likely to become seriously ill.

“All Council employees to provide evidence of their covid Vaccine Pass to our HR team by 25 January 2022. The Policy also sets out expectations for the people who do work on our behalf and we will be contacting these people in January to make them aware of our Policy requirements.

Vaccine passes will be required to enter the Civic building, Takiri North and Takiri South from 25 January 2022.

This seems to include elected members too, as Mr Mallon states, “I understand that the Mayor will be discussing this with you in due course.”

As elsewhere in the public service, Maxwell and Mallon probably see it as a good way of pushing out staffers who think for themselves and question anything they decide as they only want obedience to those at the top of the pyramid. By the same token, however, it will only reinforce for those who dislike a rigid, inflexible top-down management system that KCDC is not the place for them.