Student Disciplinary Regulations


The Northland Polytechnic Student Disciplinary Regulations outline procedures in the event of a student breaching Northland Polytechnic Student Regulations.


2.1 A tutor may exclude a student from attending the remainder of a class session where the student’s behaviour in class interferes with the learning of other students or endangers the safety of themselves or others, provided that the student has been told the required standard of behaviour and warned of the consequences of failing to modify their behaviour.

2.2 A tutor who excludes a student from a class session must report this to the Director Outcomes within one working day. The Director Outcomes will investigate the incident and determine if disciplinary or other action is warranted.

2.3 Exclusion from class is to protect the learning of other students and safety of others; in itself it is not a disciplinary action.


Northland Polytechnic shall apply the following principles to disciplinary procedures:

3.1 Promptness - Any remedial action to be taken with regard to a student must be taken as soon as practicable after the event.

3.2 Impartiality - The disciplinary procedures must be applied in an equitable and fair manner to all students.

3.3 Consistency - The disciplinary procedures must be applied consistently. Similar disciplinary action must be taken in respect of similar offences made in similar circumstances.

3.4 Prevention - The preferred outcome is to prevent re-occurrence, not to take punitive measures.

3.5 Advance Warning - All students are entitled to know what kind of behaviour is expected of them, and to a warning if their behaviour breaches the student regulations.

3.6 Fairness - The degree of disciplinary action must be related to the nature of the offence and regard should be had to the following factors:

(a) The seriousness of the problem and/or issue

Is the student’s behaviour interfering with the learning of the other students? Is the behaviour abusive of other people?

(b) Time span

Have there been any other discipline problems and/or issues in the past and over how long a time span?

(c) Frequency in nature of the problem and/or issue

Is the current problem and/or issue part of an emerging pattern?

Is the student presently subject to any previous warning?

(d) Student history

What has been the quality of the performance and conduct?

(e) Extenuating factors

It is imperative the student is given an opportunity to explain his/her side of the story.

f) Degree of communication

To what extent has Northland Polytechnic made an earlier effort to inform the student causing the problem and/or issue about the existing discipline rules and procedures and the consequences of violation?

g) Implications for other students

What impact will any decision have on other Northland Polytechnic students?

(h) Right to representation

Students must always be informed of their right to have representation. All students under the age of 18 years shall have representation.


4.1 The Chief Executive or delegated representative has the authority to discipline students.

4.2 Disciplinary action may include:

(a) Requiring a student to remedy a situation;

(b) Excluding a student from some Northland Polytechnic facilities;

(c) Excluding a student from some Northland Polytechnic activities;

(d) Expulsion.

4.3 Grounds for disciplinary action will exist if a student fails to comply with the Northland Polytechnic Student Regulations or other Northland Polytechnic regulations and policies.

4.4 When a staff member believes there are grounds for disciplinary action against a student, they shall report the matter to the Director Outcomes. 

4.5 The Director Outcomes shall ensure that the matter is investigated; inform the Student Advisor and either issue a warning to the student, or when it is considered disciplinary action is warranted, refer the matter to the Chief Executive, or take no further action.


5.1 No disciplinary action shall be taken until the Chief Executive, or delegated representative, has the relevant facts and has sufficiently evaluated and considered them, including any explanations which the student offers. The student is to be given the right to representation.

5.2 When the investigation involves a student aged under 18 the student must be asked if they wish their parent(s)/caregivers to be informed and present at any meetings with Northland Polytechnic staff regarding the investigation.  The institution shall ensure that adult support is available throughout the process.


6.1 Except when summary expulsion is justified, by reason of the nature and severity of an incident or offence, a student whose behaviour is unsatisfactory shall, before disciplinary action is taken, be:

(a) Informed about the grounds for concern about his/her behaviour (the aspect in question, the nature of the fault, etc);

(b) Allowed to reply or respond;

(c) Warned of the consequence of failure to improve;

(d) Given reasonable opportunity to correct his/her behaviour.

6.2 the notification of complaint, and any warnings given, must be recorded in writing and sighted, and preferably signed, by the student concerned. The student must be provided with a copy. 

6.3 the fact that a warning has been given shall be recorded in the student’s file. The student should be advised that the written record has been placed on his/ her personal file. The warning shall be kept on file for one calendar year. If, at the conclusion of one year, no further disciplinary action has been necessary; the record of the warning shall be removed from the file.

Student’s rights to respond

6.4 a student in receipt of a warning may, if he/she wishes:

(a) Respond in writing and have a copy of the response placed in their personal file;

(b) Appeal against the warning.



7.1 A student who is stood down cannot attend Northland Polytechnic for the stand down period. Stand down is not, in itself, a disciplinary action: it is a step which may be taken in order to investigate whether or not disciplinary action is needed, though his/her status as a student at Northland Polytechnic is unchanged.

Use of Stand-Down Provisions

7.2 A student shall only be stood down by the Chief Executive or delegated representative. Stand down is to be used only in serious cases where it would be inappropriate in the circumstances for the student to remain in class. Such circumstances include:

(a) Where the student is judged to be under the influence of mind-altering substances (e.g. drugs or alcohol) and it is intended to give the student another chance or to seek an explanation before consideration of expulsion;

(b) Where there has been, or appears to have been, a serious breach and it appears necessary or advisable that the student be removed from class while the matter is investigated or while expulsion or other action is considered. It is serious if the behaviour interferes with the learning of other students or is abusive of others or compromises the safety of others;

(c) Where the student has been charged in a court of law with an offence punishable by a maximum of two or more years’ imprisonment, and the charge is such that the continued presence of the student is likely to cause concern to Northland Polytechnic staff or other students or members of the public and it is therefore desirable that until the matter is resolved the student be removed from class;

(d) Where a student receives more than two written warnings. 

7.3 At the conclusion of any period of stand down the student shall either be allowed to return to class or be expelled. Where investigation into the circumstances is continuing, the student shall be notified of Northland Polytechnic’s actions and informed of the decision as soon as the investigation is concluded. 

7.4 The decision to take any disciplinary action or allow the student to return to class following stand down should be made as soon as possible.


7.5 (a) Oral advice to a student that he/she has been stood down must be followed promptly by written confirmation stating reasons and duration of stand down.

(b) A student who has been stood down must come into Northland Polytechnic when requested upon reasonable notice. 

(c) The student’s file will be annotated to record the final decision made in regard to the student’s stand down, and whether or not any disciplinary action was considered necessary.

(d) If no disciplinary action follows the stand down, the details of the investigation will be destroyed, but a summary will be kept on the student’s file outlining the incident and the result of the investigation.


8.1 The authority to expel students lies with the Chief Executive or delegated representative.

8.2 Expulsion of a student is a serious matter and will occur when the Chief Executive or delegated representative is satisfied that there is no other appropriate means of resolving the situation.

8.3 Whether expulsion is summary or by giving notice, a full investigation must be made and there must be sound reasons for the action taken, the student must be allowed to state reasons for the breach. Except in cases of summary expulsion, no student will be expelled without previous warning(s) being given and following a reasonable opportunity to improve.

Definition of Expulsion

8.4 When a student is expelled their enrolment is cancelled, all student rights and privileges are withdrawn, and they may not enrol again with Northland Polytechnic without the permission of the Chief Executive.

Notice of Expulsion/Summary Expulsion

8.5 A student may be expelled by:

(a) Notice of Expulsion, means expulsion by notice being given in accordance with Northland Polytechnic’s disciplinary and stand down procedures;

(b) Summary Expulsion, means expulsion without notice. Summary expulsion shall only be justified where there are substantial reasons such as gross misconduct.


8.6 To expel a student, he/she should be informed, in writing, by the Chief Executive:

(a) That he/she is being expelled;

(b) The effective date of the expulsion;

(c) The reasons for the decision; and

(d) His/her rights of appeal against the expulsion.


9.1 Where a student may have committed a criminal offence, disciplinary action against the student does not limit the ability of the Chief Executive to refer the matter to the New Zealand Police.


10.1 Students who are the subject of disciplinary action have the right to appeal against any decision made affecting them and they must be advised of their rights at the time disciplinary action is taken against them.

10.2 Students must appeal the disciplinary decision within 10 Northland Polytechnic working days of being notified of the decision.

10.3 A disciplinary decision must be appealed, in writing, to the Chief Executive. The appeal must include the grounds for appeal, the desired outcome and any additional relevant information.

10.4 Students cannot appeal disciplinary decisions made by the Chief Executive. Where a student is not satisfied with such a decision they should be referred to the Ombudsman or other external agency.