Topics: Health, Te Arawa

Working towards better workplaces in Rotorua

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Te Arawa Whānau Ora along with Healthy Families Rotorua and Kowhai Health Associates have achieved the first step in becoming a Work Well workplace.  The programme run by Toi Te Ora Public Health Services encourages workplaces to create a better working space for their employees.

It's taken 12 months for them to achieve the first steps to wellness in their workplace.  CEO of Te Arawa Whānau Ora Ngaroma Grant of is of Ngāti Whakaue and Ngāti Pikiao says, "You need to be walking the talk and so when we have functions or things going on in our premises we make sure that it's health kai and healthy eating."   

Work Well is an accreditation that provides quality assurance for workplaces and communities.  

There are 25 Work Well groups that aim to achieve Gold, Silver or Bronze by implementing good practices in your workplace.

Pollyanne Taare of Healthy families Rotorua says, "We are all smokefree, we have a work bike.  All our kai is kept healthy - all our kai comes in from people's gardens, orchards and trees.  We have structured policies in place for all our manuhiri that come in to make sure that we feed them well."

While all 17 Māori health workers here are smoke-free they say that it was the statistics that encouraged them to make the change.  Māori women have the highest smoking rate at 42% while 34 % of Māori men smoke.

According to Mrs Grant, "We've been able to work really well not right in the homes with whānau but with more changing policies and working at a strategic level to make changes happen."

Taare believes that the changes are about the manaaki they have for each other, including their visitors.

Work Well is a three-year programme run by Toi Te Ora Public Health in Rotorua.