3 Jan 2021

Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board Leads the Way in Workplace Wellbeing

Whānau Ora, Hapu Ora, ka ora ai te Iwi

When family and hapū are well, so shall the Iwi be

Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board (Whakatōhea) has taken out two firsts on their journey to workplace wellbeing.  Not only are they the first Eastern Bay Iwi to achieve the WorkWell Bronze Standard Accreditation award from Toi Te Ora Public Health (Toi Te Ora), but they are also the first Ōpōtiki-based workplace to receive this award for their efforts to improve the wellbeing of their staff.

WorkWell is a workplace wellbeing initiative delivered by Toi Te Ora which encourages workplaces to go about everyday business in a way that leads to improved staff wellbeing. 

Whakatōhea Chief Executive, Dickie Farrar, says the process has been positive for both Toi Te Ora and Whakatōhea.  “I’m grateful for the opportunity to have participated in this programme.”  She adds, “Our goal was to provide a programme that would benefit all staff members and their aspirations to improve their health and wellbeing - achieving the Bronze level has contributed significantly to this goal.” 

Dickie says the Trust Board’s Orangatonutanga ‘Forever Well’ working group, led by Workplace Leader, Priscilla Drummond, has played a key role in reaching this milestone.  The group prioritised the wellbeing of their staff by addressing organisational and environmental change to ensure the healthy choice became the easy choice.  “For workplace wellbeing initiatives to work across a large and diverse workplace, it needs to be simple and seamless.  Therefore, we are continuing to take small steps, with the goal of achieving longer lasting improvements across the organisation and also drawing on organisational and cultural values,” says Priscilla.

Medical Officer of Health, Dr Phil Shoemack, says Whakatōhea has demonstrated a clear commitment to the health of their staff, despite some hurdles along the way.  “In spite of the impacts of COVID-19, Whakatōhea have remained focused in their efforts to achieve WorkWell Bronze.”

Dr Shoemack adds, “There is a clear connection between the impact of work on our health, and of our health on our work, and so it is not surprising that successful workplaces such as Whakatōhea go out of their way to support the health and wellbeing of their people”. 

“Investing in a positive, healthy workplace improves staff engagement, productivity and innovation, while also reducing stress, fatigue, injury and error.  Plus, this can be done with little effort and budget.  We look forward to continuing our partnership with Whakatōhea and helping them become a WorkWell Gold Standard workplace.” 

WorkWell is a free, workplace wellbeing initiative which supports workplaces to 'work better through wellbeing'.  Forty-four employers and more than 11,500 employees across the Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Health Boards’ regions participate in the accreditation programme.  WorkWell provides a framework that supports workplaces to develop and implement an effective and sustainable workplace wellbeing programme.  It is based on best practice and guides workplaces through a step-by-step process. 



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