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Te Wānanga o Aotearoa – Working on wellbeing

Case Study

New Zealand Diversity Awards, 2016
Worklife Balance Category

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa – Working on wellbeing

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa’s holistic wellness programme (Tau Ora), has measurably improved the health and wellbeing of those working within the organisation, and the benefits are also extending to their families.
The challenge

With kaimahi (staff) morale at a low point after a major restructure in 2009, and concerns about community health, the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa faced a dual challenge: to bring a nationwide organisation back together and change attitudes to wellbeing. The organisation’s research also showed that if real change was to occur, it would need to extend beyond the “tearooms and corridors” of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and extend into the communities where the kaimahi lived.

Recognising that their 3000 people were the driving force behind its business, SKYCITY put the focus on employee wellness and came up with a guiding principle: “prevent harm and build wellness”. They put the emphasis on fun, physical challenges for better uptake.

Strategies for success
    • Research conducted throughout the organisation was used to identify the areas of greatest need and initiatives that would engage the community.
    • The findings were used to create a holistic wellness model (Te Punga Oranga), which includes eight components of wellbeing: tinana (physical), mahi (occupational), taiao (environmental), hinengaro (mental), pāpori (social), aronganui (emotional), whānau/iwi (family & community) and wairua (spiritual). These components are the foundation of the Tau Ora programme.
    • Tau Ora was rolled out to sites across the country, with programme “champions” appointed to encourage kaimahi to take part in events, presentations, health checks workshops and health promotion days.
    • Email, intranet and social media are also used to promote the programme.
Results and benefits
  • The most recent Tau Ora survey showed 44 per cent of respondents reported an increase in energy at work, 47 per cent had better efficiency and productivity, 45 per cent were enjoying work more, 45 per cent had improved wellbeing and 43 per cent had a better work-life balance.
  • Anecdotal evidence indicates that the benefits of the programme are extending to the families of staff, with improved nutrition and increased fitness reported.
  • Kaimahi report that that Tau Ora has made health and fitness a positive part of their daily lives, rather than a chore, and that they are sharing their new knowledge in the communities where they live, work and play.
More about Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa operates from 80 locations throughout the country offering holistic education opportunities guided by Māori principles and values. It provides certificate to degree level qualifications in subjects including small business, computing, social work, teaching, Māori performing arts and te reo Māori.

“We are mindful of the health and welfare of our whanau and communities and we understand the influence of Tau Ora and its ability to change lives.”

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