Moana New Zealand’s Hikoi ki te Ora Wellbeing Programme

Hikoi ki te Ora

Health and safety should be more than keeping employees safe, it should be about making sure their overall wellbeing is also being taken care of. Moana New Zealand recognised this and developed the Hikoi ki te Ora health and wellbeing kaupapa, which recently won the ‘Seafood Star award -Our People,’ recognising the programme’s aim to improve not only the safety, but also the health of its workers.

Moana New Zealand is the country’s largest Iwi-owned fisheries company and is the only pan-Iwi owned organisation in Aotearoa. It also employs a high percentage of Māori and Pasifika people – including contract fishers and divers for wet fish, pāua and lobster, those at their oyster and pāua farms and in the head office, retail outlets and processing facilities. Owing to the fact that staff work at different hours of the day, implementing company-wide wellness initiatives were always going to be challenging. Yet four years ago, the company rose to the challenge in order to directly address the wellbeing of their people, and the Hikoi ki te Ora programme was devised.

The kaupapa takes a holistic approach to wellness for the employees, offering health checks every 18 months – one of which has recently been completed. This year the company enlisted the professional help of the team at WellMe who provides a holistic approach to measuring health parameters by including a full body scanner that gives individuals confidential results about body composition, fat percentage, balance, posture and basal metabolic rate. They also complete traditional measurements such as weight loss, blood pressure and blood glucose level readings.

Health and Safety policies and programmes often place far more emphasis on the safety aspect than the health. Moana New Zealand decided to look at it a bit differently and the results have spoken for themselves.

Hikoi ki te Ora is a collective commitment to Moana New Zealand employees’ wellness, and offers practical tips, tools and advice that can be taken home. By using some of the overall health check results, the company designs monthly programmes to help guide and enable staff to think about their health and wellbeing at work and at home. Over time it has also grown to tackle particular issues that have emerged.

Late last year Moana tackled a big nationwide issue through Hikoi ki te Ora. The company engaged former comedian and mental health educator, Mike King, to run roadshows at sites from the Far North through to the Chatham Islands in order to ensure staff are equipped with effective tools to handle stress, depression and mental illness. The sessions were open not only to Moana staff but to their whanau and the wider community. The events were well attended and Mike gave tips on how to deal with things such as being away from family for long stretches of time and what happens when they come home. He also spoke candidly about ‘the inner critic’ and how to support parents, siblings, partners and children through tough times.

The 2017/2018 Moana New Zealand Hikoi ki te Ora calendar is divided seasonally and is based around what employees find important in their health and wellbeing; te Ao Māori, giving back, physical health and mental health. Within the seasons there are monthly kaupapa that support the overall wellness journey. The programme is supplemented by an online platform in the company’s intranet where staff can take a deep dive into the monthly kaupapa and can access affordable and healthy recipes, fitness trackers, articles and events. For Moana New Zealand it’s about living the values of the company every day. The Hikoi ki te Ora programme encompasses a lot of what manaakitanga is about in looking after people at work and giving them opportunities to go home healthy and happy.