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Stepping up for Silver with Maori Systems

A team effort is being pushed to help secure the next level of workplace wellbeing accreditation with an unexpected twist, they are using Maramataka to get there.
Maramataka is a traditional Maori system that is a guide for reading moon phases and its influence on the environment. Awhi Rotorua is represented by Te Arawa Whanau Ora, Healthy Families Rotorua, and Kowhai Health Associates who are using the Maramataka to guide their workplan to achieve the WorkWell Silver Standard Accreditation in workplace wellness. While Maramataka is commonly known to guide fishing and planting activities, it can also help individuals to achieve balance and improve wellbeing.

Improving the workplaces for the employees through the application of Maramataka means innovative ideas are being implemented.
An example of these ideas are planning meetings according to Maramataka days that align with being outside.  As part of the plan, employers support staff to work outside of the office for part of the day. Another example is aligning activities to the days of the Maramataka that indicate a time of low energy. Thereby, supporting staff with planning to do tasks that allow for review and reflection of work rather than report writing or creating new initiatives. Applying Maramataka in this way is proactive and responsive to employees’ needs. At the end of the day Maramataka can help any business to achieve optimum productivity whilst looking after staff.

There has recently been a renaissance of the practice and a common question that is asked is, how is the Maramataka applicable in a daily modern life? This may just answer some of the nay-sayers.
Ngaroma Grant Chief Executive of Te Arawa Whanau Ora says, “implementing the Maramataka at our workplace has shown us that there is absolute value in using this traditional practice.”
Mapihi Raharuhi Manager for Healthy Families Rotorua says; “Maramataka is a lifestyle change and can help to achieve balance in all aspects of your life.”
She states that workplaces do need to be willing and open to this in the first instance but that if they have a commitment to support workplace wellbeing they will see the benefits. “We have already seen happier working environments, and better productivity as staff are guided by the Maramataka.  We encourage them to take up activities aligned to the Maramataka that help them in their work.”

Awhi Rotorua will know by May whether they have been successful with their accreditation. Of the 10 national Healthy Families NZ sites, Healthy Families Rotorua will be the first site to be accredited by the WorkWell workplace wellness initiative. They currently hold the WorkWell  Bronze Standard Accreditation.

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