Forty newly employed Māori contact centre operators from Te Tai Tokerau Northland are providing a kaupapa Māori focus to Healthline’s COVID-19 information response.
Since completing their training, the team has fielded and made hundreds of calls daily; providing New Zealanders with information about Covid-19 processes and testing locations, registering people interested in the vaccination, and doing welfare checks with people who are self-isolating.
The partnership between Te Hau Ora Ō Ngāpuhi (THOON) and Healthline puts Māori on the frontline of the national Covid-19 Healthline response.
“Healthline wanted to apply more of an equity lens to its COVID-19 support services. This kaupapa bridges that gap while also providing employment for our people,” said Te Hau Ora Ō Ngāpuhi CEO, Te Rōpu Smith.
Andrew Slater – CEO for the National Telehealth Service which runs Healthline, says people find having to self-isolate stressful. “At the very least it is a disruption to their routines, work and family life. It’s important that people in this position are responded to in ways that make them feel comfortable and supported. Te Hau Ora Ō Ngāpuhi, with its track record of exemplary work in the health and well being sector, are the ideal partner. We are delighted to be working with them.”
The two-day training was held at Roma Marae in Ahipara to accommodate recruits from Far North REAP and Te Rarawa.
“There aren’t many places in the mid to far north that can hold groups that large and also have access to Wi-Fi connectivity, so we are grateful to Te Puni Kōkiri for making the marae connectivity available,” said Te Rōpu.
The contact centre is the second initiative to boost employment numbers that have been led by entities of Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi-O-Ngāpuhi Group. On 1 March, the first 20 employees hired for a new hydroponic berryfruit growing operation at Ngāwha, east of Kaikohe, signed their employment contracts. Ngāpuhi Asset Holding Company is the majority shareholder in that venture.
To find out more, email Te Rōpu Smith, CEO, Te Hau Ora Ō Ngāpuhi: [email protected]
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