Hauora; a Maori approach to Wellbeing


Hauora; a Mãori approach to Wellbeing


Wellbeing has been a buzzword within the workplace for a while now. Every week "#WellbeingWednesday" pulls thousands of tweets from organisations displaying their proactive wellbeing efforts. But in a world of office dogs and indoor plants (which actually have been proven to help improve mood and satisfaction at work), we are still seeing an increasingly high level of poor employee health; "costing businesses an estimated £10.6bn in sickness absence and £21.2bn in reduced productivity per year, according to NHS data."

In an article by People Management, it highlights than that even in the face of a 14% increase in workers being signed off for mental health reasons, employers still seem to struggle with the implementation of positive wellbeing practices. Employers do report to be aware of such findings, but still seem to struggle with determining how exactly they will combat the issue. Also, with introducing policies that will have the most impact across the most amount of people, and for the most efficient use of budget.

Every individual is different and some people will benefit more from some techniques than others. An office dog is redundant, if not harmful if you have someone who is terrified of dogs. The same applies to going on a team building adventure day out if someone is afraid of heights or water.

In New Zealand where I am from, M?ori are the indigenous people of the land. The M?ori word for wellbeing is Hauora (Hoe-or-ra). M?ori use a framework called Te Whare Tapa Wh? to teach, encourge and help enable Hauora, in which an individual's health is seen as a house, or whare, with 4 walls. In order for you to be stable and strong, your walls must be cared for. Those four walls consist of your physical, emotional/mental, social and spiritual wellbeing. Even if just one of those walls is unstable, the whole house can be jeopardised.

I think organisations could benefit from viewing Hauora as a framework to decipher what benefits and systems to put in place, so they are covering as many aspects of wellbeing as possible. In order for staff to be productive and innovative, they need to be stable and stress-free. Regardless of physical health, if someone's mental health is being negatively impacted, their outputs are going to be impacted. Using this model, a wellbeing "programme" can be planned as such so all aspects of Hauora are covered, as well as every type of employee. Keeping this in mind, I thought I'd explore some wellbeing benefits Mattinson Partnership and other organisations have utilised.

Something that can cover a lot of these things is private health insurance. Vitality, for example, is a health insurance provider that also offers loads of awesome benefits like free coffee, movie tickets, discounted gyms, travel fares and sports gear. All things that can help encourage and provide better wellbeing. We have Vitality at Mattinson Partnership and it has had a noticeable impact on everyone's willingness to exercise in order to earn points. Perkbox is another “perk” provider than gives the employer an easy way to gift employees benefits for anything and everything. 

If organisations could cross-reference their benefit schemes and company policies against a framework like this, then maybe they would be more willing to tackle the ever-rising health issues employees and employers are facing every year.

How well does your organisation look after your wellbeing? 

EvieI joined the Mattinson Partnership dream team in Spring 2017. Originally from New Zealand, I have a background in hospitality and administration. After graduating with BSc in Psychology and Criminology I settled in London following six months exploring Europe. I now manage MP’s brand development, social marketing and business support along side Amy. Outside of work you’ll usually find me avoiding the gym and spending too much money.



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London Wildlife Trust.

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Royal Town Planning Institute.

The RTPI represents planning professionals in the UK and Ireland and aims to encourage the development of vibrant and prosperous places and communities. Our Senior Consultant Freddie enthusiastically attends the annual Planning Convention, and we host several events throughout the year to show our support, including drinks networking and a literal pub quiz. We also keep in close contact with our friends down under, at the Planning Institute Australia and New Zealand Planning Institute. In addition, we sponsor the London Planning Summit, an event designed to address the biggest challenges facing the industry. This is our opportunity to stay on top of the latest changes in town planning by meeting with other key professionals in the sector, while celebrating our achievements.

Land Securities Group Plc.

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Urban Land Institute.

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