As well as running the vaccination drive-thru at Harry Barker Reserve and pop-up clinics in suburbs around the rohe, the Turanga Health team has had great results working directly with employers.

"At workplaces, what we"ve found works well is having those courageous conversations with staff first," says Turanga Health chief executive Reweti Ropiha.

"Usually one of our health professionals will go in and run a Q&A session where employees can share their concerns and we dispel some of the common myths around the vaccine. Then we"ll come back in soon after and do the vaccinations.

"We"ll go to any workplace, whether it's at a forestry site, a broccoli paddock or an office. Staff are also welcome to bring in their whānau and friends to be vaccinated," Reweti said.

"We use familiar places and local faces to make it easy and a great experience that people can share and hopefully encourage others to get vaccinated."

Trust Tairāwhiti general manager of economic development Richard Searle said it was great to see local businesses backing this kaupapa.

"A fully vaccinated workforce will help protect workplaces from COVID-19. Employers can support this by removing barriers that may stop their staff from getting vaccinated and making it easy and accessible."

Riversun is one local business that engaged Turanga Health to provide vaccines for staff. Employee Experience manager Louise Abrams said the results had exceeded expectations.

"Turanga Health come onsite to run an education piece the week before that answered a lot of questions for our team. They talked about the vaccine and impacts of not being vaccinated and why it is so important that we get it," she said.

Initially five staff said they were keen, which then increased to 20 but by the time Turanga Health came back to do the vaccinations, 65 staff turned up.

"A lot of our staff had been sitting on the fence but made the decision to get it on the day. There were some staunch beliefs among some but I think the education piece really helped. We also offered PAK"nSAVE gift cards as incentives."

The government has developed a business and workplace toolkit with information and resources for organisations to support COVID-19 vaccinations in their communities.

For more information about Turanga Health"s workplace vaccination services, please contact the team on 068690457 or email

PublishDate: 18 October 2021