August 17, 2020
Kaupapa Maori approach sought to health and safety
Workers in high-risk sectors like forestry, farming and construction could have fewer injuries if they adopt a kaupapa Māori framework for health and safety.
That’s the proposition being explored in a new research partnership between Whakatane’s Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and the Accident Compensation Corporation.
Research lead Keri Topperwien says the rates of serious non-fatal injuries for Māori have been increasing since 2013, and 17 per cent of workers submitting workplace claims in high-risk sectors identify as Māori.
She says kaupapa Māori embraces not just the physical aspects of work but also the spiritual and mental well-being of the kaimahi, not just in the workplace but at home as well.
"When you are feeling that burden at work, you take it home to your whānau. When there is trouble at home, you take it to work with you. All these things that are outside the very narrow focus of health and safety, we need to explore, Ms Topperwein says.
Haumaru Tāngata researchers will collaborate with businesses and Māori employees to explore how mātauranga and tikanga Māori can support culturally inspired workplace health and safety interventions.
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